By Jennifer Brown, CanadianLawyer Magazine, Legal Report, Mining Law
When it was announced last May by Quebec Premier Jean Charest, Plan Nord – the plan to develop the natural resources extraction sector in the part of the Quebec north of the 49th parallel – was exciting news for both the mining industry in Canada and foreign investors. The plan, to be carried out over 25 years, would foster over $80 billion in energy, mining, and forestry investments and translate into tens of thousands of jobs.
Plan Nord would have a massive impact on the province’s environment, economy, and society as a whole, and so the government brought forward several pieces of legislation to amend Quebec’s Mining Act. A year later the changes have yet to be implemented and it has left some wondering when the project will finally get the green light to move forward. With a September election in Quebec, further delays seem probable. “At this point people are in a wait-and-see-mode,” says François Paradis, a partner with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Montreal. “We’re not going to see definitive legislation until a significant amount of time post-election and there is still open debate going on, but it will be stalled as election time comes along.”
Bill 14 is key to the successful development of Plan Nord, says Hugo-Pierre Gagnon, an associate with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Montreal, to provide clarity to the mining companies. “Bill 14 is important for Plan Nord because what investors in mining companies need is a clear, stable, and predictable regulatory framework in which they can operate. They need to know the rules,” says Gagnon. “It’s not that the rule book has to be re-written, but let’s say it was due for a significant overhaul.”
For the full article by Jennifer Brown, click here.