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Executive Director's Blog

A budget that supports our sector

May 09, 2017

Rumblings were heard across the country following the 2017 federal budget – just like every budget before it! But from the standpoint of PDAC the 2017 budget justly supports the Canadian mineral exploration and mining sector.

I travelled to Ottawa on March 22 to read the budget under embargo prior to its public release. PDAC had made four recommendations to the Federal Government for the 2017 budget and we were eager to see if we were heard … after all, we are the voice of Canada’s mineral exploration and mining industry.

Our recommendations were:

  1. Sustain the flow-through share system
  2. Renewal of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC)
  3. Support mineral exploration in remote and northern Canada through infrastructure development
  4. Investment in Aboriginal communities to support participation in the minerals industry

And we were pleased with the outcome.

Throughout 2016 there were murmurs that the Government of Canada was considering scrapping the METC and flow-through share system, the very backbone of our sector. This led PDAC to undertake an enormous advocacy task to ensure that the government was aware of the importance of this vital incentive to the industry's prosperity. PDAC and its members were rewarded when the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources announced its extension until March 3, 2018. Carr used the PDAC 2017 Convention’s Media Reception as the platform for the announcement, which was received to a very pleased—and somewhat relieved—audience.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank was also included in the 2017 Budget, something that PDAC has advocated for since 2013 because of the additional costs of operating in parts of remote and northern Canada. Mineral deposits in these regions often remain undeveloped because of the overheads required for exploration and mining. PDAC applauded the Government’s Fall Economic Statement 2016 announcing the Canada Infrastructure Bank – we look forward to seeing some of the $35 million allocated to areas needed by our sector to fairly develop the potential of remote areas.

The $50 million Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy has the potential to facilitate participation of Aboriginal people in the economic opportunities generated by our sector. As a result of efforts in a variety of capacities, the minerals industry has become the largest private-sector employer of Aboriginal people in Canada. We are very proud of this statistic and hope to see it continue rising.

The 2017 federal budget confirms PDAC as trusted and respected voice within the walls of government – a position we have worked very hard to establish for the benefit of our members. We look forward to continuing this work throughout the year.