Feds don't monitor northern mines closely enough, says watchdog
Commissioner says federal government doesn't know if companies set aside enough money for mine cleanup
Posted: Feb 6, 2013 9:12 AM CST
Last Updated: Feb 6, 2013 11:33 AM CST
A new report from Canada's environmental watchdog says the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development doesn't know if mining companies in the North are setting aside enough money to clean up projects.
The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughan, found major shortfalls in the way the department monitors financial accountability and inspects mines.
The Commissioner found that Aboriginal Affairs does not regularly assess whether companies are putting aside enough money during the life of a mine to cover the cost of a clean-up.
For example, three of the 11 mines in Nunavut had shortfalls in the amounts needed to meet the terms and conditions of their licenses.
The report also says Aboriginal Affairs is not completing 70 per cent of required site inspections of resource development projects in the Northwest Territories.
After devolution, which will give the N.W.T. more province-like powers, the responsibility for inspecting mines will fall to the territorial government.
The report recommends improvements to how the federal government keeps track of whether mines are following the terms of their land and water licenses.
The report includes a response from Aboriginal Affairs. They agreed with the recommendations and say they are working on improvements.
Latest North News Headlines
- Cab driver tried to run him over, says Iqaluit man
- An Iqaluit landry service owner said a cab driver tried to hit him with his vehicle after an argument earlier this year. more »
- Yukon spending $1.4M to protect river trail from erosion
- A project to stabilize the Yukon River bank in downtown Whitehorse is well underway, at a cost of almost $1.4 million. more »
- Hunters not to blame for caribou decline, says NTI
- The decline in the caribou population of south Baffin Island is not a major concern, according to Nunavut Tunngavik. more »
- Needed: New approaches to defuse 'suicide contagion' among teens
- Mental health experts say we need to find new ways to refer to and discuss suicide, particularly now that a large medical study has confirmed that teens are more susceptible to the idea if they know a schoolmate who died that way. more »
Top News Headlines
- 2nd suspect in Tim Bosma case charged with 1st-degree murder
- Mark Smich of Oakville, Ont., is formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton man who disappeared earlier this month after taking two men on a test drive of his truck. Smich's arrest follows the first-degree murder charge against Dellen Millard of Toronto. more »
- U.K. attack suspects were focus of past security probes
- WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Two men accused of butchering a British soldier had featured in previous investigations by security services, a British official said, as investigators tried to determine whether the men were part of a wider radical Islamic plot. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Harper no Obama when it comes to dealing with scandals
- Beset by three so-called scandals at the moment, Barack Obama has been meeting his accusers and the press head on, Neil Macdonald writes. The same cannot be said for how Stephen Harper operates. more »
- Rob Ford: Councillors, media want answers on crack issue
- Newspaper editorials and commentators are expressing frustration over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's silence on allegations he was captured on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. more »
- Body of missing Fort Resolution, N.W.T., woman found
- MMA fighter gets jail for assaulting ex-girlfriend
- Arctic bacteria discovered breeding at record –15 C
- Yukoners knit wooly mammoth a new coat
- Yukon couple hold record for longest marriage in country
- Arena fire may force Fort Smith to build outdoor rinks
- Nunavut government is now less accountable, says professor
- Daycare owner failed to prevent sex harassment, says tribunal
- Whitehorse refugee claimant gets second hearing