The Ministry of Energy and Mines recently released its operational plan for 2017/2018, also containing its prospective plan for its activities in 2018 and 2019.
Notable in this is the introductionof a new major mines website providing a unified place for the reports of major mine applications on a single website. Further, there are also independent reviews that have now been complete, and mining reports are available in regards to new deposit requirements and reclamation activities. We, as litigators, are keenly aware and watching the progress of a dedicated investigative unit. The unit is now in place as of last year, and we are aware that this separate crown counsel criminal prosecution unit has submitted three reports to the crown counsel resulting in 11 charges.
Ascendion Law was privileged to defend successfully the first trial of over 105 criminal charges dealing with a major mine spill since Mount Polley. We will continue to monitor the use of criminal law powers to enforce mining act violations. There is ongoing policy that is being developed by ministry to indicate circumstances in which a ministry will proceed with either regulatory or criminal law enforcement. We will continue to monitor developments in this area.