The Government of Canada is taking significant action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and protect jobs during the global pandemic. Canada recognizes that the minerals sector is essential to the economic well-being of the North and so to help protect this vital industry, it is announcing relief measures for mineral leases in Nunavut.
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, made an Order extending certain time limits established by Nunavut Mining Regulations. The Order extends time limits to pay rent for mineral leases under the regulations that become due between March 13, 2020 and October 29, 2020 inclusively by up to six months, and not extending beyond October 30, 2020.
“Clearly, the impacts of COVID-19 have created extraordinary circumstances throughout Canada and across the globe. In Nunavut, COVID-19 has created a negative economic environment for the mining industry making it difficult for holders of mineral leases to meet certain time limits established by the Nunavut Mining Regulations,” said the Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P. “Minister of Northern Affairshe steps announced today, represent a further commitment by the Government of Canada to support and maintain the competitiveness of the mining industry in Nunavut. ”
This Order only applies to mineral leases on Crown lands in Nunavut under the Nunavut Mining Regulations. The Governments of Yukon and the Northwest Territories oversee separately the management of mineral tenure across their regions.
In addition, Canada has also amended the Nunavut Mining Regulations to waive for one year, upon request in writing to the Department, the payment of annual rent on mineral leases due in the one-year period from March 13, 2020 to March 12, 2021. Any rent that has been paid before the amendment comes into force is waived in the following year.
The Government of Canada’s goal is to ensure that everyone, including Indigenous peoples and Northerners working in the mining industry, get the help they need to weather this crisis, and that the North is well-positioned for a strong recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 across all sectors of the economy.
Canada will continue to assess and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and stands ready to take additional actions as needed to stabilize the economy and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.