Metals mines association, accounting for most federal enviro assessments, OK with Bill C-69

The head of the Mining Association of Canada says the hotly contested federal environmental assessment bill is welcome in the industry it will affect the most.

Canada’s oil and gas companies are lobbying hard against Bill C-69, saying it will discourage investors and prevent any more pipelines from being built in Canada.

However Pierre Gratton of the mining association says metal and mineral mines account for more than half the assessments done under the existing law and that industry thinks the bill is an improvement.

Gratton says the new bill addresses the doubling-up of provincial and federal assessments and gives more certainty about what will and won’t be looked at in a review.

He says the new regime also has more flexibility for assessments to take into account the specific circumstances of different projects and also allows for federal permitting to get underway at the same time as an assessment is conducted, cutting the total time for getting a project approved.

Gratton says the oilsands and uranium sectors of the mining industry are, however, less impressed with C-69 because the bill makes the process more onerous for them.