Budget 2007: a mixed bag for canadian mining



    OTTAWA, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
today expressed support and some disappointment for Budget 2007, tabled
yesterday by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance.
    MAC welcomes measures in the budget related to regulatory reform that
acknowledge the federal government's critical role in ensuring good governance
in regulating appropriate development and applauds the government's commitment
to cut in half the average time period for regulatory review of natural
resources projects.
    "MAC enthusiastically supports the government's attention to improving
the project review process and its commitment of $60 million to improve
accountability and timeliness," noted Gordon Peeling, President and CEO of the
Mining Association of Canada. "While the resource sectors are driving economic
growth in Canada, federal project review has become the most significant
disincentive to future investment. This boost will ensure improved efficiency
of the regulatory process, without lessening the role of environmental
review."
    Other positive measures of particular interest to the Canadian mining
industry include:

    
    - tax incentives for the manufacturing and processing sector for
      investment in eligible machinery and equipment,
    - commitment to aboriginal training initiatives, and a,
    - one year extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, such that
      funds raised can be spent on exploration until the end of 2009.
    

    MAC however did express disappointment that Budget 2007 eliminates the
Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for oil sands mining. While MAC
acknowledges that the grandfathering of ACCA for existing projects lessons the
impact of this proposed measure, it still puts a chill on oil sands investment
and development - a major economic engine of the Canadian economy.
    MAC also expressed disappointment that Budget 2007 failed to expand its
investment in geoscience, particularly in northern Canada, by supporting the
Cooperative Geological Mapping Strategy (CGMS).
    "Renewed investment in geoscience is long overdue and critical in
addressing the looming crisis in declining base metal reserves, which is
placing Canadian smelters and refineries at risk." stated Gordon Peeling.
"Successive governments have failed to address the need for re-investment in
minerals science research and mapping, which is integral to creating
opportunities in northern Canada as well as in maintaining Canada's global
leadership position in mining."

    Based in Ottawa, The Mining Association of Canada is the national
organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members are engaged in
mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.




For further information:

For further information: Pierre Gratton at (613) 233-9392 ext 319,
pgratton@mining.ca


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