Q: How would you as MLA work to promote the success of the all-important mining industry in the Flin Flon region?
Leslie Beck, Liberal Party:
Promoting industry and diversification would start with working with the provincial government so that permits and procedures are streamlined in a concerted effort to realize private industries’ efforts.
The answer to northern Manitoba’s lack of new deposit prospects is having prospectors on the ground. Indigenous people know the land they live on; they’re in the best position to find new deposits at the grassroots level. Training indigenous people in prospecting techniques and connecting them with the existing natural resources is key to finding new deposits. It is imperative that prospectors obtain the necessary funding, so a significant part of flow-through funding needs to be re-directed to grassroots level prospecting.
As MLA, I would advocate for the mining industry – and all industries – to establish themselves in our area. Where financial expenditure would provide the required encouragement, I would help constituents and businesses access Western Diversification Program funding so that small- and medium-sized enterprises could be created, helping to diversify our economy.
Angela Enright, PC Party:
The PCs will likely form government this spring.
First I would sit down with taxpayers, industry and local governments; and leave the infighting and divisive, race-based politics and broken promises of the NDP behind; and make clear that we support a sustainable, stable mining industry with high-paying jobs.
The PCs are dedicated to reducing red tape. I would work to reopen doors that were closed to mining exploration by Greg Selinger and invite mineral exploration back to Manitoba. The PCs’ wiser use of infrastructure spending is needed here with a surge in infrastructure monies where the NDP only seem to spend a year before elections.
Our party would clarify “duty to consult” and work with Hudbay to slowly integrate their Lalor campsite workforce into Snow Lake and rebuild its core businesses.
My goal as your MLA would be to get us back into the community-building business and a leader in mining like it was before the NDP ruined this industry.
Tom Lindsey, NDP:
I’m focused on what matters most to hardworking families – good jobs, and steady economic growth. I’ve worked within the mining industry for 40 years. Residents in our riding greatly benefit from this crucial industry.
The Manitoba NDP government has strengthened our mineral exploration incentives to be the best in the country. If elected, funding will continue to the Mineral Exploration Assistance Program to keep our exploration numbers high. I’ll ensure proper consultation with First Nations and ensure mines are developed in a cooperative and environmentally sustainable way. Our Mining Advisory Council is a good example of a modern approach to mining development, where industry and First Nations are both at the table.
Manitoba has the fastest-growing economy, and is leading the country in job creation. We can’t let Pallister and his Conservatives destroy our economic plan with reckless cuts. We must continue investment in the mining industry, and the skills and training required for its development.
Clarence Pettersen, Independent:
Mining is the engine that makes our constituency run. Overall, there are close to 3,000 direct and indirect jobs related to the industry. To keep things moving, we need more opportunities than what we have. Cleaning up the massive tailings in Flin Flon could create jobs.
Lately the NDP party has decided to make more parks in the North. While the intention is good, this limits our ability to open new mines. The Grass River Park produced many mines in the past. Building a road to Pukatawagan and Lynn Lake (through the Greenstone Belt) would increase opportunities for opening economically feasible mines. Mcllvenna Bay, 65 miles west of Flin Flon, with 25 million tons of known minerals, is feasible with support from both provinces.
Let’s keep our zinc plant at full capacity by bringing in concentrate from other mines. Eliminating the import tax might provide incentive, and it’s better environmentally than shipping it to countries with no pollution standards.