B.C. mining needs competitive disadvantages removed: MLA
Jobs in B.C.’s mining industry are at stake unless the new NDP Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Bruce Ralston, takes the industry seriously and removes barriers that make B.C. far less competitive than other jurisdictions, says Kootenay East MLA and BC Liberal Mining Critic Tom Shypitka.
“We need a strategy that will provide relief to B.C.’s mining industry and not further burden it with multiple layers of new regulations,” he stated. “There have been no new B.C. mines started under the NDP, so it’s entirely up to Mines Minister Bruce Ralston to expand on the recommendations of the Mining Jobs Task Force and give the industry the competitive edge it needs to succeed.”
Ralston recently stated: “Our government is spending $20 million to act on the recommendations of the BC Mining Jobs Task Force and to speed up permitting and improve safety in the mining sector. As the newly appointed minister, I look forward to building on the work we have done so far to strengthen the mining sector and create good jobs for people throughout the province.”
Shypitka suggests B.C. remove competitive disadvantages faced by mining companies by implementing “much-delayed carbon tax incentives for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sectors, which include the mining industry.”
Though an incentive has been established for LNG, no such incentives exist for the mining industry or other important sectors, despite NDP promises to do so, Shypitka pointed out.
“Instead, the NDP has introduced 19 new and increased taxes — including the Employer Health Tax and the Corporate Tax — which leave B.C. at a disadvantage compared to Alberta. Without action, B.C.’s mining sector is at risk of under-investment and losing its leadership role in reducing GHG emissions while growing the economy.
“Despite an increase in the ministry’s finances, all the so-called extra ‘boots on the ground’ Minister Ralston talks about is a re-announcement and so far it’s had zero effect in speeding up the permitting process,” Shypitka added. “If we want mining to play a pivotal role in addressing climate change and continue to be a main pillar of the provincial economy, we need to give the mining industry the tools necessary to succeed.”