Quebec Crees wary of PQ mining taxes for northern Quebec
Chief Cree negotiator says it will slow down mining development in region
The chief negotiator for the Grand Council of the Crees expects mining development in Cree territory will slow down because of the Parti Québécois' new mining royalty system.
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois and several cabinet ministers announced Tuesday the PQ's northern development plans in Chibougamou, in northern Quebec.
One of the major issues is with mining royalties. With the plan, a mine would have to pay a minimum tax of 1 per cent on its first $80 million of output, and more taxes depending on how much material they take out of the earth.
Chief Cree Negotiator Abel Bosum was there to listen to what the PQ had to say. He said that because of this tax, investors will think twice before putting their money in mines in the area.
He said this will slow down mining development in the North, and added that Crees will feel the effects.
"It won't affect us much, but we'll see a difference in the impact and benefit agreements, which is where we gain because the companies pay us part of their profits. Now with the royalties that have been put in place, the companies will have to pay extra taxes so we will receive a smaller share of the money once the company is in operation," he said.
Bosum said the Grand Council is making sure that Crees won't be left out of northern development.
The government estimates the new tax system could bring in up to $1.8 billion in extra revenue over the next 12 years.