Prime Minister Stephen Harper today visited Minto Mine, a copper-gold mine in Yukon, to highlight the economic benefits of responsible resource development in the region and to witness the signing of an agreement that will help Yukon further benefit from resource development. The visit took place during the Prime Minister’s seventh annual Northern Tour, taking place from August 20-24, 2012.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring that Northerners benefit from the tremendous natural resource reserves that are found in their region,” said the Prime Minister. “For the benefits to flow, it is necessary to get resource projects up and running in an effective and responsible way and to put agreements in place with territorial Governments to ensure that revenues generated by these initiatives stay up North.”
While in Minto, the Prime Minister witnessed the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and the Honourable Darrell Pasloski, Premier of Yukon, sign amendments to resource revenue sharing agreements which will ensure a greater portion of the revenues generated from the mining and resource economy in Yukon will be available for use in the territory.
These amendments to the resource revenue sharing provisions of the Yukon Northern Affairs Program Devolution Transfer Agreement and The Canada-Yukon Oil and Gas Accord, will allow Yukoners to benefit from arrangements similar to those recently agreed to in principle with the Government of the Northwest Territories. These amendments will provide the Government of Yukon with an immediate improvement in its resource revenue provisions, and the option to adopt arrangements consistent with those agreed to in principle with the Northwest Territories.
The Harper Government believes that reviews for major resource projects must be based upon sound science, balanced input and that they must have clearly defined timelines. The Harper Government's aim is a Northern regulatory regime that is more effective and predictable while safeguarding the environmental health and heritage of the region and providing meaningful Aboriginal consultation. Greater predictability, timelier reviews, reduced regulatory burden and duplication, are improvements we are working towards that will position the North for job creation and long-term economic growth.
In addition to improving regulatory processes, the Harper Government is also undertaking other initiatives, such as developing geological maps of the North to help prospectors find energy and minerals, and the resource revenue sharing agreement signed today, which will help ensure the prosperity of Yukon for years to come.
Under its Northern Strategy, the Harper Government remains committed to promoting social and economic development, and ensuring that Northerners have greater control over their economic and political destinies.