VANCOUVER – The Mining Association of B.C. (MABC) has significant concerns with the recently released Professional Reliance Review Report.
“MABC was hopeful the report would represent the substantive submissions received by important stakeholders like the mining industry and make recommendations focused on good governance and transparency,” said Bryan Cox, President & CEO of MABC. “Instead, the report strays beyond the terms of reference, proposing significant changes to the system without the necessary justification, investigation or reference to British Columbia’s best practices to support them.”
The mining industry relies on the role of the professional associations to ensure that qualified professionals meet their established technical and ethical standards. It is the responsibility of professional associations to establish the appropriate criteria to achieve and maintain professional accreditation, adjudicate individuals against these criteria, and discipline members who fail to maintain the established professional standard.
“MABC supports the goal of ensuring that the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource management in B.C. The professional reliance model is a key component of all professional practice in the province of British Columbia and affects all areas of our economy, not just the natural resource sector,” stated Cox. “The mining industry views an effective and efficient professional reliance model as a key component of maintaining the competitiveness of our natural resource industries.”
As part of the consultation process, MABC made several recommendations including that any changes considered for the professional reliance model need to ensure that all government oversight and reviews are performed by suitably qualified and experienced professionals and that a clear chain of responsibility is maintained for professional work.
The Mines Act (the Act) and Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia (the Code) govern mineral exploration and mining in the province and provide the overall context for the professional reliance regime in the mining sector.
“The current professional reliance regime provided by the Act and Code is comprehensive and clearly articulates the roles and responsibilities of qualified professionals in relation to mine-related approvals,” continued Cox. “Additionally, the environmental assessment and permitting processes for mines in BC provide government oversight and review, as well as Indigenous and public input into the planning and design work performed by qualified professionals for B.C.’s mines.”
In 2016, the Code in B.C. underwent significant revision under the guidance of a government, First Nations, labour and industry steering committee. The result provided further clarity on the role of qualified professionals at all stages of mine design, operations, reclamation and closure, further strengthening B.C.’s world-class regulatory system for mining.
The Mining Association of B.C. looks forward to discussing the mining sector specific recommendations from the report with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
For more information on B.C.’s mining industry, please visit www.mining.bc.ca