Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
11:24 AM EDT
2014-01-03 at 17:08

Seeking co-operation

CEDC executive director John Mason.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
CEDC executive director John Mason.
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

Northern Ontario doesn't appear to get the same kind of co-operation from the federal government as other  parts of the country, and that has  one local mining expert wondering why.

John Mason, project manager for mining services with the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, said a partnership between Ottawa and the Ontario government to fund infrastructure would allow the two to share the risk but also share rewards.

He points to developments in northern areas of both British Columbia and Quebec that receive partnership from both the federal and their respective provincial governments to drive both electrical infrastructure for First Nations in addition to spurring mining developments.

“It’s a perfect scenario in terms of a catalyst for quality of life in the broadest context as well as providing an economic development catalyst,” Mason said. “And that’s being done, so why can’t it be done in Ontario?”

Power issues are significant and are being raised by both producing mining companies as well as prospective enterprises. Mason said that half of the new projects slated to come on the grid are open pit mines, which are more power intensive than conventional underground mines.

Not only is supply a worry, but so to is the cost.

These concerns have been identified and voiced on multiple occasions, including in the past month when the Ontario Power Authority met with the Red Lake area producing stakeholders.

“It’s a big concern, and we hope the Ontario Power Authority is listening,” Mason said. “Those fundamentals for power and electrical infrastructure, on the supply and transmission side, are needed right now.”

The CEDC launched a Mining Readiness Strategy in April 2013 which identified nine new potential mining projects throughout the region, with five of them being gold.

All of those projects are in various stages of development, from feasibility studies and environmental assessments to preparing for production.

Rubicon Minerals Corporation is expected to begin production out of their Phoenix Gold Project either by the end of this year or early 2015. Goldcorp is also building their Cochenour/Bruce Channel project which is centred around a five million ounce gold deposit in addition to their existing site.

Despite the recent dip in gold prices, Ontario Prospectors Association executive director Garry Clark is bullish on the market.

He said the biggest hit from the price decrease is less money available for exploration as investors get more conservative, but said there is still progress taking place.

The brightest light is the New Gold venture, after they bought Rainy River Resources and made that project their top priority in the country.

Clark said the region was hit by too many junior companies with interests competing for limited capital, but that a consolidation has been occurring that will allow companies to redirect their efforts


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RBosch says:
@ Progress Now, I can not help but take exception to your remarks about the Electrical Task Force. First of all, Cliffs did represent an amount of load (65 MW) but it was not the size of the load, but its longevity that was the source of hope. The total load being predicted is in the neighbourhood of 750MW and the Cliffs amount was less than 10% of that total. If the Task Force is/was so wrong, then why did the OPA change their projections from 800 MW to 1400MW, following creditible input from the Task Force. Mr. Mason's point is well taken. Are you aware that the Federal Gov't. is acting in full partnership with Quebec in developing access and infrastructure to their far north? Why wouldn't they provide the same to Ontario?
The OPA has exhibited a true distain for input and the Task Force has listened to them and provided sound, valuable input to them, but at every turn, they have had to be shown clear factual evidence, which has constantly been done at every opportunity.
1/14/2014 5:18:34 PM
Dunroamin says:
Gee I wonder why Thunder Bay votes for the underdog party to represent us at the Ottawa table not the party that's in charge lets get it right in 2015 please I am frustrated they keep Thunder Bay out of the loop
1/4/2014 11:08:43 PM
This kind of comment always puzzles me:

“It’s a big concern, and we hope the Ontario Power Authority is listening,”

Is he saying the OPA is deliberately not listening? Is he saying they are cavalier respecting the way they carry out their responsibilities? Its a pretty aggressive thing to say when the theme of his commentary is "seeking co-operation".

No one has a crystal ball to predict the future with clarity - not even Mr. Angus' task force. Cliffs represented significantly in his calculations. But the task force cannot be wrong.

Lets reverse the question - was Mr. Angus and his task force listening to the OPA?

