The Fraser Institute, which took cash from tobacco companies to argue that cigarette smoke doesn’t cause cancer, recently released its annual Mining Industry “report card” on which provinces and countries are most attractive to the mining industry. Most such studies would at least make some pretence of objectivity by identifying the need to balance environmental and public interests with corporate interests. Not the Fraser Institute’s (they’re “independent”, after all). Oh, and did I mention that the “generous support” of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the industry trade group?
The data in the report illustrate the extent to which jurisdictions like British Columbia are being singled out due to factors they really can’t do much to solve in the short term (like Aboriginal land claims), as well as the extent to which in the Fraser Institute’s world the only thing that matters is making the path straight for their wealthy backers in industry. But the main thing is how surprisingly subjective all this is. It isn’t a quantitative “study” like the Fraser Institute School Report Cards (also hideously flawed). Instead, it’s just a survey of mining industry executives. The Mining Report Card is, very literally, just a summary of comments from executives from big corporations. Of course they want fewer regulations and less environmental protection. The role of government, voters, and responsible research groups (the Fraser Institute opted out of that category long ago) is to find a balance between the interests of corporate executives and other interest groups. This compromising is called democracy, and is quite foreign to Fraser Institute technocrats.Tweet