Stephen Harper: Resource development will relieve social woes across the north – by Bruce Campion-Smith (Toronto Star – August 22, 2012)posted in Aboriginal Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian/International Media Resource Articles |
The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.
MINTO MINE, YUKON—The billions of dollars of benefits generated from resource projects across Canada’s north offer a solution to the serious social challenges confronting this isolated region, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.
And Harper is promising to streamline environmental reviews to help get those development projects across the north up and running faster.
The prime minister made the comments Tuesday during a visit to a sprawling copper mine hailed as an example of the ability of resource projects to pump investments into the local community. He said the “great opportunity” of resource projects is that they are unfolding in areas where First Nations have lacked other economic opportunities.
“I’m particularly pleased to see projects like these employing not just locals but aboriginal locals,” Harper said. “We want to make sure that those things are turned into opportunities for them. Obviously, for their communities to gain revenue to provide some of the services . . . but also that they gain employment and skills and expertise in these industries,” he said.
“Does that mean there aren’t still enormous social challenges that need to be addressed? There are,” Harper said. “But look, those things become so much simpler if we can get economic development driving some wealth accumulation here.”
Harper got backing for his vision from First Nations leaders who have reaped the benefits from this mine, owned by Vancouver-based Capstone Mining Corp., which is carving copper-laced ore from the landscape.
The Selkirk First Nation holds the resource rights to the lands and collects royalties from company. The mine, which produces some 20,000 tonnes of copper a year, employs about 300 people — 52 per cent are from the Yukon and 24 per cent are First Nations.
“If development happens in the north, it must be responsible, safe and include First Nation participation,” said Kevin McGinty, chief of the Selkirk First Nation
For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1244641–stephen-harper-resource-development-will-relieve-social-woes-across-the-north