Institutional conflict of interest

Institutional conflict of interest It would appear that Yukon's minister of Economic Development, Jim Kenyon, is off to the People's Republic of China to woo investors interested in the Yukon mining industry. The minister is accompanied not only by offi

It would appear that Yukon’s minister of Economic Development, Jim Kenyon, is off to the People’s Republic of China to woo investors interested in the Yukon mining industry.

The minister is accompanied not only by officials from his own department but also with officials from Energy, Mines and Resources.

Therein lies a problem.

Energy, Mines and Resources is the regulator of the mining industry; therefore it should not be the promoter.

When the same department is both the proponent of an industry, and the regulator, one has to wonder how effective the regulatory aspect is.

Even with the best of regulatory intentions, if a single department has to decide between promoting a mine development versus regulating it in a way that could negatively affect its economics, the promotion view often prevails.

This is an institutional conflict of interest.

To efficiently regulate the mining industry, Energy Mines and Resources should do just that, regulate it.

They should not be going on the taxpayers coin to trade shows in China to promote the industry.

Let’s leave that to the Economic Development Department.

Lewis Rifkind,

mining co-ordinator

Yukon Conservation Society

Whitehorse