Legislation to speed up the permitting process for mining companies is now law.
Bill 71 passed at Queen's Park on Wednesday.
Speaking during debate of the bill earlier this week, Mines Minister George Pirie says it will reduce the administrative processes companies face trying to get new mines up and running.
"We have heard time and time again from industry proponents that our current processes are too time-consuming and costly, leading to project delays and lost opportunities for our mineral exploration and mining sector. They’ve provided us with first-hand knowledge and tangible ideas on how to improve the Mining Act and move the industry forward. That is what this bill is all about—a collaboration of ideas from the best and brightest minds, focused on solving the mining challenges of today and tomorrow," says Pirie.
The opposition argues the bill attempts to sidestep the province's and mining companies' duty to consult with Indigenous communities.
Pirie says nothing related to the duty to consult is touched.
"This bill is all about making mining more efficient and more effective so, in fact, we get things done in a reasonable fashion at the speed of business. It does not impact the duty to consult. It does not impact on environmental regulation. It’s a very simple bill that recognizes that 15 years is simply too long to build a mine, especially when we’re talking about critical minerals," says Pirie.
Despite being passed at Queen's Park, Pirie is giving First Nations and Metis communities and organizations more time to provide feedback on the regulatory amendments associated with the bill.
That deadline is May 31.