The world’s largest mining showcase is making its annual stop in Toronto this week as more than 25,000 people from around the world flock to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention, otherwise known as PDAC.
Suits and Boots director Philippe Cloutier is at PDAC, as President & CEO of Cartier Resources based in Val d’Or, Quebec. You can follow Philippe’s updates and reports to us on Twitter @SuitsAndBootsCA and on our Suits and Boots Facebook page.
Concerns over Bill C-69 are deep within the mining industry as well. We’ve pointed out in the past, the Mining Association of Canada generally supports Bill C-69 but if you scratch below the surface, it’s very easy to find a significant layer of mining executives, finance professionals and operators who are as concerned over C-69 as are their counterparts in the oil & gas sector. Here are some of them that stepped forward last fall: https://suitsandboots.ca/mining-sector-support-for-killbillc69/. Many of these same people are at PDAC this week as well.
Based on feedback we’ve received from key players in the mining sector, here are three key “miner” concerns raised about C-69 that have been passed along to us.
- Ambiguous terminology and uncertainty on key issues need to be cleaned up:
- “CEAA 2012 had 10 factors considered in decision making and Bill C-69 expands that to 20 but is silent on how they will be defined.” “Sustainability” as a decision-making factor and “meaningful” with respect to public consultation are not defined.
- Mandatory consultation by government of Indigenous groups – selection criteria for Indigenous groups is broadly defined as “any” groups that “may” be affected.
- First Nation demands that consultation on mineral claims (which are exploration only and therefore not a real property or fee simple property) take place before the mineral claims are granted. What complexities will ensue if the FN’s reject the proposal and then seek to apply for the mineral exploration rights/claims themselves?
- Too much discretion for the Minister and Agency, setting the stage for greater potential for political interference and influence by interest groups.
- CEAA 2012 requires a determination of whether adverse effects are significant, using a long-standing framework/test of significance. Bill C-69 removes any mention of how significance would be measured.
- Longer timelines – with still 27 stop-the-clock provisions in C-69, and many are indefinite.
- Enhanced participation of Indigenous groups, not explicitly scaled to strength of claim, and raises the spectre that these groups will have an effective veto under the UDNRIP provisions.
- Excellent foreshadowing of this issue in recent Vancouver Sun column: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-province-makes-ambitious-commitment-to-undrip
Bill C-69 Senate Update – Will Suits and Boots Be Called Up?
Bill C-69 was passed in the House of Commons in June of 2018. It was then sent along to the Senate, where it now sits before the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (ENEV).
This committee is composed of 14 Senators: 6 Conservatives; 6 Independents; 1 Liberal and 1 Non-Affiliated. You can see their profiles here. The role ENEV is to hear from interested parties that would like to make presentations on various facets of Bill C-69. At the end of this process, ENEV may decide to make recommendations for amendments to the Bill that it would then take back to the Senate, where its recommendations would be voted upon. The Senate may then decide to kill the Bill, or propose amendments, based on what happens at ENEV, that it would send back to the House of Commons. The House would then decide what to do with the Bill at that point.
All of this would need to be done before Parliament shuts down in June and will not reconvene until after the October 2019 federal election. So there is a lot at stake over the next few months.
ENEV began hearing from witnesses in mid-February. So far, they have invited a large group of industry and trade associations, as well as provincial politicians. Last Thursday ENEV decided that it will take its hearings on the road and visit nine Canadian cities over a two-week period in April. We should have details on that schedule when the Senate reconvenes from spring break in two weeks from now.
Suits and Boots has requested, with the help of many of our 3,700 supporters across Canada who have phoned and emailed ENEV members, to make a presentation before this committee.
Will we be called up and asked to appear? We will let you know as soon as we hear either way. Give our active leadership role in the Bill C-69 campaign, and given the fact that our supporters are “severely normal” Canadians in more than 300 communities in all Canadian provinces and territories, we’re optimistic your voice will be heard before ENEV. Stay tuned.
Brad Schell Named as Suits and Boots Honorary Chair
We’re thrilled to announce that Brad Schell, a retired oil patch hauler from High River, AB, has accepted our invitation to join Suits and Boots as our Honorary Chair. Brad, as you will remember, drove his vintage 1988 W900 Kenworth truck and 53 ft trailer with a Suits and Boots logo on it to Ottawa two weeks ago, where he and I joined a convoy of other truckers from western Canada to protest Bill C-69.
Brad is a sharp, down-to-earth pragmatist who knows first hand what the challenges are in the resource sector across Canada. He’s a clear and unabashed voice for “Boots” on the ground, not afraid to speak his mind and ready to jump into action whenever and wherever he’s asked. His 6,800 kilometre round trip, sleeping in the back of his truck, shaking hands with people at truck stops and gas stations across Canada and spreading word about Suits and Boots is proof of that.
“You should have asked someone smarter than me for this job,” he said last week, with his characteristic modesty and humour, “but if you want me to do it, I’m all in!”
So, if Suits and Boots is lucky enough to be asked to present to the Senate Committee on Bill C-69, Brad and I both will be seated side by side representing you and all our other Suits and Boots members.
Thanks for all your support.
Rick Peterson, Founder