Vancouver, BC – Budget 2021 is missing a significant opportunity to accelerate BC’s economic recovery, create new jobs and improve the BC mining sector’s ability to provide low carbon minerals and metals the world needs to transition to a cleaner, low-carbon future, according to the Mining Association of BC (MABC).
MABC recently called upon the Province to provide additional funding for regulatory authorities to enhance their capacity to conduct more timely reviews and authorizations for a number of new mines and mine expansions that are close to making Final Investment Decisions (FIDs). Currently, regulators are occupied with the day-to-day permitting requirements of the province’s 14 operating mines.
“New mines and mine expansions offer a timely opportunity to accelerate our province’s economic recovery and create new jobs, especially for local and Indigenous communities,” said Michael Goehring, President and CEO of MABC. “However, without a modest budget lift within authorization ministries, potential permitting delays could extend a project’s FID beyond the current, favourable commodity cycle, missing the opportunity to help our economy grow and create high-paying jobs, when British Columbians need them most.”
Budget 2021 also missed the opportunity to change the carbon tax and level the playing field for BC’s mining sector and other trade exposed industries relative to other provincial and global competitors. The provincial government’s Mining Jobs Task Force in 2018 identified the carbon tax as the single greatest barrier to the BC mining sector’s ability to compete and succeed in global markets.
“BC has some of the lowest GHG emitting mines and smelters in the world. Our industry supports carbon pricing as we continue to further reduce our GHG emissions. However, under BC’s carbon pricing system, our mines and workers are at a significant disadvantage relative to our provincial and global competitors. We need to level the playing field and we urge the provincial government to adopt the federal government’s backstop and output-based pricing system,” Goehring stated.
“Budget 2021 goes a long way to support British Columbians impacted by COVID-19. However, policy makers must strengthen the competitive position of mining to create high paying jobs, revenue for health and social programs, and deliver the low-carbon minerals and metals needed to reach our Paris Agreement GHG targets,” said Goehring.
About the Mining Association of British Columbia
MABC is the voice of British Columbia’s steelmaking coal, metal and mineral producers, smelters and advanced development companies. Our industry benefits all British Columbians and supports more than 35,000 jobs and over 3,700 small, medium and indigenous affiliated businesses in every corner of the province through an annual spend of nearly $3 billion on goods and services. Our members’ products have among the lowest carbon footprints globally and are helping the world transition to a cleaner, low-carbon future; safely, responsibly, and sustainably.
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Senior Advisor, Public Affairs