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Vol. 12, No. 43 Week of October 28, 2007
Providing coverage of Alaska and Northwest Canada's mineral industry

MINING NEWS: Canada opens projects management office; could speed development

The Canadian government has undertaken a $150 million initiative to streamline Canada’s regulatory system tha will protect the environment and improve the competitiveness of Canada’s resource industries.

By creating a new Major Projects Management Office, announced Oct. 1, Canada aims to improve coordination within Canada’s regulatory system by providing industry with a single, efficient point of entry into the federal process.

“Our government is taking action and reducing red tape to give Canada’s natural resources industry greater certainty, improved predictability, increased transparency, and ultimately, more timely regulatory reviews,” said Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn in announcing the plan.

Among services of the new office:

• Integrating federal government consultation requirements with aboriginal groups at the beginning of the process; and

• Providing timeframes for how long the regulatory process will take to companies as they begin the process.

Canadian mining groups praised plans for the new office, which is scheduled to open as early as January.

The Association of Mineral Exploration B.C. has estimated that some 14 different federal departments in Canada have the capacity to slow or sideline a project.

However, environmental groups warned that the new office could water down environmental standards and questioned how effective it will be if First Nations groups undertake time-consuming consultation and accommodation for projects on their lands.

—Mining News



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