Protecting the North

The Government of Canada recognizes that not only is it important to remediate federal contaminated sites, it is also necessary to prevent them from occurring in the future.

Today, there is a suite of legislation protecting the North. It includes the NWT Waters Act, the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Territorial Lands Regulations. Pollution prevention and "polluter pays" are also two key elements underlying the principles of the Contaminated Sites Management Policy.

As well, because of the importance of mining to the NWT, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada also instituted the Mine Site Reclamation Policy (MSRP) for the NWT, which reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to ensure that new mining operations do not leave a legacy of environmental and human health hazards or a financial liability for the Canadian taxpayer.

Technologies associated with mine site remediation are continually improving, as are mining practices. For example, most mining operations now incorporate progressive remediation. This is a "clean up as you go" approach, which has become a standard operating procedure for mining in the North. This efficient, effective approach is in everyone's best interests. The Mine Site Reclamation Policy reflects this approach.

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