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AME Responds to BC’s Consultation on Land Act Amendments

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AME Responds to BC’s Consultation on Land Act Amendments

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, the BC Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship (WLRS) commenced virtual public consultations on amending the Land Act, one of the primary pieces of legislation used to convey land to the public for community, industrial and business use. This ongoing engagement process is linked to potential legislative amendments that will give Indigenous Governments shared decision-making in authorizations issued under the Land Act.

 

 

The Association for Mineral Exploration was not included in any previous outreach by the BC Government on this process. We were made aware in the same way as many of our membership: through public media.

 

 

Since mineral claims and leases are administered under the Mineral Tenure Act we do not expect to see direct impact on exploration activities from any future changes to the Land Act. However, the Land Act is one of several pieces of legislation that ties into the Mineral Tenure Act. Depending on scope and scale, mineral exploration and development activities may require authorizations under the Land Act. As such, future changes in this legislation do have the potential to impact our members and our Industry.

 

 

AME has reached out to Minister Cullen and staff at WLRS to request more extensive engagement and involvement in this process. Furthermore, the Association is networking with organizations more directly impacted by future changes to Land Act amendments to understand how they have been engaged and their views on the process and potential outcomes.

 

 

In discussions with various Ministers and Premier Eby’s office it has been shared that there is a commitment to deep engagement with Industry on proposed legislative changes that potentially impact AME’s members. The Land Act engagement process so far does not reflect that commitment or the spirit of our conversations to date.

 

 

There is ongoing engagement with the Province in relation to modernization of the Mineral Tenure Act. The pace and limited substance of those discussions are concerning and the role out on the Land Act process has done little to build confidence.

 

 

It is understood that these engagement processes and future changes to many pieces of legislation impact the industry’s business and are a part of this government’s commitment to implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA). AME, along with many industry organizations and elected officials from every part of the Province and every political party, supported the passing of DRIPA. The Act has the potential to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Nations across the Province and improve business certainty on the land for our members.

 

 

That outcome cannot be reached without deep engagement with all parties. We are right in expecting nothing less from our elected Government.

 

 

The purpose at AME is to be a strong voice for our Industry and its members. We are actively engaging with Government on these files and championing our interests. We continue to work tirelessly to ensure that any proposed changes to the Land Act and the modernization of the Mineral Tenure Act maintain and enhance the competitiveness and viability of the exploration industry.

 

 

It is hopeful that this Government will respond to the concerns and that there will be a lot more to share in the coming weeks and months. We encourage our members to participate in the public engagement processes on future legislative changes. The more voices the better. And please continue to reach out to AME to share your perspectives and knowledge on the potential impact of Land Act and Mineral Tenure Act amendments to your livelihood.

 

 

Thank you for your continued engagement on these files.

 

 

Keerit Jutla

President and CEO

AME

 

Posted February 1, 2024

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