OTTAWA – BUSINESS – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) expressed satisfaction with the federal government’s renewal of funding for key areas such as environmental assessment, the Major Projects Management Office, Aboriginal education and training, and geoscience.
“Given the current financial situation and the need for fiscal discipline, I am pleased to see the federal government renew investment in critical areas,” stated Pierre Gratton, MAC’s President and CEO. “The government has also made some strategic investments in innovation, marine safety and infrastructure that should pay dividends over time.”
Mining now accounts for a large majority of federal environmental assessments. Support for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and other federal permitting departments, is essential to ensure the timely and effective review of major mining projects. As the largest employer of Aboriginal Canadians on a proportionate bases, the mining sector is also an active partner in several Aboriginal mine training programs across Canada. Budget 2015 renews investments for the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Strategies program, the Skills and Partnership Fund and for Indspire. Renewal of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative ( $22 million over 5 years) is also an important investment in discovering new deposits and supporting the long-term future of the mining industry.
Budget 2015 also includes a number of additional initiatives helpful to Canada’s mining sector, including:
- Extending the borrowing limits for the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to $1.3 billion and $650 million, respectively, that should facilitate new infrastructure investments.
- Extending the 15% mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors for an additional year. Budget 2015 also reaffirms the government’s stated intention to ensure that the costs associated with undertaking environmental studies and community consultations that are required to obtain an exploration permit will be eligible for Canadian Exploration Expense treatment.
- Budget 2015 proposes $38 million over five years for measures to enhance the safety of marine transportation in the Arctic, and to further strengthen marine incident prevention, preparedness and response in waters south of the 60 th parallel.
- Budget 2015 proposes allocating $23 million over five years from Natural Resources Canada to stimulate the technological innovation needed to separate and develop rare earth elements and chromite.
- Budget 2015 proposes $42 million over five years to expand the footprint and resources of the Trade Commissioner Service (TCC). The TCC is a dedicated, professional group of employees that provide important support to Canadian businesses abroad, including in the mining sector, one of Canada’s largest outward investors.
“Taken together, the federal government has maintained investments important to our sector, but also necessary to ensure Canadians benefit when the commodities market rebounds,” added Gratton.