Published: February 22, 2017
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Red Lake’s Mayor Phil Vinet says he is seeing progress in the work being done with international partners under the Sustainable Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) pilot program.
Vinet, who was in Peru earlier this month for a Mayor’s Summit hosted by the program, noted last week with term limits applied to elected officials, sharing the Canadian experience has meant pushing past the four year election cycle to greater sustainability.
“As a politician [our counterparts] want to see things happen in that four years. In the mining world that is not how it works. The benefits are well beyond four years. When you are working on collaborative efforts with anybody whether it be an agricultural group or a mining group you have to have a long-term approach to it. That is where [our partners] are starting to move is beyond this four year term.”
Through the CISAL program Red Lake has been paired up with the mining region of Antioquia, Columbia which encompasses the communities of Canasgordas, Buritica Santa Fe and Frontina, each at a different stage in mineral exploration and mining. The pilot program is for five years, of which there are two years left.
Vinet says the paired up governments are now looking to move past the tabletop and will meet again in Antioquia later this year to work on collaborative efforts.
“Each [of the communities] has their own set of dynamics or matrix that they have to work through. How can we use some of the Canadian expertise? We have a long history of collaborative efforts with mining companies, some positive and some negative. We take the Red Lake experience and we share that to show them where there may be some similarities or where they may be able to take some variation of our system that works for them.”