Green Paper on social acceptability: The requirements for social acceptability are already well established in the mining sector
Québec City, February 16, 2016 – The Québec Mining Association (QMA) reacts positively to the Green Paper tabled in the National Assembly setting out the guidelines of the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN) in the area of social acceptability. It points out that, although the process proposed will provide a stronger framework for the question of social acceptability, it is important not to ignore what mining companies have already achieved in this field with their local partners.
The process put forward by the MERN is intended to promote a dialogue between the parties and introduce mechanisms for communicating, understanding the other party's position, defusing potential disputes and implementing projects that will become sources of pride and prosperity for Québec. "The government's objective is commendable and sets a realistic goal. Mining companies have shown, over many years, that they are willing to dialogue with the population and Aboriginal communities in order to understand and discuss their concerns, needs and expectations. This green paper will not necessarily changes their approach, but will provide a framework for the process," says Josée Méthot, the QMA's president and CEO, who adds that a more in-depth analysis of the document is needed in order to grasp all its implications for the mining sector.
According to the Association, the green paper sends the message that the government wants to see a process in which projects can advance and obstacles to economic development are lifted, in compliance with the relevant Acts and Regulations but also in a manner that shows respect for people and the environment. It also points out that the population and other stakeholders have a duty to remain open-minded by seeking information on projects, not condemning them out of hand, avoiding systematic mistrust, asking questions and proposing ways to make the projects acceptable.
"If the government wants to see new mining projects developed in Québec, it will have to provide more support for promoters by highlighting the advantages that come with the responsible use of mineral resources, sharing this "task" with mining companies. It will also have to encourage the development of projects and explain their importance for Québec's prosperity more clearly, along with their links to public services and lifestyle quality and the key role played in our lives by metals and minerals. All of this will inevitably help improve the social acceptability of mining projects," adds Jean-François Verret, chairman of the QMA's board of directors.
In the view of the Québec Mining Association, mining companies clearly wish to continue to contribute to Québec's socio-economic prosperity. This is supported by a recent survey by the Mining Association of Canada, which shows that 71% of the Québec population wants to see more mining projects developed in Québec, provided they are properly planned and regulated.
About the Québec Mining Association
The Québec Mining Association (QMA) was founded in 1936 and speaks proactively for mining companies involved in exploration, extraction and processing, mining contractors and junior mining companies, along with suppliers, institutions, non-profit organizations and other mining sector partners. It is proud of the 45,000 high-quality jobs and $3 billion in investment generated by Québec’s mining industry over the last year. The QMA’s mission is to promote, support and play a role in the development of a responsible, committed and innovative mining industry in Québec.