Mining Compliance Process in Northern Canada
Principal Investigator: Lajoie, Martin (1)
Licence Number: 15344
Organization: Action Canada
Licensed Year(s): 2013
Issued: Oct 01, 2013
Project Team: Sarah Daitch (Stakeholders Liaison), Julia Fan Li (Project Convenor), Alyssa Schwann (Research Lead), André Dias (Budget and Conference Planner), Jesika Briones (Media Contact and Communications), Martin Lajoie (Project Planner)

Objective(s): To examine compliance processes for mining regulation in the North and identify ways in which they can potentially be improved.

Project Description: The objective is to examine compliance processes for mining regulation in the North and identify ways in which they can potentially be improved. The research team are six members of an Action Canada Task Force team, coming from various professions and backgrounds across Canada, interested in making a positive contribution to the policy theme: “Applying lessons from Canadian history in the development of public policy for Northern Canada”. The preliminary research has indicated that the mining sector will be a key contributor to the growth story of Northern Canada; expected growth in YT, NWT, and NU is expected to grow 100%, 73%, and 120%, respectively, until the year 2020. Some earlier mining projects in the North, developed during a period lacking tight regulation and legislation, created extensive environmental damage as well as large bills for the taxpayer. Such an example is the Giant Mine remediation project, which has resulted in a 1-billion dollar clean-up bill, shouldered by tax payers. The mining regulatory framework has since improved with mining licenses being granted only after environmental impact assessments and evaluation. However, through initial research, we have found that compliance with these new rules and regulations can be problematic, with a key issue remaining as to who has the capacity, authority, and resources to undertake compliance monitoring. This issue has led us to the key research question: Under what circumstances is the compliance process for mining regulation in the North proving ineffective and how might it be improved?

After completing the literature review and consultations with stakeholders, such as both levels of governments, the mining industry, the local communities, and the NWT Indigenous Governance Groups, the research team will complete several key informant interviews which will inform the Vancouver Public Dialogue process, and the final report. The stakeholder engagement will be for the purposes of understanding different perspectives on the task force topic and learning about the region. The research team proposes to hold a stakeholder roundtable discussion to help learn more about the topic area while engaging the local community in conversation. The roundtable discussion is anticipated to include between 20 to 30 invited participants, from the community and representatives of industry and government. In order to help organize and lend credibility to the event the research team have found a community partner, Alternatives North.
It is important to mention that several key experts in the field will be interviewed based on the outcome of the roundtable.

A final Task Force report, which will incorporate some of the knowledge gained from this inquiry, will be presented in Ottawa on Friday February 7, 2014. The Task Force team will invite experts and government officials, including representatives from the NWT government office in Ottawa interested in the report's public policy topic. Copies of the final Task Force report will also be issued to the participating stakeholders and Indigenous Governance Bodies following the presentation in Ottawa.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from October 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.