When a tailings pond broke at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in south-central B.C., spilling millions of cubic metres of waste into a salmon-bearing stream, B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett called it an "extremely rare" occurrence, the first in 40 years for mines operating here. He failed to mention the 46 "dangerous or unusual occurrences" that B.C's chief inspector of mines reported at tailings ponds in the province between 2000 and 2012, as well as breaches at non-operating mine sites.
It's one thing to seek to learn from a disaster and it's another thing to incite emotional responses to promote hasty, unwise public policy actions. Despite the fact that virtually nothing was known about the cause of the Mount Polley leak, only two days after the spill, the David Suzuki Foundation had set up an automatic petition portal on their website calling on the province to institute a moratorium on new mine approvals, a suggestion that would imperil a substantial part of B.C.'s economy.
Without Tahltan consent, and against the clear wishes that our people have expressed, Fortune Minerals continues to press ahead with its plans to build the Arctos Anthracite open-pit coal mine on Mount Klappan in Tahltan territory. We will continue to work hard for our people and hope both the province and Fortune see that their current approach is not working, and the current path they are on is the wrong one.
Latincouver is, in reality, a business interest put forward under the guise of cultural exchange. While portraying itself as a centre for strengthening cultural ties, many local Latin Americans have criticized the group over their latest business conference, Expoplaza Latina. The event is focused more on mining and resource extraction than merengue and multiculturalism.
Depending on where you are, it's been getting hotter, colder, drier, wetter, stormier. Indeed, the changes, particularly the intensity of heatwaves and droughts, have been occurring faster than many scientists predicted. And that's made it a bit easier to feel there is something real about climate change.
Alberta has led all provinces in average annual economic growth over the last 20 years. Our unmatched strengths in agriculture, forestry and petrochemicals have earned us an international reputation but it is the energy sector that is our driving economic force. We are the energy hub in a nation that consistently ranks among the top 10 energy producers in the world. That's huge.
It's hard to have a conversation about Canada's economy these days without it touching on our natural resource wealth, and the global reach of our mining companies. But there's one part of this conversation that Canadian provinces may be missing: how they can become global leaders in a burgeoning international effort to improve governance and transparency in the extractive sector.
Gold mining is one of the most destructive things we do, and the reasons to worry about it are endless. Acid mine drainage -- a process through which non-usable materials found in gold deposits are exposed, acidified, and leached into the surrounding environment -- threatens water quality and is a common occurrence at gold mines worldwide. Other toxins like mercury are released through mining, further impacting local water systems. In a rainforest like Clayoquot Sound, water is the central element, and by jeopardizing it we jeopardize everything from salmon rehabilitation to cultural practices to recreational opportunities.
The reality is that mining is no longer about brute strength and pickaxes. It is now one of the most technologically advanced industries in the world. And as an industry that is currently pushing the boundaries of engineering and technology, we should be appealing to young women everywhere to become involved.
Amani may know nothing about the trillions of dollars' worth of minerals hiding beneath the ground of her country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). But she may reap the benefits of her country's mineral wealth in the future, thanks to a new Canadian G8 commitment announced by Harper in London last week.
Quebec's political leaders seem to have fallen for the Great Green Dream of economic prosperity without energy or natural resource production. It's a magical vision of a world powered by unicorns and rainbows, where consumer goods are somehow conjured out of thin air rather than being manufactured with resources extracted from the ground. But experience in Europe shows that chasing the green dream is a path to financial ruin, not utopia. Quebec's one-two punch to energy and natural resource production is most likely to hurt the province itself more than the industries who might invest there.
International trade will be a key growth driver for the Canadian economy this year and next. However, the distribution of export growth in Canada's provinces is anything but even. Some are leading the charge, while others are steady at the national pace. Others are lagging behind, some quite seriously. What are the key factors influencing the different growth patterns?
There is merit to Peter Munk's position. If shareholders truly believe in pay for performance, then it is equally important to attract and motivate executive talent in a downturn as it is in an upturn. This means, paradoxically, that a compensation committee will pay out more, in spite of low stock price, and rein in executive pay during an upturn.
Although industrial projects like the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline or the recently defeated mega-quarry in Ontario typically grab the headlines and bring out public opposition, it's often the combined impacts of a range of human activities on the same land base that threaten to drive nature beyond critical tipping points.