Wanted to share this update by Lt Gov. Byron Mallott as well as this update on the status of Canadian Mines
Canadian Mine Status 3.11.16
Thank you for your commitment to the protection of our waters, our livelihoods, and our way of life in Southeast Alaska. I’m writing to update you on our efforts on these fronts.
In January I traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, to participate in the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia Roundup, the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference, and The Gathering Place (“Where Aboriginal and Industry Leaders Meet”). While there, I also met with First Nations and British Columbia and Yukon government leaders, including Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski. My conversations and presentations focused on the importance of transboundary water quality, transparency and cooperation with our border neighbors, as well as advancing Governor Walker’s policy of supporting responsible mineral development in Alaska.
I maintain contact with the office of BC Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett. Their office is in the process of reviewing our draft Statement of Cooperation (SOC). The SOC will advance, among other issues, communication and input from you, our stakeholders and tribes, as we move forward.
The BC government has invited First Nations to review the draft SOC. These First Nations groups includes the Tahltan, Taku River Tlingit and Nishga’a. I am pleased British Columbia has followed our lead in consulting with First Nations in their review process. I look forward to receiving British Columbia’s feedback on the SOC, which I anticipate will be in the spring.
I also have had phone conversations with two new Canadian Ministers: Hunter Tootoo, minister of fisheries, oceans and coast guard; and Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change. Our conversations focused on the State of Alaska’s transboundary concerns and progress in collaborating with British Columbia. Minister McKenna mentioned Canada’s current review of their environmental assessment requirements. She also mentioned the possibility of attending the next Arctic Council meeting in Fairbanks.
I made a formal request to meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the State Department’s view of a potential International Joint Commission for transboundary matters. He was unable to meet while I was in Washington, DC, last week. I will not give up and will continue to request a meeting at every opportunity.
I met with Senator Murkowski during her recent Juneau visit and updated her on our work with British Columbia. We agreed to continue to work together closely as we move forward in our transboundary initiatives.
I share your commitment to protecting the quality of transboundary waters and the abundant natural resources they support. The State of Alaska will engage with British Columbia in all ways appropriate and necessary to reach these aims. We will likewise continue to work to enhance our collaboration with the numerous stakeholders, Tribes, federal partners, municipalities and other interested organizations.
Finally, please find the DNR-Office of Project Management & Permitting, BC Mine Project Update attached, and please visit our new transboundary webpage: http://ltgov.alaska.gov/Mallott/lieutenant-governor/transboundary.html.
As always, do not hesitate to call or email with any questions or concerns.
Byron I. Mallott
Lieutenant Governor of Alaska