Make Ontario Competitive – Saving the Mining Sector and Northern Communities
The Federal Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) helps Canadians by providing a 15% tax credit in support of early stage mining exploration. It drives the funding of greater exploration activity conducted by thousands of Canadian resource workers across the country. Most provinces provide matching credits ranging from 20% in BC to as much as 38% in Quebec. Provincial exploration tax credits have proven effective in these provinces in incenting hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly accretive private sector investment resulting in thousands of direct northern jobs and mine discoveries.
In Ontario, the matching METC is 5%, which is ineffective in attracting investment capital for early stage exploration.
Our recommendation is to immediately increase the Ontario METC from 5% to 25% for a trial period ending March 31, 2021. Based on the experience in BC and Quebec, an increase to 25% will result in the creation of thousands of tax paying jobs in northern Ontario and across the province.
Mining is fundamental to the well-being of this province and the quality of life in northern communities. If this government is truly open for business then a limited time increase in the provincial METC is a low risk, high reward initiative well worth implementing and then measuring. We either incent capital investment in this proven approach or resolve to see the continued withering of a once vibrant sector, long neglected.