Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Sometimes in this line of work, you come across things that end up chewing away at you. Things don’t add up. They don’t easily make sense.
There is a tremendous amount of hype around mining in Ontario. Politicians from all parties are lavishing praise and promise on this undeveloped chromite deposit. They are calling the Ring of Fire the oil sands of Ontario.
The stakes are high. A struggling economy. Two levels of government poised to pour two billion dollars into helping move things along.
The problem is that trying to assess whether Ontario gets a fair share, is like falling down a rabbit hole.
How much does Ontario really earn from non-renewable resources like gold and nickel. Businesses pay taxes – but they also receive tax credits and tax holidays. The question is where does it tip – In favour of business or the province?
It is not easy to get a straight answer.
In the case of politicians, they either don’t know, so they are naive, or they make a deliberate calculation to obfuscate the facts.
Truth appears to be a commodity that is difficult to come by when scrutinizing the mining sectors ‘real’ contributions to the province.
My aim is to expose fresh facts.
– So that the public good is not treated as a second-class citizen.
– That the public earns a respected place at the negotiating table, along with business and government.
I value the trust that the Michener Awards Foundation has expressed in this proposal.
I will do my best to honour the investment – to see what truth does exist at the intersection of hyperbole and reality when it comes to real net benefits of mining in the province of Ontario.
It’s a chance of a lifetime.
2014 Michener-Deacon Fellowship recipient
Michener Awards Ceremony
June 11, 2014