November 2011

On the campaign trail

MAC rallies government support with clever mining endorsements

By H. B. George


If you are travelling to Ottawa this fall, you might notice the mining industry’s presence in more ways than one – at least, that is what the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is hoping. MAC has released a new marketing campaign across the city with the slogan, “Before it’s yours, it’s mined,” to remind the public of the industry’s broad reach.

The campaign is timed to coincide with Ottawa’s Mining Day on the Hill, an annual event that brings together mining industry representatives and federal decision-makers for a day of meetings. It aims to show the public the many facets of our world that are touched by the industry: from green energy and life-saving nutrition programs in Africa, to economic growth and everyday technology.

Throughout October and November, a series of nine different ads are being featured in the Ottawa airport and bus shelters across the city. The bus shelters were selected because of their proximity to key government departments, with the intention that the campaign’s message will resonate with the bureaucrats and ministers who work nearby. GWP Brand Engineering, the creative minds behind this campaign, wanted to reach both the general public and the government to create a baseline of awareness.

MAC estimates that over the next five years, more than $137 billion could be invested in new and expanding mining projects. To do this, the industry will need government support in the form of regulatory efficiency, investment in infrastructure and human resources.

Paul Hébert, MAC’s vice-president of government affairs, believes MAC will get more from its government requests if the audience has a better understanding of the contributions mining makes. “Mining is absent from the consciousness of people in urban centres despite the fact that it is omnipresent in their lives,” he said. “We rely on these commodities everyday. For example, you don’t get any more Canadian than hockey. Without mining, you don’t have skates, equipment, a net – you don’t have our national game.”

Hébert says this is just the beginning of the kind of outreach MAC has planned for the future. “The mining industry is experiencing an opportunity it hasn’t had since the economic boom of the 1950s,” he explained. “Emerging economies are creating new possibilities. If industry and government get it right, together, we can capitalize on this opportunity for the benefit of all Canadians.”

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