MP Report by Jay Hill, M.P.
“Mining: The Great Northern Hope for BC”
As usual it’s been another busy, and all too short, summer. In fact I think I would be speaking for most Canadians (not all, because there are those crazy outdoor winter sports fanatics out there) when I say that if only summer lasted twice as long, Canada would be twice as good as the best country on earth!
One blessing though is that whenever winter does come this year, it will bring welcome relief from the forest fires and smoke!
And the fires this summer have demonstrated yet again how vulnerable our forests are due to the ravages of the Mountain Pine Beetle. We’ve also seen how vulnerable our agriculture industry is due to the worst drought in decades. Adding to this are the ongoing challenges arising from the global economic downturn.
All the more reason why NOW is the time for all of us to rally round the next great hope for an even brighter future for much of northern British Columbia … I speak of the mining industry.
Statistics Canada reports that natural resources, including mining, was one of the best performing sectors nationwide with a 5.5 percent increase in employment between July 2009 and July 2010.
Regular readers of my MP Report will recall my updates throughout the past several years on the progress of Terrane Metals in getting the Mount Milligan gold and copper Mine, located west of Mackenzie (150 km northwest of Prince George), underway.
Like myself, I know that many local representatives, officials and constituents can attest to the hard work undertaken by Terrane’s Glen Wonders and Rob Pease in consulting extensively and inclusively on every aspect of the mine with municipalities, First Nations communities and federal and provincial fisheries and environment officials.
Their diligence and perseverance has paid off as Terrane announced in June that they are ready to begin the first phase of construction on Mount Milligan. Aside from the local jobs created by the 600-person construction camp, Mount Milligan will provide 400 direct permanent jobs and tremendous long-term economic benefits for our entire region!
Meanwhile, south of Prince George, 500 direct and 1,200 indirect jobs are expected annually as Taseko Mine’s Prosperity gold and copper mine continues to overcome regulatory obstacles.
Leadership in economic development and environmental stewardship is evident across the mining industry here in British Columbia.
On July 18th, I was privileged to visit the Imperial Metals Red Chris Mine site in northwest B.C. Hosted by Murray Edwards, Pierre Lebel, Brian Kynoch and Byng Giraud, myself, provincial Minister Bill Bennett and a group of local politicians and First Nation leaders were given unencumbered access to their entire operation perched atop a mountain due south of Dease Lake. And the opportunity to ask any relevant questions we chose.
We came away with a NEW appreciation for the NEW mining industry of the 21st century. An industry not only committed to providing the people of our region with good paying, long-lasting jobs, but also dedicated to protecting our environment.
If you care about the economic benefits that mining can provide, NOW is the time to voice your support!