Where They Stand

reponse from:

Peter Njenga

Surrey South  |   Independent   |  Apr 21, 2017
1. What fiscal measures will you implement to ensure that mineral exploration and development remains globally competitive and able to attract investment?

Yes mineral exploration and development should be encouraged and promoted. Such promotion should be through tax incentives such as input tax credits, SR&ED, and speedy licensing of viable projects. However, we need to ensure that excavations do not degrade our environment.

2. B.C. industries compete with many global jurisdictions that do not have a carbon tax. What measures will you take to ensure trade exposed industries like mining remain competitive while paying for carbon emissions?

Global competition is a reality today. Carbon tax is supposed to help improve environment. I therefore advocate for ploughing back carbon tax money to relevant industries that contributed it . Such ploughing back of tax funds in mining industry will help miners to refill exposed excavation holes and to improve their mining technology geared towards better returns and protection of environment.

3. Do you believe revenue collected from carbon tax should be reinvested in new processes or technologies that further reduce greenhouse gas emissions at mining operations?

I do . See my comment above.

4. What will you do to promote infrastructure development in BC that supports mineral and coal exploration and mining (hydroelectric power generation, transmission lines, natural resource roads, railways, ports etc.)?

I feel that whatever we do in future should be in line with new technological development and innovative way of doing things in a smart way. Freely available green energy must also be brought in equation. Hydroelectric power energy can also be harvested through ocean waves just like other countries are doing. Technology do exist that can make Coal emissions be trapped before entering the atmosphere. What we need to do, is to ask our Government (both Federal and Provincial ) to invest in new technology and innovation. Yes Infrastructure development should be geared towards viable projects and community development. But as we all know, the Government must use tax dollars wisely. I am for construction of roads and transmission lines that goes to viable and sustainable projects, that may result in profitability, employment or community development.

5. What will you do to ensure prospectors and mineral explorers have access to as much land as possible to conduct temporary and low impact mineral exploration for valuable, but hidden, deposits?

Licensing should be enhanced if viable projects exist. Dialogue is key. But intricate issues relating to cost benefit analysis and land ownership more so to First Nations cannot be ignored. Foreign ownership is another issue that may be positive or negative depending on the way you look at it. I have said time and again through social media that our national resources (including forests) may be subject to terrorist attacks if we are not careful. Terror can come from anyone. Government owned land should be explored through proper and faster licensing. But privately owned land and land owned by First Nations needs proper authorization from owners.

6. What will you do to resolve long-standing land claims? And what are the opportunities to enhance relationships between government, First Nations and industry?

As mentioned above, dialogue and open diplomacy is the key. Open negotiations based on what we know and the future balanced community development propositions may help resolve the issues. I think what we have right now is one sided viewpoint of the claimants. We do not expect First Nations to agree to give up land if they consider it is not worth it. What are the benefits?……big question. Unless we answer that big question, we are going nowhere.

7. What will you do to encourage new skills development opportunities and support the attraction, recruitment and retention of highly qualified workers needed for BC mining projects both now and in the future?

I am an advocate of smart technology and innovation. Difficult to see it, but I think the overwhelming Artificial Intelligence (AI) is opening the avenues where miners may no longer be humans. That may require intensive investment mostly from the Government and the Industry. That said, we need to encourage more training in mining based on new technology and incentives. I do not think foreign workers are the solution. Given the unemployment rate, openly marketing for workers using viable promises, incentives and adequate training can solve the issue to some extent. But let us not make a mistake. Investment in innovative ways of doing things, smart technology, understanding human nature and emotional intelligence, and taking care of our environment will help BC’s viability of projects and their success rate.