Premier Christy Clark has recently pledged to accelerate the approval of mine projects, and it is a rare ray of light in the gloom of economic stagnation. With all the negative things happening in world markets, it would be a bonus if the government was able to give the green light to eight new mines and another nine expanding by 2015.
This would be a game changer for the B.C. economy. Mining occupies less than 0.3 per cent of B.C.’s land, but delivers more revenue per hectare than any other land-based activity. This is in contrast to 14 per cent that is either in parks or protected areas. Old industry estimates determined that mining generates $150,000 per hectare of land disturbed, forestry $5,700, agriculture $1,400 and parks about $42. It would be nice if we could get this private sector investment moving forward, so that it would attract young families and allow them to earn a “living wage.”
For those opposed to mining, it would appear that they want people to have less than a “living wage” and the low self esteem that goes with poor wages. Surely all the “naysayers” understand that without economic activity that mining brings, there will be no money for all the social programs that are constantly being advocated.