Institute holds debates on mining

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Since the beginning of March, the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) has been conducting public debates on the future impact of Quebec mining development brought on by the Plan Nord as well as the potential impact of a drop in mineral prices.

The meetings have so far taken place in Rouyn-Noranda, Chibougamou and Abitibi-Témiscamingue with seven more locations and dates to be announced bringing to 10 the number of towns that will participate.

Speaking about the progress made in the Rouyn-Noranda debate, INM director general Michel Venne said, “Citizens from all different walks of life have come to express themselves about what they do and to submit their suggestions. The quality of what we heard was exceptional and we will be leaving Rouyn-Noranda with dozens of valid points to further the conversation.”

One of the main suggestions being floated around is to create a fund for regional development that will be funded by a tax on the mining companies. The fund’s purpose will be to support the diversification of the regional economy to make sure it isn’t entirely reliant on the mining industry.

The point of these debates is to ensure that all those with a stake in the development have a say in a neutral and transparent environment. In the current context that includes the general public, environmental groups, the mining industry, unions, professional groups, First Nations and Inuit communities, as well as federal, provincial and municipal policy makers.

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