Modernizing Mining in Ontario

Ramsey Hart

Canada Program Coordinator, 2008-2014

On August 5th, 2008, the Ontario government announced a public consultation process to “modernize the Ontario Mining Act”. The consultations were focused around the government’s discussion paper Modernizing Ontario’s Mining Act, Finding a Balance posted online on August 11th. Closed door stakeholder and open public consultations took place from August 11th to September 8th in Timmins, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Kingston and Toronto. The initial deadline of October 15th for written submissions has now been extended to January 15, 2009. This will also mark the end of an extended period of consultation with Ontario’s First Nations.

Below we’ve posted submissions to the consultation process or related press releases from MiningWatch Canada, First Nations, other NGOs, and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

MiningWatch Canada’s submission to the consultation process calls for comprehensive and integrated reforms.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Chief Donny Morris’ press statement deconstructs “colonial doctrines of discovery”.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug’s submission calls on the government to respect international principles on aboriginal rights.

Press statement by Ontario First Nations (Nishnawabe-Aski Nation and the Oski-Machiitawin Chiefs' Steering Committee) encourages municipalities, industry to join the demand for more time for mining consultations

Ecojustice and the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy outline details of a Mining Modernization Act to curtail the Free Entry System and address environmental and social concerns around mining.

The Canadian Boreal Initiative calls for a permitting system, free prior and informed consent, land-use planning and financial assurances during exploration.

Ontario Nature outlines five recommendations for modernizing the Mining Act to address the serious environmental and social issues arising from this outdated piece of legislation.

Lake Ontario Water Keeper’s radio show “Between the Barricades” does a special edition on the Mining Act.

Bedford Mining Alert's recommendations to protect water, land, and the interests of surface rights holders.

The Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium suggests a moratorium on uranium mining and improvements in claim staking and exploration, mineral tenure, and the public consultation process.

Amnesty International and The Friends Service Committee (Quakers) propose reforms that would protect the aboriginal rights of Ontario's First Nations.

Northwatch provides specific recommendations for reforming the Mining Act and for improvements to the consultation process.

The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada says that major reforms are not necessary.