Canadian mining in the 21st century
Twenty-one years ago, the Government of Canada decreed that the second week of every May would be set aside to recognize the importance of mining to our everyday lives and the development of Canada. But, of course, mining’s contributions began long before that.
A quarter of a century before Confederation, the Geological Survey of Canada was established, and its early mapping of our mineral resources unearthed the key deposits upon which Canada was built.
Today, mineral exploration and mining continue to be rich sources of opportunity and prosperity for our country.
Every week, 375,000 Canadians go to work to produce the materials essential to modern society: from the copper and silver found in cutting-edge medical equipment to the gold and nickel found in smartphones.
During my time as Minister of Natural Resources, I’ve come to have an even deeper appreciation for Canada’s status as a global leader in everything from sustainable mining and innovation to Indigenous engagement and corporate social responsibility. I’ve seen the global recognition of the Maple Leaf as a trusted symbol and a valued brand of mining excellence. And I’ve watched the world come to Canada when it wants to talk about exploration and mining.
One of the reasons for the success of our minerals industry is that it has always responded to the special challenges that confronted it. It continues to do so — becoming an early supporter of carbon pricing to fight climate change and working to ensure that communities benefit from mineral resource development.
It has also been a model of Indigenous engagement — employing more than 10,000 Indigenous people across the country and with close to 380 active agreements between mining companies and Indigenous communities — helping mining projects to gain acceptance and maximize socio-economic benefits in local communities.
As Canada joins the world in making the transition to a lower-carbon economy, mining is playing a crucial role by developing new, clean technologies and innovative solutions. Indeed, today’s leading exploration and mining companies are knowledge-based enterprises that use clean, smart technologies to drive productivity, increase efficiency, improve safety and enhance sustainability.
Our government understands mining’s critical role, and we are doing our part to support its sustainable future. How? By investing $1 billion to support clean technology in the resource sectors, including mining. And by partnering with other levels of government, communities and industry leaders.
In addition, we have announced investments of $10.1 billion for trade and transportation projects including those that address the unique infrastructure needs and opportunities of Canada's northern and remote communities, which play such a critical role in our country’s economic, social and environmental well-being.
We are also delivering the necessary regulatory certainty and fiscal incentives — including the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit — to provide junior mining companies with the resources they need to make the next great discovery.
For more than 150 years, mining has shaped our country, fueled our prosperity and driven innovation. With new technologies and a focus on sustainability, it is well-positioned to continue to create the prosperity we seek while protecting the environment we cherish.
Jim Carr is Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”