Bob McLeod: Chamber of Mines Cabinet Network Luncheon Opening Remarks

Check Against Delivery

Thank you all for joining us today.  And, thank you for your interest in the Northwest Territories.

I will begin by recognizing that we stand on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

It’s a pleasure for me to be back at the Mineral Exploration Round Up – and to be joined by my cabinet colleagues. We have taken the extraordinary steps of attending Roundup this year to confirm our commitment to the mining industry. 

As many of you know, the Northwest Territories is politically unique. Under our non-partisan, consensus form of government, government is unable to simply push through legislation in the same way that my colleagues do in party-guided provinces.  Instead, we must reach beyond our Cabinet – and even our government – to find common ground on the policies we enact.

To that end, there are a number of other leaders from the NWT that I must recognize.  

Aboriginal governments are among our most important partners in resource development in the NWT.  We appreciate their support and engagement in mining projects – and we are committed to maintaining the business and political partnerships that have been forged on the common ground that mining can advance the interests of our people and out territory.

Lastly, I would like to introduce Mr. Cory Vanthuyne, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Yellowknife North and Chair of our Assembly’s Standing Committee on Environment and Economic Development.

We recognize that the mining industry is challenged by the current investment climate – and what that can mean for our economy.  We also recognize that actions are needed to foster a competitive business case for mining in the NWT.   

We are prepared to review every factor of the NWT investment climate that we can influence to make our jurisdiction more competitive - from tax incentives to the royalty regime to regulatory framework.

Ultimately, it is the private sector who will invest in the projects necessary to sustain the industry.  You know best where the barriers lie, and what can be done to improve your bottom line.   

Today is an opportunity to exchange these ideas on the future of mining in the NWT.   Not just with the Cabinet of my government, but with representatives like MLA Vanthuyne who can help support the growth of our mining sector through the Legislative Assembly’s mandate priorities. And with the leaders of our Aboriginal governments who can play a key role in advancing resource development in our territory.

This may make for some candid conversation – and that is fine.   Like many of you, we watch the stock market. We know it can’t be ignored.  And, we will all benefit from engaging directly on the challenges that we are facing.  

Thank you for coming – and I look forward to putting the ideas and perspectives that we hear today to work in support of the industry that plays such an important role in our economy.

Thank You.