Accountability in Mine Permit Decisions
Overview of BC Law
In BC, the Chief Inspector’s decision to issue or deny a mine permit does not need to be accompanied by written reasons and is not subject to appeal (apart from by judicial review).
The combination of no written reasons and no statutory appeal mechanism makes it difficult for any party (the public, First Nations, landowners or the proponent) to challenge the issuance or denial of mine permit applications.
Provide written reasons for mine permit application review decisions
[Tags: Mine Permit Application; Reasons]
In BC, the Chief Inspector is not required to give reasons for his or her decision to issue or deny a mine permit application. Conversely, other jurisdictions such as Zambia require that the regulatory authority provide reasons for denying an application.148
Provide public with statutory right to appeal mine permit decision
[Tags: Mine Permit Application; Public; Appeal]
Apart from seeking a judicial review, there is no statutory mechanism to appeal the issuance or denial of a mine permit in BC. In contrast, an appeal process is provided in Western Australia, where persons wishing to object to a mine permit application have 35 days to lodge a notice of objection and may then have an opportunity to be heard by the Warden.149 In Sweden, certain environmental organizations are explicitly entitled to appeal mine permit decisions.150