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 communities, 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 Progressive Conservatives say the governing Liberals have discussed putting similar measures in place but never finalized an arrangement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced last year that 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 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont.
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 said.