Ontario Proposes Legislation
To License Geoscientists
The Ontario government has opened public consultations on draft proposed
legislation that would create a self-regulating body of professional geoscientists
in Ontario, the province’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines
Tim Hudak announced on March 7.
"The licensing of Ontario's geoscientists will reinforce this province's
position as one of the safest, most attractive places in the world for
mining investment," Mr. Hudak told Mining Millennium 2000, an international
mining convention in Toronto. "It will enhance the professional standing
of our geoscientists, better protect the public and enhance investor confidence."
The draft proposed legislation responds to February 1999 recommendations
of the Mining Standards Task Force, a joint committee of the Ontario Securities
Commission and Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) set up in the wake of the
Bre-X scandal. The legislation would create a self-regulating body to
establish professional standards and help safe-guard the public against
unskilled or unethical actions. The body would designate "qualified
persons" to review and approve any mineral exploration results to
be made available to the public.
Maureen Jensen, director of mining services for the TSE, applauded the
draft legislation and said it would reinforce Ontario's position as a
leading international centre for mine financing. "It will strengthen public
and investor confidence in the mining industry and the securities market,"
"The Ontario government has demonstrated that it is prepared to work with
the geoscience community to enhance professional standing and accountability,
and to protect the public," said William Pearson, president of the
Association of Geoscientists of Ontario. The draft proposed legislation
meets a commitment made to Ontario's geoscientists that the government
would help them establish a self-regulating professional organization,
added Mr. Pearson.
A consultation period, during which all groups affected by this legislation
may have their voices heard, runs until April 20.
"Ontario has one of the largest and strongest geoscience communities in
the country," Mr. Hudak said. "It is time for Ontario to support their
drive for professionalism and accountability, and to declare ourselves
a centre of geoscience excellence."