Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act (3 of 6)

Ontario, the largest mineral producer in Canada, is modernizing its Mining Act. These six postings are from a provincial policy document – titled “Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act – Finding A Balance” produced by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Purpose of the Review

Blueprint for Development

Released in March 2006, Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy serves as a blueprint for the future of mineral development in Ontario. It commits Ontario to sound management, effective stewardship and responsible development of the province’s mineral resources.

Ontario is modernizing its Mining Act to ensure that this legislation promotes fair and balanced development that benefits all Ontarians in a sustainable, socially appropriate way, while supporting a vibrant, safe, environmentally sound mining industry.

Modernization will bring the Mining Act into harmony with the values of today’s society while maintaining a framework that supports the mineral industry’s contribution to Ontario’s economy. This process supports Premier Dalton McGuinty’s July 14, 2008 Far North Planning announcement, including his promise that the government will modernize the way mining companies stake and explore their claims to be more respectful of private land owners and Aboriginal communities.

It advances the need to ensure appropriate consultation and accommodation of First Nation and Métis communities.
It supports the Premier’s December 2007 commitment to an updated Mining Act that “reflects the aspirations of a progressive society here in Ontario.” And it will address the Mineral Development Strategy goal of “clarifying and modernizing mineral resource stewardship” by implementing effective consultation protocols and fostering positive Aboriginal-government-industry relations.

How to Participate

The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines will host facilitated public discussion sessions in Timmins (August 11), Sudbury (August 13), Thunder Bay (August 18), Kingston (August 28) and Toronto (September 8). Please visit www.ontario.ca/miningact for more information about the public meetings.

You may also respond to this discussion paper through the Environmental Registry or by emailing us at miningact@ontario.ca. Written submissions may be mailed to:

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
99 Wellesley Street West
Room 5630
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3

All comments should be sent by October 15. We will introduce legislation in the upcoming session and, if it is passed, new rules would be in place for later next year.

The ministry will be reaching out to First Nation and Métis communities for their input through meetings with First Nation and Métis leaders and organizations.

In addition, we will provide copies of this discussion paper to all First Nation communities and Aboriginal organizations in the province, then follow up with direct invitations for input. Focused meetings for mineral sector and other stakeholders will be held in appropriate locations throughout Ontario.

For further information on the review and modernization process, please call 1-888-415-9845 or email us at miningact@ontario.ca.

Context of the Modernization Process

Ontario wants to ensure that mining potential across the province is developed in a sustainable way that continues to benefit the province and respects communities.

Premier Dalton McGuinty set that clear context for a modernized Mining Act when he announced Ontario’s Far North Planning initiative on July 14, 2008. “We’re going to modernize the way mining companies stake and explore their claims to be more respectful of private land owners and Aboriginal
communities,” he said.

The Premier stressed that the goal, both in the Far North region and across the province, is to strike the right balance between conservation and development. Ontario wants to ensure that its mining industry remains strong.
This includes ensuring that mining practices are up to date, and that Aboriginal rights and interests are given the appropriate consideration.

“We think exploration and mine development should only happen with the early consultation and accommodation with local Aboriginal communities,” the Premier said.

The Premier also announced that Ontario will develop a system of Resource Benefits Sharing that would see Aboriginal communities benefit directly from resource development.

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