Canada’s mining industry welcomes federal budget

22nd April 2015

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


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TORONTO ( – Canada's national mining association has welcomed the Conservative government’s balanced federal budget 2015, citing its pleasure with renewed funding for critical areas such as environmental assessments, the Major Projects Management Office, Aboriginal education and training, and geoscience.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver on Tuesday, in Ottawa, tabled a C$990.3-billion national budget that had managed to keep the Conservatives’ 2011 election promise to return Canada to a surplus in 2015, with the federal government expected to spend C$1.4-billion less than it earned.

The Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC’s) president and CEO Pierre Gratton pointed out that given the current financial situation and the need for fiscal discipline, he was happy to see the federal government renew investment in critical areas.

“Government has also made some strategic investments in innovation, marine safety and infrastructure that should pay dividends over time,” he said.

Mining now accounted for a significant majority of federal environmental assessments. Gratton said support for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and other federal permitting departments was essential to ensure a timely and effective review of significant mining projects.

As the largest employer of Aboriginal Canadians on a proportionate basis, the mining sector was also an active partner in several Aboriginal mine training programmes across Canada. The 2015 budget renewed investments for the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Strategies programme, the Skills and Partnership Fund and Indspire, an indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of indigenous people.

The federal government also supported the Targeted Geoscience Initiative by providing $22-million over five years, which was critical to help discover new deposits and in supporting the long-term future of the mining industry.

The budget also included several other initiatives helpful to Canada’s mining sector, including extending the borrowing limits for the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to C$1.3-billion and C$650-million, respectively, to facilitate new infrastructure investments and extending the 15% mineral exploration tax credit for flow-through share investors for another year.

The budget also repeated government’s stated intention to ensure that the costs associated with undertaking environmental studies and community consultations that were required to obtain an exploration permit would be eligible for Canadian Exploration Expense treatment.

Further, the budget proposed C$38-million over five years for measures to improve the safety of marine transportation in the Arctic and further strengthen marine incident prevention, preparedness and response in waters south of the 60th parallel.

The federal budget also proposed the allocation of $23-million over five years from Natural Resources Canada to stimulate the technological innovation needed to separate and develop rare-earth elements and chromite.

It also proposed $42-million over five years to expand the footprint and resources of the Trade Commissioner Service (TCC). The TCC was a dedicated, professional group of employees that provided important support to Canadian businesses abroad, including those in the mining sector – one of Canada’s largest outward investors.

“Taken together, the federal government has maintained investments important to our sector, but also necessary to ensure Canadians benefit when the commodities market rebounds,” Gratton commented.

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) president and CEO Gavin Dirom said in a statement that the tax incentives confirmed in the federal budget would help maintain Canada's globally competitive edge in attracting investment for mineral exploration and development.

"Members of [AME BC] look forward to the full implementation of the provision to make community consultation and environmental studies tax-deductible for British Columbia-based companies exploring in this province and across Canada,” he added.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor


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