Nova Scotia will establish the legal framework for the opening of the Donkin mine and provide project developers with predictability from regulators. An Act to Facilitate the Effective Regulation of an Undersea Coal Mine in the Province was introduced today, March 29, by Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour. “This act provides certainty to workers, Nova Scotians, Xstrata Donkin Coal Development Alliance, and our federal colleagues that we are committed to operating a safe and efficient mine,” said Mr. Parent. “It provides clarity and consistency when dealing with regulators. That’s good for safety and good for economic development.” Mr. Parent said both Nova Scotia and the federal government claim jurisdiction over the resource, but the two governments have put that question aside and focused on what’s required to operate a safe and efficient mine. The provincial and federal government have been working together to agree upon “mirror legislation” to regulate the Donkin mine. For the most part, the federal government will mirror existing provincial laws, to the extent possible, in the areas of labour, occupational health and safety, mineral, and petroleum development. These will be incorporated into federal law in place of the Canada Labour Code for the purposes of the mine. “The federal government will then delegate the administration of those laws to Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Parent. “The effect is to make it clear what the law surrounding the project will be, and who will be enforcing it. Today’s legislation creates the framework for this.” The bill will allow Nova Scotia to make, by regulation, changes needed for the mirror legislation. Licensing of coal and coal-gas operations would be as described in the province’s Mineral Resources Act and Petroleum Resources Act. Royalties for coal and coal gas will flow to Nova Scotia. The federal Canadian Human Rights Act will apply to the Donkin project. Occupational health and safety regulations that apply to the Donkin project and the underground mining regulations will be amended to include certain federal practices in the mirror legislation. “This is the result of excellent co-operation between the province and the federal government,” said Mr. Parent. “Both levels of government are committed to providing a stable and predictable regulatory environment for the Donkin mine.” Consultations will be held in April to seek comments on the specifics of the changes and how to best regulate the mine. Changes will be made through regulation or, if necessary, by amending the legislation in the fall.