The Canadian government announced it will streamline the permitting process for major Canadian mining projects, using the proposed “one project, one review” legislation.
RENO (MINEWEB) – Finance Minister Jim Flaherty Thursday presented a Canadian federal budget which streamlines the nation’s environmental review process, extends a 15% mineral exploration tax credit for junior explorers, accelerates job growth, and enhances Canada’s international competitiveness in mining.
In his budget presentation, Flaherty noted Canada’s oil and gas, mining and forestry sectors directly employ more than 750,000 Canadians. “Canada’s resource industries offer huge potential to create even more jobs and growth, now and over the next generation. This potential exists in every region of the country-natural gas in British Columbia, oil and minerals on the Prairies, the Ring of Fire in Ontario, Plan Nord in Quebec, hydro power in Atlantic Canada, and mining in Canada’s North.”
“We will implement responsible resource development and smart regulation for major economic projects, respecting provincial jurisdiction and maintaining the highest standards of environmental protection,” he stressed. “We will streamline the review process for such projects, according to the following principle: one project, one review, completed in a clearly defined period. We will ensure that Canada has the infrastructure we need to move our exports to new markets.”
Pierre Gratton, CEO of the Mining Association of Canada, said, “Today’s budget will help expedite over Cdn$140 billion in new investment in Canada’s mining sector. “Canada is in global competition for mining investment and an effective and efficient regulatory regime can provide a competitive advantage over other jurisdictions.”
“Legislature reforms announced in today’s budget promise to modernize Canada’s environmental review and permitting processes,” he said. “This will accelerate investment, job growth and enhance Canada’s international competitiveness and position as a mining superpower.”
The Canadian government aims to establish clear timelines for investors, reduce regulatory duplication, and redeploy resources on projects where environmental impacts are greatest. Panel reviews of large mining projects would be capped at two years while a one-year timeline has been set for environmental assessments.
“Of special note is a commitment to introduce the concept of equivalency in federal environmental assessments, whereby the federal government can accept a comparable provincial environmental assessment as its own,” MAC said. “This will eliminate the need for two, duplicative reviews for a single project, saving taxpayers, citizens and proponents time and resources.”
MAC also noted that the proposed fixed timelines for project reviews and assessments “will add clarity and certainty to processes, which, in the past, have been protracted and highly varied from one project to another.”
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