Media Release - 2010
Letter: Mining industry owes Quebec a better deal
Montreal, November 1st, 2010 – CBI presents the following letter in response to the article Mining industry owes Quebec a better deal that was published in the Montreal Gazette on October 20, 2010.
Yes the industry owes Quebec a better deal, but in doing so it will help protect and secure its own future.
It is indeed past time to bring the Quebec Mining Act into the 21st century, for the sake of Quebeckers and the industry. The Auditor General plainly explained the failures of the old system in his 2009 report and the government’s Mineral Strategy recognized this with commitments to “ensuring environment friendly mineral development,” and fostering integrated, community-related mineral development.” So does Bill 79 meet the test? Not yet.
We have commitments to sustainable development in other regulations that reflect a balanced and progressive approach to development like the Sustainable Forest Development Act (Bill 57) and the Sustainable Development Act, so why not mining too? Bill 79 needs to meet this kind of balanced approach but the current proposal falls short of that standard.
To do justice to current the reality, Quebeckers deserve a set of standards that require companies seeking to explore and exploit the province’s mineral reserves to consult with affected communities and respect conservation objectives set out in regional land use plans. All other industries follow this pattern, so why should the mining industry not be subject to the same rules?
Leaders in the mining sector are already doing this, so why not take this opportunity to make it required practice for all through law. This would protect communities in Quebec and would respect and protect the investment that industry leaders are already making.
The current bill does not go far enough to meet the government’s own Mineral Strategy, and will not solve the industry’s desire to reduce conflicts and secure its social license to operate in the modern world where Quebeckers justifiably expect more respect from companies who seek to profit from the provincial wealth of minerals.
We all need to take the time to get it right now, so let’s not let Bill 79 pass until it does justice to community needs, conservation realities and industry best practices.
Regional Director, Quebec
Corporate Program Director
Canadian Boreal Initiative
Related document: Quebec Mining Act Revision 2010 - Bill 79: Review and Recommendations submitted by the Canadian Boreal Initiative