MHCA acknowledges it is located on Treaty One land and the homeland of the Metis Nation

Province commits to improving application, permitting for aggregates

The provincial mines branch is working to improve the current online system used to complete applications for aggregate extraction and the billing and payment of fees based on tonnage of aggregates removed.

The MHCA, with industry representatives, met virtually with officials and staff in the mines branch who manage the system – called the Integrated Mining and Quarry System, or iMaQs – for applications and aggregate extraction fee payments.

The discussion focused on the timely return of information to the industry on permits to extract, including producers’ requests via email or phone for information, in order to allow work to proceed.

While there was some discussion relating to issues with the electronic application form itself, the industry’s primary concern relates to the approval process and the payment system, because permit approval is held up until payment is received.

The branch is currently reviewing ability to accept some form of payment electronically, for example the possibility of automatic withdrawal from a producer’s bank account. The industry, however, noted that many companies rely on cheque transactions for their accounting records.

“I think that there was good reception to the industry’s concerns with the officials and staff that were seeking our input,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. “Good questions were asked and the suggestions offered were accepted by the branch, which committed to reviewing and coming back to the industry for further talks.”