Federal, provincial and territorial environmental and regulatory regimes for mining must safeguard the interests of Canadians and have the confidence of the public. At the same time, regulatory regimes that are efficient, transparent and predictable serve as a competitive advantage that facilitates sound project planning, investment decisions and Canada’s ability to get resources to market.
Learn more about challenges and opportunities for providing regulatory certainty in mining
As per jurisdictional roles, most mining projects are subject to both federal and provincial/territorial environmental assessment (EA) processes and regulatory approvals. The federal government and the provinces and territories work together to harmonize efforts and provide for timely and effective assessment and regulatory approval processes that enables both levels of government to ensure their legal requirements are met.
Research shows that Canada tops its competitors (Australia, the U.S., Scandinavia and Chile) in terms of the speed of its permitting process for exploration and mining activities. Research also shows that Canada trails its competitors in terms of the transparency of its process.Footnote 1Footnote 2 While the environmental and regulatory regime has protected our natural environment, continual improvements in terms of harmonization, transparency and efficiency can help unlock Canada’s mineral potential.
Canadian mining companies are held to a higher standard.
The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) delivers on Canada’s international commitments to strengthen transparency and accountability in the extractive sector by introducing new reporting obligations for companies engaged in oil, gas, or mineral activities. The Act requires affected companies to publicly disclose, each year, specific payments made to all governments in Canada and abroad.
Canadian extractive companies already operate in a transparent and responsible manner, and the Act reinforces Canada’s leadership by aligning with international standards. The Act includes a substitution provision to minimize the reporting burden for companies with similar obligations in multiple jurisdictions.