Ontario Mining Association responds to Fraser Insititute report on lags in mining permits
A new report suggests government red tape is keeping new mines from being developed in northern Ontario.
A survey of mining companies by the Fraser Institute shows that it is taking longer to get permits for mineral exploration.
It also shows the industry is finding the process confusing and less transparent.
Kenneth Green, the study’s co-author, said the key question is how much regulation is enough.
“There is a balance to be struck there between attracting investment and deterring investment,” Green said.
“Because capital is liquid and it will move to the jurisdiction in which it gets the best return on investment.”
Ontario Mining Association president Chris Hodgson says he knows of companies who didn’t pursue projects because the bureaucracy elsewhere was easier to deal with.
“You don’t want to needlessly go out of your way to make enemies, but people vote with their feet,” Hodgson said. “So, you can see the exploration budget in Ontario dropped significantly in the last number of years.”
Hodgson said he is hopeful that the new Progressive Conservative government will address some of the industry’s concerns.
Hodgson himself was the mines minister in the 1990s under PC premier Mike Harris.