The process to modernize Ontario's Mining Act got off to a rocky start at a public meeting in Sudbury, Aug. 13.
Many in the crowd of 40 prospectors, junior mining heads, landholders and environmentalists openly questioned the speedy process by which the McGuinty government launched into the long-awaited review. Meetings were announced only a week before in select cities, and a government discussion paper was released only days prior to the sessions.
"They've designed a process that ensures the outcome that they want," said prospector William Boot, who traveled from Ottawa to attend the session. "And they ask for public opinion to endorse that outcome." He and some others left the meeting only minutes into the proceedings.
Those that stayed, delivered suggestions but chastised Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) officials for fast-tracking the process. The government had scheduled meetings in Timmins, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Kingston and Toronto.
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"There's a genuine sense people want to participate in a meaningful fashion, but there's perhaps some frustration about not being prepared as they'd like to be," said MNDM Deputy Mines Minister Christine Kaszycki.