ARCHIVED - Harper Government Is Committed to Responsible Resource Development

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Natural Resources Canada

April 5, 2012

THUNDER BAY — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today highlighted in a speech to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce the Harper Government’s commitment to supporting jobs and economic growth by streamlining the review process for major economic projects.

“The Harper Government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Oliver. “Major economic projects in Canada are currently subject to long, unpredictable and potentially endless delays because of a needlessly complex and duplicative approval process. Streamlining this process for major economic projects will result in the creation of good, skilled, well-paying jobs.”

Economic Action Plan 2012 will provide fixed timelines for project reviews and assessments:

  • Panel Reviews – 24 months
  • National Energy Board Hearings – 18 months
  • Standard Environmental Assessments – 12 months

“Our Government recognizes that the existing system needs comprehensive reform,” said Minister Oliver. “We will bring forward legislation to implement system-wide improvements to achieve the goal of ‘one project, one review’ in a clearly defined time period.”

Emerging markets around the world have provided Canada with a tremendous opportunity to responsibly develop our abundant natural resources for the benefit of all Canadians. In 2010, natural resource sectors employed over 760,000 workers in communities throughout the country. In the next 10 years, more than 500 major economic projects representing over $500 billion in new investments are planned across Canada.

Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs, of the Canadian Building Trades, is on record as saying that

“this Budget highlights a number of workforce development initiatives which we support. The skilled tradespeople who go to work every day on large energy projects ought to benefit from the streamlining of the regulatory process. When we are workforce planning and training apprentices, having this kind of roadmap is invaluable. We support a system that is fair, and rigorous for the environment — we also support a system that makes economic sense for workers and industry.”

(News Release, March 29, 2012)

Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes to streamline the review process for major economic projects, support consultation with Aboriginal peoples and strengthen pipeline and marine safety. It also proposes investments totalling $165 million over two years for responsible resource development that creates jobs while protecting the environment.

Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) is on record supporting the Economic Action Plan, saying that

“Legislative reforms announced […] promise to modernize Canada’s environmental review and permitting processes. This will accelerate investment, job growth and enhance Canada’s international competitiveness and position as a mining superpower.”

(News Release, March 29, 2012)

While in Thunder Bay, Minister Oliver took the opportunity to tour Actlabs, a high-quality lab serving the mineral industry. Actlabs processes samples from a variety of locations, including chromite from the Ring of Fire region and gold from exploration underway in northwestern Ontario.

Minister Oliver is also meeting with local business leaders and holding a roundtable with mining industry representatives to discuss issues related to the local mining industry. The Minister will also meet with officials from Bending Lake Iron Group Limited, which is based in Thunder Bay, and with representatives of the AIWAN Investment Corporation, who are visiting from China.

Media may contact: 

Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

The general public may contact: 

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
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