Government must improve competitiveness of B.C.’s mining industry

CRANBROOK (February 10, 2020) – Jobs in B.C.’s mining industry are at stake unless the new NDP Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Bruce Ralston, takes the industry seriously and removes barriers that make B.C. far less competitive than other jurisdictions.

“We need a strategy that will provide relief to B.C.’s mining industry and not further burden it with multiple layers of new regulations,” said BC Liberal Mining Critic Tom Shypitka. “There have been no new B.C. mines started under the NDP, so it’s entirely up to Mines Minister Bruce Ralston to expand on the recommendations of the Mining Jobs Task Force and give the industry the competitive edge it needs to succeed.”

B.C. can remove the competitive disadvantages that mining companies face by implementing the much-delayed carbon tax incentives for emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sectors, which include the mining industry. Though an incentive has been established for LNG, no such incentives exist for the mining industry or other important sectors, despite NDP promises to do so. Instead, the NDP has introduced 19 new and increased taxes — including the Employer Health Tax and the Corporate Tax — which leave B.C. at a disadvantage compared to Alberta. Without action, B.C.’s mining sector is at risk of under-investment and losing its leadership role in reducing GHG emissions while growing the economy.

“Despite an increase in the ministry’s finances, all the so-called extra “boots on the ground” Minister Ralston talks about is a re-announcement and so far it’s had zero effect in speeding up the permitting process,” Shypitka added. “If we want mining to play a pivotal role in addressing climate change and continue to be a main pillar of the provincial economy, we need to give the mining industry the tools necessary to succeed.”

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