The Mining Association of Canada took a suggestion for a multi-stakeholder process to the mines ministers of all senior governments at its annual conference in Whitehorse in September 1992. Representatives of five sectors of society-the mining industry, senior governments, labour unions, aboriginal peoples, and the environmental community-agreed to participate. A Political Accord was signed on 12 September 1994 endorsing the following principles and goals. The provinces of Newfoundland, Quebec, and Alberta and the Assembly of First Nations did not sign the accord.
Overlap and Our Principle Duplication Elimination of unnecessary regulatory duplication and overlap, with appropriate checks and balances, will aid the effective protection of the environment and achieve greater efficiency in regulating the mining industry. Our Goals To continue to establish cooperation agreements among jurisdictions for the development, administration, and enforcement of environmental standards to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory system and to reduce the unnecessary industry regulatory compliance costs. To streamline the permitting and compliance processes to minimize the time and costs to meet the requirements of the various regulatory regimes. To develop processes such that each new mining project is subject to single timely environmental assessment by an appropriate single lead agency, which results in only one set of recommendations that meet the requirements of all junsdictions.
Environmental Our Principle Protection Environmentally responsible mining exploration, development,operations, operations and public policies are predicated on maintaining a healthy environment and, on closure, returning mine sites and affected areas to viable, and, wherever practicable, self-sustaining ecosystems that are compatible with a healthy environment and with human activities. Our Goals To ensure minimal environmental impact during mining exploration, development, and closure by voluntary and regulatory means, including the use of appropriate environmental effects monitoring. To ensure that comprehensive reclamation plans that return all mine sites to viable, and, wherever practicable, self-sustaining ecosystems are developed, and are adequately financed, implemented, and monitored in all junsdictions. To ensure that the responsible governments maintain a balanced regulatory framework To ensure that the responsible governments maintain a balanced regulatory framework for mine reclamation that is stable over time, harmonized across jurisdictions, and based on standards that meet the needs of a sustainable society. And that changes to the framework be made through a measured, consultative, and predictable process with appropriate phase-in periods. To develop techniques through interdisciplinary research that minimize or prevent adverse environmental impacts, and that return disturbed sites to viable, and, wherever practicable, self-sustaining ecosystems. To provide a regime for mine reclamation financial assurances at current and future mines which ensures adequate funds for full reclamation and a means of financial assurance that is reasonable, flexible and responsible. To establish in each jurisdiction an acceptable means of identifying responsible parties to undertake reclamation of old mine sites that pose a health, safety, or environmental problem. To establish in each jurisdiction funding means for reclaiming old mine sites where responsibility cannot be assigned. Reclamation should begin with those sites posing the greatest risk. To encourage the exploration of old mine sites which, if successful, may lead to potential environmental clean-up opportunities through redevelopment. To ensure the development of site-specific reclamation standards which, wherever practicable, work toward the establishment of the onginal ecosystem but which, when justified by specific circumstances, take into account the possible need for on-going management and the possibilitv of other desirable uses.
Planning and Our Principle Environmental Assessment Environmental assessment is an essential tool for identifying potential environmental impacts of proposed projects, determining their acceptability, and evaluating potential mitigation and remediation measures, thus enabling economic activity to proceed while safeguarding the health of the environment. Our Goals To ensure that project-specific environmental assessments are effective, efficient, and well defined, and are conducted in the broader context of: - an integrated land-use planning process, and - government policies and programs. To ensure that the terms of reference and scope of environmental assessments are ecologically relevant and are decided upon early in the process. To have environmental assessment processes which are formally structured, credible, balanced and fair.
*Principles and goals concerning business climate, financing, taxation, government services, and attracting and retraining skilled workers are excluded.