Commentary: Mining industry in Manitoba is near collapse – by Steve Fletcher (Northern Miner – October 23, 2018)

Northern Miner

Steven Fletcher is Leader of the Manitoba Party and a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in the Constituency of Assiniboia. He was a federal Member of Parliament for 11 years and a federal Cabinet Minister for five years in Stephen Harper’s government. He worked in the mining industry before an automobile collision with a moose left him a quadriplegic.

Mining in Manitoba is vanishing like an early morning fog. The mining industry is near collapse in the keystone province, while I continue to raise the mining crisis in the provincial legislature to no avail. The Manitoba government’s policy on mining is confused, if it exists at all.

Before entering politics, I worked in the mining industry as an engineer in training. My education as a geological engineer provided me with unique opportunities to see most open-pit and underground operations in Manitoba.

Since 2008, poor public policy has exasperated the demise of the mining industry in Manitoba. Yes, low commodity prices have played a significant role, but the nail in the coffin to mining in Manitoba has been government ignorance of the important role that mining has played in our history.

Commodity prices go up, and they go down. Mining seems to go on, but not in Manitoba. Huge tracts of Crown land have been taken off the map, so far as the mining industry is concerned.

In early 2017, the federal Liberal government announced that there would soon be a 4,400 sq. km national park in the area between Manitoba’s great lakes. Exhibit “A” is the Lowland National Park, which was announced without any due diligence.

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