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Sudbury’s economy thriving: 4,000 new jobs expected, says BMO report


Sudbury’s economy thriving: 4,000 new jobs expected, says BMO report

NOCN staff writer

The next four years will bring 4,000 new jobs to Sudbury, according report released May 31 by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

“BMO’s latest economic snapshot on Greater Sudbury shows us that our economy is still going strong and will for the next few years to come,” says Sudbury mayor Marianne Matichuk. “With an estimated 4,000 new jobs projected by the end of 2016, this is great news for our residents.”

“Businesses in Sudbury are driving forward with plans to invest in their operations, in new equipment, in expansion and in hiring people,” said Steve DeMarco, commercial banking area manager, central northern Ontario district, BMO Bank of Montreal. “They are looking for capital to expand and create jobs; they are looking for a degree of certainty that funds will be available when they need them.

“I believe that BMO’s commitment to make $10 billion in credit available for businesses in Canada over the next few years can make a big difference to companies looking to invest across the region,” DeMarco said in a news release. “My roots run deep in Greater Sudbury and I am excited for what lies ahead.”

“BMO’s economic report on Greater Sudbury serves as confirmation to what many in our community are seeing – a city that’s on the move,” said Debbi Nicholson, president and CEO of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce. “Our resource-based industries and their supply and services sector are leading this boom; the ripple effect of this economic activity is already being felt and will continue to have a positive impact on our economy. We anticipate a rosy outlook for several years to come.”

“Employment in Sudbury has recouped all of the declines suffered during the recession,” said BMO capital markets economist Robert Kavcic. “The city’s small labour pool makes statistics like the jobless rate volatile, but the underlying trend is clearly improving. Even at 7.2 per cent, Sudbury’s jobless rate remains below that for all of Ontario, a feat recently achieved in 2007, and a stark turnaround from about 15 years of a consistently-high local unemployment rate. Surging commodity prices and their positive impact on mining have been a major driver of the relative improvement.

“Looking out over the medium term, Sudbury’s unemployment rate should drift down toward six per cent by 2016, about half a percentage point below the Ontario average and back near the pre-recession lows,” Kavcic said.

Resource sector

— Rising base metal prices and demand over the past decade has been a boon
for the key mining sector.
— Nearly 10 per cent of Sudbury’s workforce is directly employed in the
mining sector, with the impact much larger when considering related
manufacturing and service activities.
— Recent announcements point to continued growth in the sector going
forward. Vale is in the midst of a five-year, $10 billion, investment in
its Canadian operations, and Cliffs Natural Resources recently announced
it will spend more than $3 billion to mine chromite – a key ingredient
in stainless steel – in Northern Ontario’s ‘Ring of Fire’. The company
will build a processing facility near Sudbury, costing almost $2 billion
and expected to add 450 construction jobs, and ultimately 450 permanent
jobs, when in operation.

Population Growth

— Population growth has slowed to slightly above zero in recent months,
but the performance in recent years has been historically strong.
— The city has enjoyed positive population growth in each of the past 10
years, after a prolonged stretch of outright declines during much of the

Real Estate

— Housing demand has been firm in recent years, spurred by positive
population growth. As a result, housing starts totalled nearly 600 units
in the latest twelve months, near the highest level in 17 years.
— The resale housing market is also strong, with existing sales up 14.1
per cent year-over-year in the 12 months through April, pushing average
prices to a record level of more than $240,000. Still, affordability
remains relatively attractive in the city, with prices averaging
slightly more than three times the estimated median family income, miles
below valuations currently seen in Ontario’s bigger cities.

The full report is available upon request.

Detour Lake

detour lake

Mammoth $1.45 billion project creates northern Ontario opportunities

Detour Lake – What will be Canada’s largest gold mine, located 185 km northeast of Cochrane, Ontario is expected to be 45-50 per cent complete by the end of 2011. The $1.45 billion project, set under a 24 to 27-month construction cycle, includes a temporary on-site construction camp capable of housing some 1,200 workers.

Pierre Beaudoin, senior vice president of capital projects for Detour Gold, says the plant will be 10 times bigger than most of the mineral processing facilities in Canada and will process 55,000-60,000 tonnes per day. “When the plant begins operations, likely in the first quarter of 2013,we expect to reach an average annual gold production of 650,000 ounces and 200,000 ounces of silver.”

To achieve this task, Beaudoin says an indoor facility is being constructed using 80,000 cubic metres of concrete, 8,000 tonnes of steel and requires 180km of transmission line to connect to the Ontario power grid. “Work on the concrete and steel is being finished now and the plant building is now enclosed for winter in order to proceed with the next stage of contracts, which will be for installing mechanical, plumbing, electrical and instrumentation (MPEI) for the process plant.”

BBA project engineering manager Guy Decoste says his firm began work on the Detour Lake project in 2009 with a feasibility study, development of a mining plan, engineering for the preparation of the site, design of the construction camp and the utilities needed to support it, detailed engineering plans and the procurement of $220million worth of equipment. Work then went on to include installation of the construction camp, supervision of the deforestation of the site and the installation of the overhead line to connect the plant to the Hydro One network. “We are able to handle every aspect of the project from start to finish; from foundations to electrical.”

BBA is an employee-owned company established 30 years ago. Vice-president Andre Allaire, responsible for mining and metallurgy, says his firm has two specialty niches: mining (they design mines and mineral processing plants) and energy (specifically high voltage work). “We have been involved with several mines in Quebec and were just finishing a large job when the Detour Lake project came up,” Allaire said. “We were able to mobilize 40 to 50 staff immediately and since then have had about 140 staff working on the project at any given time.”

Province builds SSM water bombing flight centre


Province builds water bombing flight training centre in Sault Ste. Marie

NOCN staff writer

The provincial government has announced that construction has started for a first-of-its-kind flight training centre for water bomber aircraft in Sault. Ste. Marie.

Orillia-based Quinan Construction Ltd. has won the contract to build the 6,700 sq. ft. structure and has hired local businesses McLeod Bros. Mechanical Inc., Phase 4 Electrical Contractor Ltd. And Avery Construction Ltd. for support.

The project will create 14 jobs, an Ontario government news release said. The news release did not disclose the project’s value.

“The building’s steel structure will be erected this summer and the flight training device will be installed in the fall,” the news release says. “The facility is scheduled for completion by the 2013 fire season.”