Modernize one of B.C.’s oldest laws
B.C. remains one of the last mining jurisdictions in Canada that has yet to modernize its “free entry” law, which allows anyone to stake a claim without public consultation or Indigenous consent. Over 80% of the province is open to mineral staking! Mining claims must no longer be allowed to undermine land use planning, Indigenous rights, municipalities, environmental protection, and private property.
In its new Declaration Act Action Plan, the B.C. government has made a commitment to modernize the 160-year-old Mineral Tenure Act to meet the standards of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is a great step. We want to ensure the government makes progress on this soon, especially in light of ongoing land use conflicts throughout the province, such as with the Gitxaała Nation. Modernizing the Mineral Tenure Act is an opportunity to ensure respect for Indigenous rights and other land use priorities.