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Posted: May 5, 2021

Mining remains vital to many B.C. families

By Tom Shypitka

May is Mining Month in British Columbia. We recognize and celebrate the vital contributions of mining in our beautiful province.

Mining accounts for more than 30,000 jobs in B.C. and has significant impacts on suppliers and service providers in every part of the province. The mining and mineral exploration sector has always been a significant part of British Columbia’s economy. The industry provides good, family-supporting jobs for people in communities throughout the province. The benefits of mining run deep, for 150 years mining has contributed directly to our province by ways of government revenue.

Mining also has intangible impacts as well, most importantly the relationships it fosters. Mining has been a catalyst in bridging truth and reconciliation with First Nations throughout the province.

Meaningful partnerships and understanding have been fostered by way of mining projects, especially projects on traditional territories.  Benefit agreements are being signed regularly, providing First Nation communities with a voice in environmentally and culturally sensitive projects.

Mining has high concentration of indigenous workers compared to other sectors of our economy and also has promoted and placed women in high profile, corporate leadership positions.

In our efforts moving to a greener tomorrow, mining will be crucial. Critical minerals across B.C. and Canada are essential for our future and can be secured with competent regulatory processes.

B.C. is rich in resources and the workers in our province extract them better than anyone else in the world. Our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is better than any other country. B.C. is poised to be a world leader.  We are getting better all the time and will continue to do so.

I will continue to work hard to bring a more streamlined permitting process, advocate for more mapping and data collection, with a strong Geoscience program and ensuring B.C. has sound fiscal policy to allow us to compete on a global scale.

Please help me celebrate mining month in B.C. and to all those people associated directly and indirectly.

Lead image: Fording Operations near Elkford, as seen from Elk Lakes Road. e-KNOW file photo

– Tom Shypitka is Kootenay East MLA and Official Opposition Critic for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

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