The ability for Canadian mining companies to be welcomed into host countries abroad is a key prerequisite for success of the national industry. This means that being able to demonstrate positive impacts from our companies abroad is a strategic, competitive advantage that the Canadian government should support.
In this regard one topic that many Canadian companies have shown leadership on, and can act as a key plank of "brand Canada" for the sector is local content. If Canadian companies are known for doing their best at hiring and procuring locally in host countries abroad, it will help these companies to have smoother operations, and a stronger social licence to operate.
The Canadian government through Natural Resources Canada as well as the trade and aid parts of Global Affairs Canada should provide support for Canadian companies to improve their local procurement and hiring practices. Relatively small internal process changes at companies can lead to millions more dollars staying in host economies, and the linked goodwill that will come with it. There are other small cost interventions that the Canadian government can make abroad, such as convening mining companies, host country suppliers, government agencies and other actors to align on local procurement and hiring priorities, and to inspire potential new partnerships and programs.
Thus, helping our companies increase local content abroad is a key way the Canadian government can support the success of the industry.