Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford promised northerners a cut of the money the province collects for aggregate licences, stumpage fees and mining tax during a rally in Timmins this afternoon.
He also committed to cutting through the “special interest and bureaucratic delays” preventing the Ring of Fire and other resource projects.
"We're going to introduce real, formal revenue sharing for northern resources," said Ford, in a prepared statement. "This means that more money from mining, forestry and aggregates stays right here in the North for the people of northern Ontario."
He said the revenue sharing will benefit communities, including indigenous communities.
While he doesn’t have a breakdown of the percentage of money that would flow back into the north, he says it will be in the range of $20 to $30 million.
“They take all the money back to Queen’s Park. I believe in letting the northerners keep their own money. Do what you want, fix roads, put whatever you want towards the money that is handed over to you,” he said after his speech.
He said the revenue sharing would be an ongoing commitment.
“People up here work hard, they deserve to keep their own money. That’s what I believe in,” he said.
Ford’s stop in Timmins is just days after the Timmins PC riding association acclaimed Yvan Genier as its candidate for the June 7 election.
Incumbent NDP Gilles Bisson also announced he is running again earlier this year. The Liberals are expected to announce their candidate tomorrow.
When local residents head to the polls for the provincial election, it will be the first time an MPP for the new riding of Timmins is elected.
The boundaries for the current riding of Timmins-James Bay were redefined and split into two last year. With Timmins on its own, the second new riding of Mushkegowuk-James Bay includes communities along Highway 11 from Smooth Rock Falls to Hearst and extends north to Peawanuck.