OTTAWA – POLITICS – Greg Rickford, the Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines was on old familiar ground today. The former federal Minister of Natural Resources was before the federal Senate Standing Committee on the Government of Canada’s proposed Bill C-69, which overhauls the Federal Environmental Assessment Act and in the Ontario Government’s view politicizes the approval process for resource development and energy projects.
Speaking on behalf of the workers affected by the Bill, Minister Rickford expressed concern that without significant adjustments, if passed, this legislation would hinder new natural resource and energy projects across Ontario, killing thousands of potential jobs.
The energy and mining industries play a critical role in driving economic growth and supporting thousands of jobs across Ontario
“The energy and mining industries play a critical role in driving economic growth and supporting thousands of jobs across Ontario,” said Minister Rickford. “In its current form, Bill C-69 will grind new resource development and the energy sector to a halt across Canada, killing jobs that hardworking families depend on to make ends meet.”
Rickford told the Senate Committee that “Ontario’s mineral sector employs over 76,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province and depends on regulatory certainty. Having a valuable resource in the ground and vast mineral exploration potential is only one part of the decision-making process that leads to new projects getting off the ground. Adding red tape and new regulatory hurdles kills investments in new projects and the jobs that go along with it.”
“Our government clearly recognizes the importance of protecting the environment, but we must do so in a way that supports competitiveness, job creation, economic development and growth in the North,” said Minister Rickford. “We continue to have serious reservations about Bill C-69 in its current form, but we remain committed to working with the federal government to improve the legislation and ensure the concerns of the energy and mining industries are adequately addressed.”
Nuclear power provides about 60 percent of Ontario’s electricity supply and supports 60,000 jobs across the province.
Ontario, as Canada’s number one mineral producer, is a leader in mineral exploration and production.
Ontario’s mining industry creates more than 26,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs.