Can Ottawa get out of its own way to deliver on high-tech metals? – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 19, 2023)

Think tank analysts weigh in on federal critical minerals strategy

With the release of its Critical Minerals Strategy, Ottawa has officially jumped on the bandwagon in acknowledging that Canada can provide the world with the natural resources needed to make the transition to cleaner technologies and create net-zero economies.

Now the federal government must come up with a way to untangle the regulatory impediments to put new Canadian mines into production faster, according to a panel of experts in a MacDonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) webcast this week.

Ottawa and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson concede there’s much work to do on the regulatory side to get on the same page with the provinces and territories to advance mining projects and avoid duplicating assessment processes through better coordination and harmonization.

In Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire mineral belt, there are six individual federal and provincial assessment processes currently underway. The panellists called the strategy a “good first step” in government documenting a vision and providing a clear signal with well-defined initiatives, all backed by $3.8 billion in funding.

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