As the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit expires, Canada debates commitment to mining

 

In 2017, the Liberal government voted to extend for five years the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC), providing a 15% tax credit to help exploration companies raise equity funds. That renewal is set to expire on March 31st of this year.

The METC, along with its brother, the Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (carrying a 30% tax credit) have become critical incentives for investors in the mineral exploration sector. Canada has become a global leader in mining, and the looming expiration provides a forum to debate whether or not they want to continue or even grow their level of exploration, particularly in remote and northern regions of Canada.

Support for mining incentives are widespread amongst those who advocate for steady jobs and global competitiveness in a 21st-century economy that will depend on medals. The pro-business Conservatives are fully behind the extension, and NDP members such as Charlie Angus have also voiced support.

The Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary Marc Serre affirmed the Liberal commitment to supporting the mining industry, but held off on directly supporting the extension of the METC itself.

Environmental groups and other political factions see the renewal as a key opportunity for the country to reevaluate their mineral exploration policies. They advocate for tighter restrictions on land disruption, water contamination and greenhouse gas emissions as part of the conditions of renewing incentives.

The mining industry continues to actively lobby for the METC renewal, saying the tax credit is a proven mechanism for attracting investment and aiding the industry’s efforts to transition to a more sustainable, greener economy.

Support from Indigenous communities varies, with many who are directly impacted expressing concerns about environmental degradation and the processes of consultation and consent. Other First Nation communities welcome the economic benefits that the industry offers and that many have come to rely on.

As the expiration date grows closer, the passion of this debate will grow stronger amongst MPs and their constituents who have stakes in the industry. Environmental groups will see the decision as a reflection of Canada’s commitment to sustainability and ecological preservation. The debate and its result will provide a clear picture of the country’s priorities around mineral exploration.

 

 

 

Previous Post Next Post