Where is humility in municipal government and its agencies?
1/4/2014 3:55:30 PM
jonthunder says:
The last time I read the BNA Act and our Constitution Ontario had/has jurisdiction over lands and resources and their development. Of course there is a role for Canada to play, but Ontario has sat on its fanny for years on this most promising development; and may have delayed it for many years by its total inaction.
The Ontario liberals have destroyed our manufacturing sector. Yes, there have been some gains in health, but those are not revenue generating jobs for our over-all economy - developments like the Ring of Fire are required ASAP to pay for those public expenditures.
Yes, I am very critical of the current Ontario liberal government; but, did I say that others would do any better/worse? It may simply be time for a change to get things moving on development in our territory; this liberal government has proven itself to be inept when it comes to development.
1/4/2014 2:47:52 PM
hotchoc says:
Ontario is responsible for resource development, but not on reserves or traditional native lands. That is directly a federal responsibility.

As for the Liberals destroying our manufacturing exactly what role if any did the Federal gov't have in this. Was it just Ontario. When jobs were disappearing in BC, the west or Maritimes, was this the fault of the Liberals. I find it so funny that blame was attached to the province when Heinz announced its plant closure in Leamington. So the Fed's get to say they are great, any everything falls to the province. I find myself defending them not out of love, out of some sense of reality.

The fed's have now entered into a free trade deal with Europe that could have serious negative effects for Ontario manufacturing in some areas. Is this Ontario's fault. Ontario pays $11 billion more to Ottawa then it receives, each year. Ontario was the only province to have funding cut by Ottawa. Exactly when do we start looking at Ottawa and its negative role
1/5/2014 8:34:05 AM
hotchoc says:
jonthunder-- it was the previous government that cut the number of seats in the north not this one.

As for us being fools I would like to suggest you are.

No one can argue that criticism can be levelled at the Liberal government but Mr. Mason was critical of the Federal government in this article for not coming to the table.

As for the province, we can yell all we like but the provincial dollars that have come to this area has been staggering. Look around. Countless new buildings, hundreds of high paying jobs. This was not magic. They have been the biggest factor in turning this city around.

I will gladly give some thanks to our MPP's. By the way, our MP's are the current NDP and former NDP members. It is they who should be recalled for providing very little to this area. The liberals are far from perfect but they have done better than anyone I can remember for our area and I am 70 years old.
1/3/2014 11:20:04 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
All this stuff, they have everywhere else, too. It's all about economics, getting it out as cheap as possible. Plus, the Hassle Factor. Here? Too expensive, too much hassle. Lots of good money to be made elsewhere, without waiting 20 years for it to happen...
1/3/2014 9:45:43 PM
CM Punk says:
As I said before, this region is a "has been" area of the country and they throw hand outs to shut our mouths and keep everyone quiet.
Southern Ontario and the west coast is where its at and the only places that matter in the eyes of the federal government.
1/3/2014 7:15:19 PM
jonthunder says:
The Ontario Liberal government and "its" Ontario Powere Authority and Ministers of Finance and Mines and Northern Development simply treat us in northern Ontario with contempt; and label us as fools. It is time for the Ontario liberal government to stand up for us or withdraw their MP's from our landscape.
1/3/2014 6:16:10 PM
Ranma says:
It's not like we matter. Look at most maps and Thunder Bay is ignored. There is typically nothing between Winnipeg and Toronto. We are a vast wasteland with a whopping 6-7 ridings? Toronto is where all the votes are, so who in power will give a damn about what happens up here. We are nothing in their eyes.
1/3/2014 5:53:55 PM
oracle says:
The expert Mr. Mason can lament all he wants about the Feds. Provinces have jurisdiction over natural resources. The Province has to be the lead. The Province has to demonstrate a willingness to develop the north beyond tweaking what is already here. Ontario has done neither. Once Ontario puts forward a credible plan for development in the north the Federal Government will invest. Until then - why would the Feds invest? They would be flushing money down a policy toilet.
1/5/2014 12:04:57 AM
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