Greens asking why the Liberals are giving away Ontario's resources for less than the cost of a diamond ring
(Queen’s Park): In the wake of news reports that Ontario received only $226 in diamond mining royalties, GPO leader Mike Schreiner is demanding a review of Ontario’s mining royalty rates and resource revenues.
“It’s outrageous that the people of Ontario have only received $226 to date from diamond royalties. Not millions or thousands, just $226,” says Schreiner. “The fire sale of our natural resources has to stop, especially with the province in debt and cutting services.”
For the last five years the City of Toronto collected as much in annual parking fines as the province did from more than a dozen gold and nickel companies, according to a CBC and Michener-Deacon investigation.
“Ontarians deserve a fair return for our shared resources,” says Schreiner. “Once we deplete our mineral resources, they’re gone. So why is the government letting companies drain them for so little return?”
Ontario has the lowest resource revenue rates in Canada and some of the lowest in the world, collecting a paltry 1.5 per cent in royalties on the billions of dollars worth of ore extracted in the province over the past decade. Dennis Howlett, head of Canadians for Fair Taxation, has said: “We’re almost like a tax haven for mining here in Canada.”
“The Liberals have a responsibility to come clean on mining royalties and resource revenues,” argues Schreiner. “Once the government gives our resources away, we aren’t getting them back.”
The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and good public policy to Queen’s Park.