Mining has been a part of BC’s economy for over a hundred and fifty years. Yet even as the industry has expanded its footprint and embraced new technologies, mining laws have changed little since the Wild West days.

Northern Confluence works to bring BC’s mining laws into the 21st Century. We believe stronger safeguards will ensure northwestern BC builds the right mines in the right locations at the right scale—and with local consent.

Mining gets a free pass from land use plans and polluter pays principles that apply to other sectors

But right now, BC’s outdated policies still favour mining over all other uses of the land—including First Nations’ rights and title. And these policies do not ensure companies are held accountable for spills, non-compliance and even major catastrophes such as the Mount Polley Mine disaster in 2014. Northern Confluence is committed to modernizing BC’s mining and environmental assessment regime to adhere to FPIC, ensure accountability and mitigate risks.

We are coordinating a national coalition to modernize the Fisheries Act so that it once again protects fish habitat, such as salmon spawning grounds. We commission research and offer technical analysis during public comment periods and to policy makers on provincial mining regulations. And in the wake of the Mount Polley disaster, we support research that confirms the value of stronger safeguards, such as greater financial assurances to clean up mines and tougher codes for tailings storage facilities.

Putting these changes in place will help our region sustain the long-term environmental health and prosperity of northern communities.

Early stages at Brucejack Gold Mine (2011) Emily McGiffin