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Canada’s Mineral Policy Since 1945 – Forty Years of Evolution


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Author Miller GC


Responsibility for the administration of mineral resources is divided between federal and provincial governments. The paper traces the evolution of mineral policies at both levels of government, from the end of World War II to the present. In the immediate post-World War II years, the emphasis was on supplying the raw material needs of a rapidly growing world economy. Policies favouring growth and development of the Canadian mining industry were instituted during this period. Two decades of uninterrupted expansion (the 1950s and 1960s) ensued. The decade of the 1970s was a turbulent one for Canadian mineral producers. Governments intervened more substantially than ever before. Moreover, the industry suffered from an intense period of competition for resource revenues by the two levels of government. At the same time, far reaching changes were taking place in the structure of world mineral markets. To date in the 1980s, the mineral industry has, perforce, adapted to existing mineral market structures. Mineral policies, too, have shown signs of adapting to the needs of the mineral industry. Whether the resulting mix of policies will permit the revitalization of the Canadian mining sector remains to be seen.