Urges swifter action to improve Canada's investment climate
OTTAWA, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) welcomes Budget 2017's planned investments in key areas such as infrastructure and innovation, but encourages the federal government to act quickly on these items to improve Canada's investment climate.
This is especially important given that Canada has experienced nine consecutive quarters of declining business investment and is facing competitiveness challenges from global developments.
"Budget 2017 contains important steps that have the potential to restore Canada's place as the world's top destination for mineral investment and place to do business, including addressing the infrastructure shortage in Canada's remote and northern regions and supporting industry's innovation efforts. However, more details are needed to determine whether they will be successful in fostering sustainable mining growth and enabling Canada to compete against other nations for much-needed investments," stated Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC.
MAC welcomes Budget 2017's programs that seek to address Canada's infrastructure challenge, especially as they relate to remote, northern and Indigenous communities. MAC has long advocated for the Canada Infrastructure Bank as a mechanism to address unique northern needs and encourage new investment into Canada. MAC and its members look forward to further developments on the bank and how it can support northern communities, Indigenous economic reconciliation, and businesses operating in remote and northern regions.
Further, MAC welcomes the government's commitment to develop a new National Trade Corridors Fund to address congestion in the transportation supply chain, and improve the efficient and fluid transportation of freight. To support and inform how these investments should be undertaken, and how broader transportation policy should be developed, MAC also applauds the government's $50 million, multi-year commitment to establish the Canadian Centre on Transportation Data and associated open portal. MAC has long called for greater transparency in the rail freight network, critical to identifying bottlenecks and solutions to them.
On innovation, MAC strongly supported Budget 2016's $1 billion investment in driving innovation in natural resources sectors. MAC continues to be encouraged by Budget 2017's innovation commitments and is hopeful that programs will be launched this year that will support innovation in the mining sector. Specifically, MAC and its members strongly support the Canada Mining Innovation Council's Towards Zero Waste Mining (TZWM) program as the mechanism to drive widespread adoption of transformational technologies across the sector, such as electric vehicles and energy efficiency.
MAC also welcomes a number of specific policy measures in Budget 2017, including:
- The one-year renewal of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit at a critical time for Canada's junior exploration sector.
- Funding to support the launch of an Indigenous Guardians Pilot Project.
- The one-year extension of the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy.
"MAC is also pleased to see funding for work-integrated learning and we are currently working with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council to support such a program for the mining sector," stated Gratton.
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada's production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
SOURCE Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
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