TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2015 /CNW/ - In a major report released today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) urged provincial and federal governments to take bold steps to position Ontario's mining sector for success in the future. In Digging Deeper: Strengthening Ontario's Mining Advantage, the OCC has brought forth several recommendations so that, in the context of a global downturn, Ontario-specific challenges can be addressed now to ensure the competitiveness of Ontario's mining sector in the future.
This report comes in advance of the Government of Ontario's renewed Mineral Development Strategy, expected to be released in the coming weeks.
"Ontario mining is a real competitive advantage for the province, and our expertise in mineral production, finance, and innovation is in global demand," said Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. "However, there are critical steps that the government must take to ensure the sector's continued role as an economic driver in Ontario. We are calling on all levels of government to harmonize their efforts to ensure that mining investment continues to flow into Ontario now and in the future."
Among the report's top recommendations is for the Governments of Ontario and Canada to increase investment in northern infrastructure, one of the key barriers to mining development in the province. Both levels of government have committed to large-scale infrastructure investment in the coming years. With renewed commitments to intergovernmental cooperation, the OCC sees a clear opportunity to coordinate investment and unlock the potential of new mineral discoveries in Ontario's North.
The report also urges government to take steps to reduce regulatory uncertainty, consistently cited as a top issue by mining companies as they look to invest or expand in Ontario. Specifically, the report pushes for the establishment of a Resource Revenue Sharing (RRS) framework between government and Aboriginal communities to provide certainty surrounding the benefits that these communities will gain from mineral resource development.
Other key recommendations of the report include:
- Increasing Ontario's flow-through share tax credit from five percent to 20 percent, extending the availability of the federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC), and creating an enhanced METC for remote projects.
- Increasing Ontario's investment in mining research and innovation.
- Leveraging the global demand for Ontario mining expertise to create new business opportunities and drive growth.
"The mining sector has a long history of bringing benefits to communities across Ontario and with the right steps, it can continue do so in the future," added O'Dette. "What the industry needs is a clear signal that the federal and provincial governments are committed to positioning Ontario as the premier destination for mining investment."
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce encourages the Government of Ontario to continue its engagement with all actors in the mining sector in order to capitalize on the potential of the next mining boom.
Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
SOURCE Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For further information: Media Contact: Michelle Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, E: firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 416-482-5222 ext. 2410