A B.C. organization is backing the Union of B.C. Municipalities' resolution calling for an update to the province's Mineral Tenure Act.
And one City councillor feels that update should include veto power for municipalities and regional districts affected by any type of mining activity.
Coun. Tina Lange was glad to hear Tuesday that a Columbia Institute study released this week says the Mineral Tenure Act interferes with the ability of local politicians to plan their communities.
"We need, as municipal or regional directors, to be able to say, 'That doesn't fit our official community plan,' " she said.
The City spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on planning, yet a mine or gravel pit can come in and council is powerless under the current act.
"If we get a mine, we have to have more authority over what happens there. . . . so that we don't plan for nothing."
Lange failed to get Kamloops council's support for a similar resolution on updating the act more than a year ago. But the UBCM and the Columbia Institute are in agreement with her stand.
Columbia Institute executive director Charley Beresford said her group has been watching Kamloops and Tofino as examples of communities wrestling with proposed mines while not having any authority.
The study, done with the Sierra Club of B.C., looked at mining act models in other provinces.
"We're saying there should be a mechanism to allow for planning, especially community planning or municipal planning, so the public has some say," she said.
"The legislation being developed in Quebec seems to be a good model to look at. It hasn't passed yet, to my knowledge. It's just in process. But even Alberta has dealt with mechanisms."
The Quebec legislation strengthens the role of municipalities where there is mining nearby. It would disallow staking in areas used for vacationing or urbanization perimeters. It also gives municipal governments the ability to create areas incompatible with mining and the right to mine is not absolute.
Beresford said the study has been passed on to the UBCM.
"It should buttress their case when they go to see the province," she said.
Lange said the province still needs to monitor mining operations and oversee the environmental review process, she just wants the City to have a voice, too.