Saturday, October 11, 2008

Demand Ontario Government End Devastation Caused by Mining Industry

The Ontario provincial government is looking into reforming the Ontario Mining Act, and we need to make sure that the province hears loud and clear that we want environmental protections and respect for indigenous self-determination that are as strong as possible in the new legislation. Here is a callout, I believe from the Ontario Mining Action Network, asking for written comments to be submitted to the province by October 15th:

Determining Ontario's Future: Modernizing Ontario's Mining Act

Did you know?
The mining industry has access to mineral exploration and mining development on your own property? Without proper policies on land use planning, assessments on impacts on possible risks to human health and the environment, public consultation, accommodation or consent. Since 1906, the free-entry system in Ontario has allowed this to happen anywhere in Ontario, causing widespread & permanent cultural, human health, and ecological devastation in our own communities and neighbours backyards without policies to ensure our rights, health and safety. In fact, the Ontario Mining Act encourages companies to help themselves, as part of our heritage.

With a few minutes of your time, you can quickly and easily help change the Ontario Mining Act by participating in sending in a public submission using the guidelines below to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (link below) your comments, or even copying and pasting the 8 proposed solutions below with your full name and city to help determine a healthier platform for the future of the mining industry and it's impacts on all people across Ontario. Submissions are greatly appreciated must be in before the deadline, one week from today: October 15th, 2008.

The Problem:
There have been no provisions in the Mining Act providing for:

* no strategic land-use planning prior to mining;
* no consent or agreement of Aboriginal people;
* no environmental assessment; and,
* discretion on the part of the government to refuse mining that is not in the public interest.

The Opportunity:
The Premier announced Ontario will review and amend the Mining Act and the MNDM (Ministry of Development and Mines) has begun

A Proposed Solution:
In order to prevent future land-use conflicts and to reflect modern values associated with the use of public lands and resources, the
following 8 principles must be incorporated in to an amended Mining Act;

1. Requirement for new land use planning policies ensuring proper land use plans are in place across the province;
2. Requirement for free, prior and informed consent of Aboriginal Peoples as a pre-condition to any mining activity; (including Community Consult, Accommodating Community, and Community Consent before all stages including, prospecting, exploration and development)
3. Environmental assessment for exploration and mining, including prospecting permits containing environmental performance requirements as a pre-condition to permits being issued;
4. Permitting of mining activities for prospecting, exploration and mining, including requirements for work plans, consultation and agreement of Aboriginal peoples, environmental assessment and annual reporting;
5. Consent of surface rights from owners be a pre-condition to prospecting, exploration and mining on their land;
6. Increased transparency of mining operations, including public notice, consultation and reporting to the public, annual reports with information on proposed prospecting, exploration, and mining activities required under permits and provided to the public with opportunity to comment on permit applications and environmental assessments.
7. Requirement for financial security deposit for realizable costs deposited to the Minister for 100% clean up, remediation and reclamation costs when a permit is issues for exploration, before full mining development; and
8. Self-funded regulatory scheme adopted to replace the minimum annual work requirements under Ontario's current Mining Act with an annual fee system that requires fees for prospecting, exploration and mining annually.

Please use these points and/or comments including your full name, and city to Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM)'s, due on October 15th, 2008.

Email Submissions to:

Written submissions may be mailed by October 15, 2008 deadline to:

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
99 Wellesley Street West
Room 5630
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3
All comments should be sent by October 15.

Legislation will be introduced in the upcoming session and, if it is passed, new rules would be in place for later next year.

For further information on the review and modernization process,

MNDM's EBR posting:

Please demand that the provincial government start respecting the self-determination of indigenous nations and start protecting our environment!

(Forwarded by T.B.)

1 comment:

neal said...

The mining industry’s Raney rejects that, stating that the mines are built with water retention structures to mitigate runoff.An intensive mining activity in the past period caused in case of surface brown coal mining an overall devastation of the region.