Ontario Government Strengthens Mineral Sector to Promote Prosperity and Create Opportunities
New Mineral Development Strategy Supports Northern, Rural And Aboriginal Communities
TORONTO - The Ontario government is moving to implement a strategy that will enhance the mineral sector's global competitiveness, while opening new opportunities for all Ontarians, Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, has announced.
"The McGuinty government is promoting prosperity across the province by ensuring the long-term sustainability and global competitiveness of this vital Ontario industry," said Bartolucci, releasing Ontario's Mineral Development Strategy at the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
The strategy builds on the provincial government's current initiatives, programs and services as it strives to ensure that the mineral sector continues to contribute at a high level to Ontario's regional and provincial economies. It outlines a series of key strategic objectives and action items, which the government will now address in the implementation stage.
"The mineral exploration sector has long sought a framework under which this dynamic Ontario industry could continue to grow and prosper," said Garry Clark, Executive Director of the Ontario Prospectors Association. "The Mineral Development Strategy provides us with that framework, and we look forward to working with the province on its implementation."
George Pirie, co-chair of the Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster Council, pointed to action items that focus on opportunities for new value-added and mineral-related economic activities. "The strategy promotes community development and will expand opportunities for all Ontario residents by helping the mineral sector achieve its full potential," he said.
The strategy proposes an engagement process that aims to promote positive mineral sector relations with Aboriginal communities and supports the aspirations of Aboriginal communities by encouraging their enhanced participation in the benefits of resource development and ensuring that communities are appropriately consulted.
"A Mineral Development Strategy for Ontario is long overdue and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines is to be congratulated for bringing this important initiative forward," said Chris Hodgson, President of the Ontario Mining Association. "The strategy provides an opportunity for all ministries and all Ontarians to better understand that mining is a solution provider and vital contributor to Ontario's economy."
While a mineral development strategy would apply to the entire province, the mineral sector is particularly important to the Northern Ontario economy. The strategy is part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.