Nathan on Mining exploration and protocol in the Northwest
October 20th, 2010 - 11:19am
Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley): For the mining sector, which is now undergoing a renewal in my part of the world, exploration rates are through the roof, and companies are spending more and more money seeking out those minerals. We have seen an evolution from within the mining sector itself, brought about by companies that 50 years ago maybe did not do such a great job. They left behind mines that polluted, and they treated the local first nation population with disrespect, not hiring locally as much as they should have. These companies are now signing protocol agreements with first nations. They are co-operating in revenue-sharing streams, giving guarantees of local hiring, and adopting environmental standards that go far beyond the the weak and watered-down regulations that the government has provided. These companies have come to realize that the social licence to operate is critical.