Cooperation top of mind for Yukon NDP representatives at Mineral Exploration Roundup

Yukon NDP MLAs are in Vancouver this week to meet with Yukon’s mineral development partners by participating in the Association for Mineral Exploration BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup. Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson and Energy, Mines and Resources Critic Jim Tredger are taking part in the annual event, which brings together a wide spectrum of industry stakeholders with a significant role in Yukon’s economy.

“We’re here to tell the mineral development industry – as we always have – that responsible mining is part of Yukon’s economic bedrock,” said Yukon NDP leader Liz Hanson. “The Mineral Exploration Roundup is a special chance for us to enhance our existing relationships – and create new ones – with industry leaders who are serious about developing projects that benefit Yukon’s communities.”

The Yukon Party government’s inept approach to intergovernmental affairs and regulatory fairness has amplified the uncertainty faced by the mineral development industry in Yukon. For example, the Yukon Party government’s role in proposing unilateral changes to Yukon’s socio-economic and environmental assessment law in Bill S-6, has been met with letters from industry leadership who view political instability as a sign of market uncertainty. And the closure of Wolverine Mine after months of missed security payments and outstanding debt to Yukon businesses is another testament to this government’s lack of leadership when it comes to the mining industry.

A new approach to mining in Yukon must be based on better data, which is why the Yukon NDP caucus has called for annual “state of the industry” reports like those published by the Alaska government. And instead of picking fights with First Nation governments, mineral exploration should be a chance for open and good faith engagement by the Yukon government.

“The mineral development industry alone won’t lift Yukon out of its fiscal rut, but we do need to ensure that there is both clear consideration of a project’s local economic benefits and social license when projects do break ground,” added Tredger, who reinforced the Official Opposition caucus’s commitment to effective intergovernmental and industry partnerships at Saturday’s Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce event. “The Yukon NDP has always supported mining projects whose operators follow the rules, hire Yukoners, buy from Yukon businesses, and clean up when they leave.”

 

Photo: Mike Beauregard / flickr. Used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.

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