Officials with the city and the province are working to grow the economic base of Timmins and the surrounding area.
A funding announcement made Friday will further strengthen the area’s resource service sector.
Greg Rickford, Ontario’s minister of Northern development, mines, natural resources and forestry, was in Timmins to announce $2.2 million in funding to five local businesses. All five provide support services for mining and forestry companies.
“Supporting local companies as they grow their operations helps to create jobs and keep the North competitive,” Rickford said. “These investments have real, tangible positive effects for local business. With this funding, local companies can thrive, leading to economic prosperity and providing opportunities for Northerners.”
The press conference was held at Timmins Mechanical Solutions Inc., which will receive $1 million in funding. The heavy equipment repair and maintenance services company is looking to build a second workshop.
“It’s unbelievable, we didn’t expect this,” said Eddy Lamontagne, company vice-president.
“We’ve been growing for the last year and a half, and this facility has been full. We were saying what’s next? We know what’s next now. The world is growing and there is more demand for the ore — for the gold, the zinc, the copper, the nickel — and we know Timmins is the place to be.”
Other provincial funding announced included:
- $400,000 for The Bucket Shop Inc., a heavy equipment manufacturing and refurbishing business, to build a second workshop, upgrade its existing workshop and purchase equipment;
- $345,207 for Steelworks Inc., a structural steel fabrication and installation business, to build an additional workshop and purchase equipment;
- $321,380 for DeBastos & Sons Ltd., a large-scale logging contracting company, to purchase equipment;
- and $159,418 for Diversified Forestry Inc., a land-clearing services company, to purchase equipment.
Timmins Mayor George Pirie was delighted to see the investment in the local mining service sector.
“This is what it’s all about,” Pirie said. “We’ve got to take a look at our economy here. You know it is transferring into a service economy. We’ve got to be the centre of the mining service economy here in Timmins and that’s what we’re doing.”
Rickford praised Pirie and Timmins council for having the foresight to see opportunities for growth in the resource service sector.
“Through the leadership of the mayor and his commitment, and expertise in the mining sector, George’s vision for Timmins was to go beyond that and seize another opportunity,” the minister said. “That is to support the service sector.
“This equipment takes a real beating out there. It’s not just about a local mine, it’s across the region. We’re hearing now that pieces are being built brand new here for global customers. George saw where the puck was headed and came to me and said we have to get in on supporting these. We’re bursting at the seams. So, Timmins Mechanical Solutions needs a second workshop. The Bucket Shop has to expand, expand, expand.
“That speaks to George’s leadership. The advice from his council to our government has been so important. We see Timmins as a global competitor in the mining service sector, in addition to what it already does in the mining extraction sector.”
The investments will come via the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.