Contrasting sharply with the current U.S. domestic mineral policy environment, Canada’s federal budget to be released by the Harper Administration next week will reflect its stated commitment to removing barriers to investment and resource development.
Specific legislative language has yet to be introduced; however, according to the Canada Free Press, the budget outline will emphasize the need for a streamlined environmental assessment process, and reduced federal oversight over the regulatory process where provinces are equipped to step in with similar standards.
The proposed reforms stand to significantly bolster Canada’s economy with the potential to attract an estimated $500 billion in new energy and mining investment over the next decade.
Meanwhile, south of the border, the only mining-related “reforms” addressed by the Obama budget amount to a tax increase, likely to deter mining investment. U.S. American resources continue to be “hamstrung by red tape,” as American Resources principal Daniel McGroarty points out in his column for Forbes Magazine, and the U.S. continues to have the dubious honor of being tied for having the lengthiest permitting process among the 25 leading mining nations in the world.
What’s worse, recent policy decisions in Washington, DC create the impression that policy makers – with few notable exceptions – are oblivious to the fact that our strategic and economic future hinges on creating a framework conducive to maximizing our resource potential. Canada has read the writing on the wall – it’s about time we do the same.