Every year, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services of the BC Government puts out a call for submissions to input into the government’s upcoming budget. All submissions received in 2015 are taken into account when forming their recommendations to Cabinet on the development of BC Budget 2016.
What’s really happening
The recommendations of the Select Standing Committee form the basis of the Provincial Government’s budget. The budget and related speech delivered early in 2016 sets out the operational plan moving forward. It is imperative that government knows what is most important to the BC mineral exploration and development industry. Through AME’s submission, along with other industry partners and business organizations, the Standing Committee will be aware of specific issues, values and concerns that we wish to see reflected in the provincial budget for 2016 and beyond. Many past recommendations from AME have been favorably adopted, whether they were about land access and permitting, industry tax incentives, re-allocation of ministry budgets or the continued funding of Geoscience BC.
What action AME is taking
On September 21, 2015, AME made a submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and recommended the following:
- AME recommends that the BC government make the BC Mining Flow-Through Share (BC MFTS) Tax Credit permanent to encourage companies to explore for more in British Columbia.
- AME recommends that the BC government renew the BC Mining Exploration Tax Credit (METC) at its regular rate of 20% and enhanced rate of 30% through January 1, 2020 to provide longer-term stability for the planning of mineral exploration programs.
- AME recommends that the BC Government work with the federal government and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and AME to ensure that legislative changes to the Income Tax Act will result in designated environmental studies and consultation expenditures being considered Canadian Exploration Expenses. Much-needed revisions to the Canada Revenue Agency’s 2007 Guidelines should be made into regulations under the Income Tax Act.
- AME recommends that the BC government work with the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation and the federal government to improve industry’s access to venture capital; specifically by adopting a regulatory framework that explicitly acknowledges the role of capital markets in fostering economic growth, and prioritizes cost-effective capital raising by venture-issuers.
- AME recommends that the BC government work with business venture and industry associations to reform the market regulators, including having the regulators be more representative of the industries they serve and more directly accountable to elected officials.
- AME recommends that the BC Government fund the long-term renewal of provincial mineral development potential mapping to support BC’s two-zone land use policy.
- Before restricting exploration or development on metal-, coal- and mineral-rich lands in BC, AME recommends that the BC Government:
-Assess the mineral & coal development potential and socio-economic impacts of any proposed land access & use policy changes; and
-Assess the potential negative impacts and unintended consequences to the mineral exploration and development sector of legislative or regulatory changes. Please click here or visit www.amebc.ca for AME’s full submission.