Québec City, February 25, 2020 – Québec has been hit with some bad news, following the publication of the annual survey by the Fraser Institute of mining jurisdiction attractiveness around the world. Québec has dropped from 4th to 18th place, its worst result since 2014. This is a cause of concern for the Québec Mining Association (QMA), which notes that Québec has also slipped back in the ranking of Canadian jurisdictions, from second in 2019 to third this year.
The results confirm the concerns raised over the last few years by the QMA, as it has urged the government to introduce measures to facilitate, but not deregulate, mineral development. The new survey shows that, unfortunately, the federal and provincial governments have not been able to create an attractive climate for investors, in particular because of delays in passing the new federal legislation on environmental assessments. In Québec, the mining sector is still waiting for the new regulatory provisions governing the assessment process. On this point, the QMA commends the Québec government’s open-minded approach to the process for drafting the new provisions, which have been submitted for consultation.
Based on the new results, it is clear that Québec performs poorly in several key areas of mineral development:
- Uncertainty concerning environmental regulations
(from 10th in 2019 to 41st in 2020);
- Regulatory duplication and inconsistencies
(from 17th in 2019 to 27th in 2020);
- Uncertainty concerning protected areas
(from 13th in 2019 to 27th in 2020);
- Uncertainty concerning the administration, interpretation, or enforcement of existing regulations
(from 11th in 2019 to 28th in 2020).
Despite the fact that Québec has moved up two places with respect to its taxation regime, it is still only in 26th position worldwide. There is room for improvement, and the QMA hopes that the government will heed the demands made in the lead-up to the 2020-2021 budget. It could, through some simple and realistic measures, give mining companies operating in Québec the breathing space they need to continue their activities.
« Although the Québec government is clearly making an effort to reduce the time needed to obtain permits, to introduce environmental regulations that take the realities of the mining sector into account, and to reduce companies’ financial and administrative burden, this is not reflected in the confidence of investors, who continue to see Québec as a jurisdiction where uncertainty reigns. Investors need predictability, and the results unveiled by the Fraser Institute should be understood as a clear signal that the investment climate must be improved immediately, and as a reminder that Québec is competing with the rest of the planet to attract mining projects. »
« It is true that the mining industry is in relatively good health in Québec, but it would be a mistake to wait for the next downturn in the cycle before taking action to improve the province’s attractiveness. Given that a mineral deposit discovered today will only become a mine in fifteen years, we need to act now to ensure the long-term viability of the mining industry in Québec and protect the significant socio-economic benefits it generates. »– Josée Méthot, President and CEO of the Québec Mining Association
About the Québec Mining Association
The Québec Mining Association (QMA) was founded in 1936 and speaks proactively for mining companies involved in exploration, extraction and processing, mining contractors and junior mining companies, along with suppliers, institutions, non-profit organizations and other mining sector partners. It is proud of the 40,540 jobs and total expenditure of $8.5 billion generated by Québec’s mining industry over the last year. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and proactively develop a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.