The Failed Reform of Ontario's Mining Laws
Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, Vol. 23, p. 1, 2011
15 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2012
Date Written: September 19, 2011
The Ontario government’s recent modernization of mining laws falls short of genuine reform. Recent amendments have left untouched the Mining Act’s central function of facilitating mining at the expense of other legitimate interests. In the south and near-north of the province, the continuation of the free entry system gives priority to the pursuit of mineral rights over the property rights of surface and neighboring owners. The Crown’s duty of consultation with Aboriginal peoples is being twisted into a burden for mining companies, and under the Far North Act, into an effective veto for Aboriginal interests over mining development. The environmental rules that apply to mineral development are scattered and complicated, and the standards that apply to the rehabilitation of mining sites are lax. Instead of establishing rules for mining that are general, equal and certain, the legislation gives government officials broad discretion over mining policy. Much of the substance of the legislation is delegated to the regulations.
Keywords: Mining, mine rehabilitation, property, mineral rights, aboriginal rights, discretion
JEL Classification: K11, K23, K32, L71, L72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation