B.C. ranks among least attractive places to invest: Fraser Institute
February 25, 2020
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While oil and gas companies have long complained about B.C.’s hostility to energy projects, the mining sector has also begun to feel the heat.
Not surprisingly, British Columbia was ranked as one of the least attractive jurisdictions in Canada for mining development, according to the latest survey by the Fraser Institute of more than 260 mining executives globally.
According to the Financial Post, survey respondents pointed to uncertainty concerning disputed land claims and environmental regulations as key factors that made the province unattractive.
“The sum of negative responses citing these two areas as deterrents to investment was 78 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively,” the Fraser survey noted. “In addition, 67 per cent of respondents for British Columbia were deterred by uncertainty concerning protected areas. Investor concerns related to disputed land claims and protected areas likely reflect the ongoing tensions in the province over land title issues.”
Some of the anonymous quotes from investors in the survey focused on how Trans Mountain pipeline project’s unpredictability hurt sentiment, and “failure to coordinate provincial and federal permitting processes deters investment.” Only 14.3 per cent of respondents said B.C. regulators meet their own timelines set for decisions on projects.
Other Canadian jurisdiction hardly impressed either. Fraser noted that for the first time in a decade, no Canadian jurisdiction ranked in the top 10 for “investment attractiveness.”
Saskatchewan maintained its places as the country’s most attractive jurisdiction for investment (ranking 11th on this year’s survey index, down from 3rd last year) followed by Ontario (16th up from 20th), Quebec (18th down from 4th) and British Columbia (19th down from 18th). Yukon, Nunavut, Alberta and Manitoba fared worse.