“We don’t want to be in a position where time limits prevent investigators and Crown Counsel from doing their jobs, Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett said in a written statement. “These amendments will ensure there is more time available, if required, for a thorough investigation and for a decision on whether to pursue charges for offences under the Mines Act.”
The amendment to the time limit for pursuing charges under the Mines Act is similar other natural resource legislation, such as the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Environmental Management Act, according to Minister Bennett
Currently, under the Mines Act, the province has six months to one year to pursue charges for offences committed under the act, depending on the nature of the offence.
The amendment will increase this limit to three years from when the chief inspector of mines first learns of the incident.
The amendments to the act will come into effect as of Aug. 1, 2014, and will apply to all ongoing investigations, including the tailings storage facility breach at Mount Polley