Ontario Mining Association Seeks Clarification on Mining Act and Far North Act Legislation

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The Ontario Mining Association submitted its views on two important pieces of legislation today at hearings in Thunder Bay.  OMA President Chris Hodgson presented the Association´s report to the Legislature´s Standing Committee on General Government, which is reviewing both Bill 173, An Act to Amend the Mining Act, and Bill 191, An Act with respect to land use planning and protection of the Far North.  Joining Mr. Hodgson was John Blogg, OMA Secretary and Manager of Industrial Relations, along with Adele Faubert, Manager of Aboriginal Affairs at Goldcorp´s Musselwhite Mine, and Jerome Girard, Mill Superintendent at the Musselwhite Mine.

The OMA stuck to three main points on each piece of legislation.  “The OMA does have some concerns with Bill 173 and would like to seek clarification on some aspects of the proposed legislation, ensuring that there are no ambiguities impairing the ability of mining to continue to play the major role it does in the economic and social development of Ontario,” said Mr. Hodgson.  On the Mining Act, the OMA focused on the duty to consult, Notice of Material Changes concerning existing closure plans and consultation and the dispute resolution process. 

“A basic foundation of mining success in Ontario — the things that set us apart and give us an advantage over some other jurisdictions with significant mineral potential — is rule of law and certainty of title,” said Mr. Hodgson.  “For this reason, the Aboriginal consultation provisions in Bill 173 need to be clear, transparent and consistent with current case law, which states the government has the primary duty, with some exceptions, to consult with Aboriginal communities.”  The OMA also asked for greater clarity in mine closure plan consultation rules and the make-up of tribunals to handle disputes, which may arise…read the rest of the article here.