Letter to the Editor: Mining Regulations

Dear Editor:

As we head into another year’s Geoscience, we have an opportunity to examine Yukon’s biggest industry. For years Yukon has advertised ourselves as a mining friendly jurisdiction, and for a while that seemed true. Recent history has begun to tell a different story.

Our economy has already seen the fall out over the last few years of what happens when there are steep declines in exploration, culminating in last week’s announcement that our GDP has dropped by almost a full percentage point. In March we saw Yukon drop from the top ten rankings of the Fraser Institutes worldwide mining jurisdictions; Yukon now only ranks 18th after having been ranked 8th the previous year. We are also seeing projects increasingly being delayed, possibly indefinitely.

We recognize that there are issues in terms of the mining regulations here in the territory. Mining companies are experiencing extended timelines, the duplication of data collection and analysis, and a company has even had its permit rescinded, because the Yukon Party government can’t maintain respectful and functioning working relations with Yukon First Nations. Many of these delays and added expenses have slowed, halted, and even scared away responsible resource development. 

The Yukon Liberal Party is in favour of a clear and consistent regulatory regime. Our 2011 platform stated that clarifying the roles and jurisdictions of the Yukon Water Board and YESAB, while working with these organizations to harmonize their processes and investigating the concept of a process charter was a priority and it is a position I continue to be committed to.  Reviewing our regulatory processes and ensuring that mining is able to thrive is key to the success of Yukon’s economy, but that can only be done with the support of Yukon’s First Nations.



Sandy Silver
Leader, Yukon Liberal Party