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Budget 2013 A Mixed Bag For Canada's Miners

OTTAWA, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) concludes federal budget 2013 is a mixed bag when it comes to its impacts to the Canadian mining industry.

MAC is encouraged by the significant new measures announced in Budget 2013 to address skills shortages, including the establishment of a Canada Job Grant, support for more paid internships, reduction of barriers in apprenticeship accreditation, the reallocation of funds to promote education in high demand fields, and funding for Yukon College's Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining. Moreover, enhanced Aboriginal training-to-employment programs and a boost in scholarships and bursaries is also appreciated by the Canadian mining sector, which is proportionally the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. MAC also welcomes the government's proposal to provide $37 million over the next two years to support research partnerships with industry through the granting councils.

"As an industry that will require an estimated 145,000 new workers over the next ten years, we are pleased that skills and labour training emerged as a key theme of the federal budget," said Pierre Gratton, MAC's President and CEO. "This attention underscores the incredible opportunities before Canadians for well-paying jobs, but also the current skills gap that acts as a barrier for workers in finding employment, especially for positions that are highly-skilled or technical in nature."

"This budget supports the priorities championed by our stakeholders as necessary to mitigate the skills shortage - skills development, Aboriginal training and robust labour market information. This is essential to keep our industry sustainable as we move forward in addressing the mismatch of skilled workers with available jobs and the huge exodus of retiring workers in the next ten years," said Ryan Montpellier, Executive Director of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council.

Budget 2013 extends the 15 per cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) for an additional year, an important tax incentive for the junior exploration sector. Its renewal is critical at this time, given market jitters and the challenges faced by junior companies in raising high-risk capital.

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