Print Friendly and PDF
canada mining contamination

In rush for key metals, Canada ushers miners to its fragile north

1 min read

Canada is offering incentives to mining companies to dig in its northern regions for the critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and solar panels, writes Yale Environment 360 reporter Ed Struzik.

In a nutshell:

Canada's Critical Minerals Strategy, aimed at meeting the demand for minerals used in electric vehicles and solar power, is attracting mining companies to previously inaccessible regions, including the Ring of Fire a vast area of the Hudson Bay and James Bay Lowlands. The strategy offers tax breaks, funding incentives and a streamlined environmental review process. While it is seen as a way to transition to a post-carbon economy, concerns have been raised about potential environmental damage, such as wetland drainage, disturbance of peatlands and watershed contamination. Critics argue that the benefits of mining may not outweigh the costs to biodiversity and Indigenous communities.

Key quote:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said, “If I have to hop on a bulldozer myself, we’re going to start building roads in the Ring of Fire.”

The big picture:

The pursuit of mining key metals for renewable energy technologies presents a delicate balancing act between combating climate change and safeguarding the environment and human well-being. While mining plays a crucial role in the transition to a cleaner energy future, concerns persist over potential ecological damage as well as the environmental justice implications for Indigenous communities. Striking a sustainable balance requires rigorous oversight, comprehensive mitigation measures and a thorough understanding of the long-term environmental and social costs associated with mining operations.

Read the article at Yale Environment 360.

Learn more: The New Lede reporter Shannon Kelleher wrote about green energy and mining pollution. For a deep dive into mining's impact and legacy on Indigenous lands, read EHN's Sacred Water series.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

Become a donor
Today's top news

Tracking down a poison: Getting the lead out of spices in Bangladesh and Georgia

Many low- and middle-income countries lack the resources to tackle lead poisoning. Here’s how two countries did it.

Tracking down a poison: Inside the fight for global action on lead

Lead poisoning is a devastating and overlooked global health crisis. Revealing its prevalence and sources is the first step to change that.

From our newsroom

Burgers and fries with a side of PFAS

New testing finds evidence of “forever chemicals” in fast-food packaging from popular spots like McDonald’s, Starbucks and KFC.

LISTEN: How Western media could better cover climate change in the Middle East

“The whole media of the Western countries don’t do justice to some of the works being done here.”

Everyone is likely overexposed to BPA

If you're using plastic, you're likely above acceptable health safety levels.

Opinion: The global food system is failing small-scale farmers — here’s how to fix it

Maybe we don’t need Jamaican coffee in the middle of US winter.

LISTEN: Bruce Lanphear on how we’re failing to protect people from pesticides

Lanphear recently resigned as the co-chair of the Health Canada scientific advisory committee on pest control products.