TORONTO — A record number of Northern Ontario businesses have taken part in the annual Northern Ontario Mining Showcase (NOMS), which makes up the largest single exhibit at the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC).
The showcase, which is co-sponsored by FedNor and the City of Temiskaming Shores, has this year brought 130 different mining supply and mining technology companies to be part of the annual PDAC tradeshow at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
FedNor Minister Patty Hajdu, also the MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North, was the keynote speaker at the opening of the showcase Monday morning. She said the pavilion is not only bringing international attention to Northern Ontario mining interests, it has created jobs.
"So over 700 jobs in 10 years," said Hajdu. "And $80 million in revenues generated. I've spoken to a few of the smaller companies here, you know, that say that this is a place that they generate leads; that they generate opportunities, new connections, and sometimes even new partnerships. So there's an opportunity to find ways to work together with another similar or allied professional group. So it's a real opportunity for people to come together,"
Hajdu said since she became the minister responsible for FedNor (October 2021) she has become more impressed with the work of the agency.
"Any northern Member of Parliament will tell you that FedNor is one of the most critical agencies in our ridings. And that's because we know almost immediately — if you don't know before you're elected, you certainly know after you're elected — just how much this agency does to drive economic development in Northern Ontario."
Hadju said she was pleased to see the convention going live again after PDAC had to go virtual for two years because of COVID-19.
"It's hard to not be excited when you look around at just the amazing businesses and people and energy that's in this room — delegates, representatives from all levels of government and indeed visitors from all around the world — looking at the incredible ingenuity and entrepreneurship and innovation technology expertise of Canada," Hadju said.
She added that having the live convention once again made a significant difference for the delegates. She said although much work was done in virtual meetings, "it just doesn't equate" with having live, face-to-face conversations with people.
Hajdu also singled out Temiskaming Shores Mayor Carman Kidd for his leadership in developing the NOMS showcase and the partnership with FedNor in helping to encourage scores of mining supply companies to be part of the annual convention.
"We could not have put on this event without your assistance and all the great staff support. FedNor continues to provide great support to all our municipalities across the North. With their assistance, our industries in Northern Ontario continue to grow and prosper, many of whom are now exporting their products around the world,” Kidd said.
Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe commented on the importance of the event from her point of view as a Northern Ontario MP.
“So this is an opportunity for us to showcase what Sudbury, Northern Ontario and Canada has to offer,” Lapointe said.
“And with critical minerals being such an important component of the future of mining and mining supply, this really is important. We have ministers here; we have members of parliament here. We are looking forward to meeting with a lot of the key representatives and investors here during the next two days,” she added.
The PDAC convention began Sunday and continues through to Wednesday. A follow-up virtual version of the convention will be held online June 27 to 29 at PDAC.ca
Len Gillis covers mining and health care for Sudbury.com. He is currently reporting from the PDAC conference in Toronto.