On April 30, 2009, the Ontario government introduced Bill 173,
the Mining Amendment Act, 2009, which is intended to
modernize the way mining companies stake and explore claims in
Bill 173's key provisions include the express recognition of
Aboriginal and treaty rights, the notification of Aboriginal
communities regarding claim staking and exploration activities,
Aboriginal consultation and accommodation requirements and a
process to address disputes relating to Aboriginal
Bill 173 also withdraws Crown-held mining rights in southern
Ontario where surface rights are privately held (while preserving
existing claims and leases). In northern Ontario, private land
holders will be able to apply to the government for such
withdrawal. Existing privately-held mining rights will be
preserved. New exploration provisions will also be introduced,
including a graduated regulatory regime for early exploration, with
exploration plans required for lower impact activities and
exploration permits required for higher impact activities. Further,
no new mine openings will be permitted in Ontario's Far North
that are inconsistent with community-based land use plans.
Until Bill 173's proposed regulations are released for
public comment in 2009/10, it is uncertain whether Bill 173 will
provide enough clarity regarding Aboriginal engagement and mineral
tenure so as to meaningfully encourage mineral exploration in
The Environmental Registry comment period for Bill 173 ends June
30, 2009. Further information regarding Bill 173 may be found at:
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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