Election 2015: Liberals, Greens and NDP Q&A on mining in Canada – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – September 30, 2015)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

With Canadians looking ahead to a federal election on Oct. 19, The Northern Miner submitted mining-related questions to the leaders of the four major political parties running across Canada. The following are the answers from the Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau, Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May, New Democratic Party of Canada leader Tom Mulcair, and their respective parties (The Conservative Party of Canada did not respond):

The Northern Miner: In recent years the federal government has moved to streamline environmental permitting for miners by trying to avoid duplication of provincial efforts. Do you support this approach? Does the federal government have a unique role to play in avoiding catastrophic tailings dam failures such as the one we saw at Mount Polley in B.C. in 2014?

Justin Trudeau/Liberal Party: The Harper government has eroded the credibility of Canada’s environmental reviews by narrowing their application, limiting public participation and slashing the capacity of the federal government to protect the environment. They have ended over 50 years of environmental oversight in Canada by repealing the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act so that the federal government can sidestep environmental reviews of potentially harmful projects.

Without public trust, Canada’s environmental assessment processes are increasingly paralyzed. Not only are we not doing a good enough job at protecting our environment, we are not getting our resources to market. We need clear and efficient processes that have reasonable, even-handed rules, clear beginning and end points, and decisions that can be relied on.

We will launch an immediate, public review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes. Based on this review, a Liberal government will replace Mr. Harper’s changes to the environmental assessment process with a new, comprehensive, timely, and fair process that:

• Restores robust oversight and thorough environmental assessments — which have been gutted by this Conservative government of areas under federal jurisdiction, while also working with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that processes are not duplicated;
• Ensures decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence, and serve the public’s interest;
• Provides ways for interested Canadians to express their views and for experts to meaningfully participate in assessment processes; and
• Requires project proponents to choose the best technologies available to reduce environmental impacts.

Elizabeth May/Green Party: While avoiding duplication is important, we must ensure that our efforts to streamline environmental assessment do not compromise the process.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.northernminer.com/news/election-2015-liberals-greens-and-ndp-q-a-on-mining-in-canada/1003709237/

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