I have read and researched a bit about exploration and mining in BC and I want to get my two bits into the discussion. Geologists, explorers, and developers all know that BC, which has a land mass larger than Texas, France and Germany combined, is vastly underexplored. To encourage investment and exploration, the provincial government implemented a two-zone system to provide certainty for explorers and promote investment while also protecting parks, ecological reserves, sensitive environmental areas and other potential wilderness tourism areas.
However, a strong sense of NIMBYism, and relentless badgering by certain well-funded special interest groups, has stifled the exploration of potentially rich mineral deposits that could result in foreign investment, economic development, and thousands of jobs for British Columbians from ongoing production. I feel the concerns of these special interest groups are grossly exaggerated with little or no regard to the science or the social well being of communities.
We have to keep in mind that the land area actually impacted by mineral exploration in BC is much less than .01% of our total land base. And the actual likelihood that exploration activity will result in a mine, after two levels of environmental review and economics are taken into consideration, is minuscule.
Yet the benefits are great and could potentially provide livelihoods for entire communities for generations to come and contribute directly and indirectly to the growth of many, many associated small businesses.
That is why we need a government in B.C. that will stay the course and support mining exploration and all the benefits that it brings to us as British Columbians. This election, I would therefore encourage everyone to consider which potential government can best facilitate ongoing mineral exploration activities in BC and provide certainty for potential investors while ensuring that sensitive areas and parks are protected.