A new vision for the future

At the start of 2011, the PDAC’s Board of Directors embarked on a process to develop a strategic plan for the association that would further enhance our ability to protect and promote the interests of our members for the next decade and beyond. The goal wasn’t to simply deliver a new strategy going forward, but to create a new imperative for the organization that emphasizes our position as the leading voice for the mineral exploration community—both in Canada and around the world.

With that in mind, the Board of Directors, under the leadership of Glenn Nolan, who served as the PDAC's 35th President (2012-2013), took part in two facilitated planning sessions that generated a holistic dialogue on the major themes and issues facing our members. “As part of these sessions, it was very important that we put all of the issues on the table,” says Nolan. “This is a highly dynamic and complex industry that covers a lot of areas—from permitting and land access issues, to capital access and taxation matters, to environmental and social responsibility, and of course building stronger partnerships with Aboriginal communities.” 

Through a well-designed process that included several workshops, interviews with stakeholders and in-person gatherings, board and staff members worked in unison to prioritize issues based on the broadest impact on the sector. “We know that our association can only effectively manage so many things, so we had to carefully pick those which had the most significant impact,” adds Nolan. To cover every issue impacting the industry, both currently and going forward, numerous hours were spent discussing and evaluating each issue, then prioritizing and examining the breadth of each issue and its implications.

The PDAC Board of Directors also relied on member feedback to gather as many perspectives as possible to feed the dialogue. “We distributed a member survey in 2012 that examined a range of views about who we are and what is expected from us as an association,” says PDAC Executive Director, Andrew Cheatle. “In the end, 1,000 respondents participated in the survey, each offering rich insights that were an invaluable resource in helping the board during their deliberations.”

Working with facilitators and staff, the Board narrowed in on three major business imperatives—access to capital, access to land, and Aboriginal affairs—that were deemed paramount to the success of our members and the sector. “Access to capital is without question a very timely issue these days, one that includes the securities regime and tax measures that go a long way in providing stability for the sector in the long term” says Nolan. “Access to land goes without saying. Without that access, our members simply can’t work. We’ve done a lot of work in this area and we feel we need to strengthen our efforts here. And building stronger relationships with Aboriginal communities and helping to provide the necessary tools and support they need to benefit from projects remains a top priority.”

While the sessions with the Board determined three primary focus areas for the organization, significant resources will also be allocated to building and expanding other key areas, such as the CSR program, student initiatives, communications and public affairs, and of course heightening our ability to host the world-renowned PDAC Convention. With the direction set by the Board, staff and our volunteers, the PDAC is now in the process of developing specific roadmaps that will highlight the short, medium and long term goals over the life of the strategic plan.

“This is a very exciting time for the PDAC. It's a period of renewal; almost a rebirth in a lot of ways," says Nolan. "I'm very proud of this new strategy and I am confident it will honour the good work done previously while providing the basis for a series of new initiatives that will support and benefit the membership of the PDAC will into the 21st century."