Trudeau stays away from SNC-Lavalin scandal at an armchair discussion in Toronto
Business & TechCanadaEnvironmentNewsOntarioPoliticsPoliticsPoliticsToronto Mar 6, 2019 Clement Goh
The Prime Minister spoke with Glenn Mullan as part of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention
At the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made no mention of the ongoing SNC-Lavalin scandal that has resulted in significant changes to his cabinet.
Instead, Trudeau focused on economic development, speaking with PDAC President Glenn Mullan about creating good economic relationships with the mining industry.
Trudeau’s visit to this year’s PDAC Convention was expected to be followed by a trip to Regina, where he was to speak about carbon tax at a Canadian Tire in Regina, but the event was cancelled.
But for almost 30 minutes in Toronto, he was focused on Canada’s mining industry.
“When you ask for three and you get five, you can only be happy,” said Mullan, who recalled his excitement when the government pledged a five-year renewal for the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) earlier November.
According to Natural Resources Canada, the METC gives investors 15% credit for expenses when exploring for minerals across the country. It can also be applied towards federal taxes when the government charges investors for mining operations.
On their website, PDAC says over 8,000 members were part of this year’s convention.
Trudeau was quick to talk about what the extension will do for Canada’s prospectors.
“We are extremely well-positioned as a country to continue to engage in the global economy, and making sure we’re competitive within that is really important,” said Trudeau.
He also said the METC helps when combined with the government’s existing Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance.
“It allows you to write off capital investments in machinery and equipment a lot more quickly – is the kinds of things we’re doing to incentivize you to invest in Canada, and to know that we are your partners right now and for the long-term,” he said.
Mullan said the mining industry could boast about their tax contributions to the economy. According to him, it contributes over 5% ($90 billion CAD) to the country’s GDP.
In a statement that also echoed the current events surrounding SNC-Lavalin, Trudeau explained that Canada is transitioning within itself.
“People are understanding we’re in a time of change right now,” said Trudeau.
“Of transformation, of new technologies, of global supply chains and everyone is trying to adjust to the new realities – the pace of change accelerating so much over these past years,” he said.
He even included a hockey analogy: “Go to where the puck is going to be, not where the puck is.”
The armchair discussion ended with organizers thanking Trudeau for including PDAC in his schedule. No questions from the public or media were taken.
A few hours after the event, Trudeau was seen returning to Ottawa — following the “puck” back to other matters on Parliament Hill.