The Mining Association of British Columbia

The Mining Association of British Columbia

September 01, 2009 18:27 ET

MABC Supports Provincial Budget 2009

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2009) - The Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) expressed support for Budget 2009, and applauded the provincial government's decision to implement the HST in an effort to increase the competitive position of our province and stimulate the growth necessary to see our economy recover.

"The new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) announced by the BC government is a significant step in ensuring British Columbia's competitive position both within Canada and in the global market place," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of MABC. "As governments around the world increase spending to try to stimulate activity and spark an economic recovery, BC has taken the necessary step of lowering the cost of production and making our province a more attractive location for investment."

Due to falling revenues from all sectors of the province Budget 2009 projects a deficit of $3.5 billion this year with a balanced budget not expected until 2013. "Given current fiscal challenges, the HST as a revenue neutral shift in tax policy offers a tremendous amount of economic stimulus without having to introduce significant spending increases that the province can't afford at this time," added Mr. Gratton.

B.C. continues to weather the uncertain economic climate better than other Canadian jurisdictions; however our resource industries continue to be subject to global pressures such as commodity price fluctuations. Mr. Gratton emphasized that "tax measures such as the HST lower production costs and put the B.C. mining sector on more secure financial footing which will help to preserve current employment levels and bring back many workers who were laid off over the last year". The B.C. mining sector currently contributes $8 billion to the B.C. economy. The long term prognosis is for a robust B.C. mining sector, supported by demand for minerals and metals from emerging economies such as China and India.

The MABC also fully supports the Throne Speech's commitment to build a new transmission line along Highway 37 which will open up new opportunities in mining and clean power production. This is obviously good news for remote communities who will benefit from reliable and affordable energy. To this end the Highway 37 power line will play an important role in helping our province achieve our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. The Highway 37 power line is also critical to ensuring that the mining sector emerges from the current economic crisis in a position to open a new generation of mines that will contribute significantly to the province's tax base and financial well-being. This next generation of mines will contribute a significant portion of the provincial revenues necessary to provide the services that all British Columbian's expect and deserve.

MABC represents companies involved in the exploration and development, mining and smelting of minerals, metals, coal and industrial minerals in British Columbia. It is regarded as the pre-eminent voice of mining in the province.

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