Looking Beneath the Surface: An Assessment of the Value of Public Support for the Metal Mining Industry in Canada

Publication - Oct. 1, 2002 - By Mark S. Winfield, Joan Newman Kuyek, François Meloche, Catherine Coumans, Amy Taylor

This study, completed by the Pembina Institute in conjunction with MiningWatch Canada, examines the supports provided by the government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and the Yukon Territory to the Canadian metal mining industry over the period 1994 to 2001. These supports included direct expenditures, program expenditures by government agencies, tax measures, the provision of infrastructure, and the assumption of liability and risk. The economic benefits generated by the industry over this period are examined as well.

The report concludes that government supports to the industry have grown significantly over the study period, particularly in Ontario, and that major new supports are currently being introduced in British Columbia and Quebec. The report notes that, at the same time, the sector's economic performance, measured in terms of employment, mineral royalty payments and direct contributions to gross domestic product, has been in decline.

The report concludes that further subsidization of the metal mining sector cannot be justified on economic and environmental grounds, and recommends that the tax and other special supports for the mining sector be removed, bringing the sector's treatment into line with that of other sectors of the economy. The report also recommends further study to examine the value of the externalized environmental and social costs associated with mining operations in Canada, particularly at the local level, and on alternative economic development strategies for mine-dependant communities.

Download the report summary in English
Download the report in French
Download the report summary in French


keywords:

ecological fiscal reform
environmental fiscal reform
green tax green tax reform
tax shift
tax shifting
EFR
environmental incentives
subsidy reform
environmental taxes
green budget
economic rent
non-renewable permanent funds
environmental impacts

Tags:  Economics.

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