Not allowing a vote on a private member’s resolution on the importance of mining shows that the NDP does not support natural resource development, the Progressive Conservative party says, but their opposition says actions speak louder than words.
Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle proposed the resolution May 14 to recognize the importance of the mining industry to Manitoba and to commend the provincial government’s work to promote increased mineral exploration and development over the past three years.
“Mining is a key part of our Manitoba and global economy, providing valuable materials for the manufacturing, agriculture and electronics sectors in our province,” said Bindle, an engineer formerly employed in the mining industry in Thompson. “Mining is also a labour-intensive industry that brings significant spinoff benefits to other sectors such as accommodations, construction and logistics.”
Bindle said mining in Manitoba produces $1.4 billion worth of materials every year and that the provincial government is developing a mineral development protocol to promote investment in exploration and development while ensuring Indigenous communities benefit from mineral resource development and have their treaty rights protected.
The PC party said in a press release that NDP MLAs chose to run out the clock on the resolution to prevent it from coming to a vote and that it was not surprising since they committed in their alternative throne speech to ending incentives for oil and gas. The PCs also said NDP leader Wab Kinew has signed on to the Leap Manifesto, which they say calls for an end to development of natural resources.
Flin Flon NDP MLA said the resolution was all about politics and that it isn’t uncommon for private member’s resolutions not to be voted on.
“They made this resolution in the house today but what have they actually done to support mining in the north?” Lindsey said. “Did the member from Thompson stand up and say that something had to be done to help Thompson when Thompson was losing all those jobs? I don’t recall him standing up saying that.”
The province’s attitude toward mining in the north is different than the way it views some other industries, said the Flin Flon MLA.
“Mines are in trouble. We need the exploration and so far as I can tell they’ve done nothing. It seems the only time they’re willing to help industry out is if it’s an agricultural industry in the south.”
Lindsey added that the timing of the resolution is no coincidence.
“They’ve pretty much told us there’s going to be an election sometime sooner rather than later so if the member from Thompson wants to get re-elected he’s all of a sudden got to get up and say he’s done something. For the last three years he’s been largely silent on issues in Thompson and the north. Getting a private member’s resolution at this point and trying to spin it that we’re against mining is all about politics. It’s all about an election. It’s not anything to actually do with helping the north.”