MAC, PDAC Applaud Canada’s 2017 Budget

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) issued statements in late March applauding measures included in the Canadian federal government’s 2017 budget that support a competitive and responsible mining industry in Canada. MAC specifically welcomed planned investments in key areas such as infrastructure and innovation but also encouraged the government to act quickly on these items to improve Canada’s investment climate.

“This is especially important given that Canada has experienced nine consecutive quarters of declining business investment and is facing competitiveness challenges from global developments,” the MAC statement said.

MAC especially welcomed programs that seek to address Canada’s infrastructure challenges, especially as they relate to remote, northern, and Indigenous communities. MAC has long advocated for the Canada Infrastructure Bank as a mechanism to address unique northern needs and encourage new investment into Canada.

On innovation, MAC noted that it had strongly supported the 2016 budget’s C$1 billion investment in driving innovation in natural resources sectors and that it continues to be encouraged by the 2017 budget’s innovation commitments. Specifically, MAC and its members strongly support the Canada Mining Innovation Council’s “Towards Zero Waste Mining” program as the mechanism to drive widespread adoption of transformational technologies across the sector, such as electric vehicles and energy efficiency.

PDAC cited the 2017 budget’s clear emphasis on innovation, clean technologies, and gender equality, specifically:
• Renewal of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) until March 31, 2018 and maintenance of the flow-through share system, as announced by Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr during PDAC’s 2017 convention in early March;
• Commitment to important infrastructure investments in remote and northern Canada, including through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which is responsible for investing at least C$35 billion over 11 years. An additional $2 billion, also over 11 years, was announced for northern and rural infrastructure to help communities where many PDAC members live and work;
• Support for access to skills develop ment and training for Aboriginal people through the C$50 million Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, which can assist with accessing employment and economic opportunities generated by the minerals industry;
• Continued investment in clean technology development through a C$1-billion commitment over four years and a new five-year Strategic Innovation Fund; and
• Emphasis on gender equality in society, which PDAC has championed throughout the minerals industry.

“The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit has been renewed by successive governments because it is a proven, effective incentive that has stimulated investment in grass-roots exploration and created greater opportunity,” PDAC Executive Director Andrew Cheatle said. “Without this vital tax credit, there would be less exploration, which would mean fewer mineral discoveries, and, ultimately, fewer of the economic benefits that are generated by producing mines.”

Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry contributes around C$56 billion annually to the nation’s gross domestic product and directly employs more than 373,000 workers, plus a further 190,000 indirectly, the PDAC statement concluded. The industry is the largest private-sector employer of Aboriginal people in Canada.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 05 -