Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford's looking forward to seeing the outcome of a summit in Cochrane this week.

"We feel really great that towns, cities and Indigenous communities here in northern Ontario can actually benefit," he said.

Delegates to the conference will be led in facilitated workshops, in hopes of creating grassroots ways to unlock the economic potential of northern Ontario. Once complete, the agreement or accord will be offered to Queen's Park, as well as communities, as step towards implementing a long-term plan that might take 20 or 30 years to develop.

During the spring campaign, the governing Tories talked about resource revenue sharing for both municipalities and First Nations. Rickford, who is the member for Kenora-Rainy River at Queen's Park, also serves as the minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs.

"It's going to take us a little bit to get there," said the minister, during a stop in Kenora. "We've got a lot of things on the go right now, but we're working on that plan and I suspect we'll align that with any budgetary consideration."

In 2013, the province collected about $98 million from Crown forests, including stumpage fees. In 2011, while commodity prices were high, the federal and provincial corporate taxes collected were approximately $313 million. In 2015, they were closer to $53 million. Property tax revenues in the Ontario mining sector have grown from $31.9 million in 2011 to $35.4 million in 2015, and the Ontario mining tax collected was worth $131 million in 2015.

For more information:

Cuts to hydro bills coming, Rickford

Transforming Ontario's North


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