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Protected Lands – A Better Balance
While Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry supports protecting natural lands for future generations, we also believe the provincial government’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan needs to strike a better balance between protecting land and protecting jobs. Beautiful, natural lands are important, but so are job creation, economic opportunity and government revenues to pay for programs such as health and education.
The Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) has analyzed the province’s Parks and Protected Areas Plan (“the Plan”) to help illustrate the economic impact of the Plan on the mining and quarrying industry. The analysis shows the Plan is potentially costing Nova Scotians approximately 291-356 jobs by preventing mineral exploration and development in protected areas. The Plan is also costing Nova Scotians $16-$19.6 million per year in lost wages.
The Plan is also potentially costing the province $22-$27 million in foregone economic activity each year by preventing mineral exploration and development.
These figures are the losses to the province’s mining and quarrying industry only; they do not include the negative impact of the Plan on other industries that also require land to grow and create jobs for Nova Scotians.
The Plan disproportionately harms Nova Scotia’s rural areas, where most mines, quarries and pits are located. Even among rural areas, the economic cost of the Plan is not spread evenly across the province – some areas are carrying a disproportionate burden.
Everything Nova Scotians want – from excellent health and education systems to opportunities for our kids to stay home instead of moving out West – ultimately depends on creating jobs.
The Mining Association of Nova Scotia proposes three modest policy changes that would strike a better balance between protecting both natural lands and economic opportunity.