Ford promises to share revenue on resource projects

The Canadian Press

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives say they’ll set up a formal resource revenue-sharing system if elected to power this spring to ensure northern communities benefit from projects in the region.
Tory leader Doug Ford says Northern Ontario communities, including indigenous ones, would receive a portion of provincial revenues collected from aggregate licences, stumpage fees, and the mining tax.
Speaking in Timmins, Ont., Ford also promised to cut delays that prevent northern communities from benefiting from the “Ring of Fire,” a massive chromite mining development, and other such projects.
He gave no details on how the plan would work, but the Tories said taxes and fee rates would not increase as a result of revenue-sharing.
The PCs say the governing Liberals have discussed putting similar measures in place but never finalized an arrangement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced last year her government had reached agreements with First Nations to start building year-round road access to a proposed mining site in the “Ring of Fire” area, which is about 500 km northeast of Thunder Bay.
The region holds one of the world’s richest deposits of chromite–used to make stainless steel–as well as nickel, copper, and platinum, valued at anywhere from $30 billion to $60 billion.
Ford said the money generated from northern resource projects shouldn’t go to provincial coffers alone.
“My plan means more money in the hands of the folks up here working hard to dig those mines, to build those roads, and more money for the communities in which they live,” he remarked.
Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s minister of northern development and mines, said Ford can’t pay for his promises unless other investments are “put on the chopping block.”
“Doug Ford’s math is wrong,” Gravelle said in a statement Tuesday.
“Regardless of his accounting, we know across-the-board cuts are coming to Northern Ontario,” he charged.
He also noted the Conservatives voted against a basic income pilot project for Thunder Bay.
Gravelle said his government is working towards resource revenue-sharing arrangements with First Nations for forestry stumpage, mining tax, and royalties.
“This work will continue under an Ontario Liberal government,” he pledged.
“The same can’t be said if Doug Ford were in charge.”