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ST. JOHN’S — Mines Ministers from across Canada concluded two days of discussions today in St. John’s at their annual conference hosted by the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador. The ministers discussed global economic developments, their impacts on the mining sector and how to best position the country and industry to capitalize on a sustainable economic recovery.“Our country is fortunate to have vast mineral and abundant energy resources that can be developed to create jobs and prosperity across Canada,” said the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “But to maintain this advantage and position ourselves to fully benefit from the economic recovery, we must continue to be at the forefront in developing and deploying new technologies, in advancing research and development and innovation, and in developing solutions to a variety of regulatory, social and environmental challenges.”
The ministers moved forward on key issues related to the long-term success of the sector, in particular: the current investment climate, social responsibility, regulatory performance, and research and innovation.
“As provincial and territorial governments, we are working to ensure we continue to have a competitive business climate that promotes and fosters investment and exploration in our areas as these markets rebound,” said Minister Dunderdale. “We must focus on streamlining governmental regulatory processes, addressing current and evolving issues and pursuing innovation so that we can maintain a strong and competitive mining industry in Canada that is responsive to global commodity demands.”
Ministers agreed to endorse the collaborative efforts aimed at leveraging Canada’s comparative advantage in an internationally competitive mining industry.
The ministers identified regulatory restructuring as the top priority to position Canada for the recovery. This will significantly enhance the certainty, accountability and effectiveness of Canada’s regulatory system.
The ministers agreed to:
1. Continue to work with stakeholders on opportunities to improve environmental and social performance. The ministers recognized that continued performance improvement and communicating successes are essential for the industry to maintain a social license to operate. The ministers also agreed to release the report from the Social Licence Task Team.
2. Drive action to improve Canada’s regulatory system to support the competitiveness and sustained growth of mining industry. Ministers expressed strong support for a one-project/one-assessment approach for the environmental assessment process. They tasked senior officials to work with their counterparts responsible for environmental assessment and related regulatory approvals on fundamentally improving performance, and report back at EMMC 2010.
3. Reaffirm their support for the continued work of the National Orphaned and Abandoned Mines Initiative. The ministers agreed to release the 2002–2008 NOAMI Performance Report.
4. Recognize the Green Mining Initiative as an example of a pan-Canadian collaborative effort to improve the mining sector’s environmental performance and create green technology opportunities for Canadian businesses.
5. Support the continued work of the Canadian Mining Innovation Council, which represents an opportunity for governments and industry to promote innovation and the development of the highly qualified people needed to ensure the sector’s long-term competitiveness and responsibility.
The mines ministers also accepted the invitation from Minister Simard to convene in September, 2010, in Quebec City for the 2010 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference.
Media may contact:
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media
NRCan’s news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media
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