As the Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, it is my great privilege to join my fellow constituents in setting aside this week to mark the importance of mining to our community.
Like many commodity industries throughout the world, mining has begun to feel the effects of the global economic downturn.
However, I remain confident in the determination of the residents, local government, and the business community in Tumbler Ridge as they continue to build upon the mining sector?s successes, by securing healthy infrastructure and promoting sustainable development.
In light of global financial conditions and the important role of the mining sector in Canada, the Government of Canada has extended the temporary 15 per cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit to help companies raise capital for mining exploration. Budget 2009 also provides up to $200 billion to facilitate lending by Canada?s financial institutions to Canadians and Canadian businesses.
The Government of Canada has also committed to federal legislative, regulatory and administrative reforms to make the assessment of environmental and other impacts of infrastructure projects more efficient, without compromising protection of the environment. With these changes, the time needed to provide federal approvals for major projects will be shortened by up to 12 months, which will allow construction to begin more quickly. These measures have attracted the endorsement of the Mining Association of British Columbia.
I would like to commend the residents of Tumbler Ridge for their hard work, perseverance, ingenuity and adventurous spirit. You have capitalized on the assets that nature has provided to your area, from coal to timber to dinosaur artefacts, to name a few, and you?ve created an enviable lifestyle and a place that you can be proud to call ?home?.
Add to this seemingly endless miles of some of the most beautiful untamed wilderness in the world; mountains, wildlife, fresh water lakes and streams, and it becomes clear that Tumbler Ridge is truly blessed.
I join with you in celebrating Mining Week 2009. This week is an opportunity to salute the mining industry for the many benefits it brings to our local communities and for its tremendous contribution to all of Canada.
Congratulations to our mining sector and to the community of Tumbler Ridge!
Jay Hill, P.C., M.P.
Prince George-Peace River
Leader of the Government in the
House of Commons