Two recent public events have given me considerable reason to appreciate living in this city. The first was the public information session on the proposed Ajax mine; the second was City council’s proclamation that this week should be celebrated as Darwin week.
Both exemplify the best of a society that is open to addressing issues in a reasonable and ultimately democratic way.
I was impressed by the wide range of information available at the Ajax session and by the number of citizens who attended and used the opportunity to learn, ask questions and share opinions on this major mining proposal on our city’s doorstep.
I appreciated seeing the comprehensive list of issues identified and being considered as part of the assessment process. However, despite this wealth of information, there was no direct mention of the obvious elephant in the room: the very proximity of the proposed mine to the city of Kamloops.
It is true that many towns and even some cities have grown up around mine sites but it is rare indeed that such a huge mine is proposed within and close to the municipal boundaries of an existing city.
Let’s face it, if the Ajax proposal were located 50 kms away, there would be far less concern. In that regard, and despite what some would say are jurisdictional barriers, I believe our City council must take on a much more involved role in this matter. Can you see the mayor and council of Vancouver leaving it to Victoria and Ottawa if an Ajax-like mine was proposed for Stanley Park?
As for the commemoration of Charles Darwin’s birthday on Feb. 12, well done! Darwin’s development of the theory of evolution by natural selection stands as one of humankind’s major scientific achievements. It has become the cornerstone of advancements in a whole range of areas involving the rational use of the scientific method including biology, genetics, medicine and even philosophy. I commend our mayor and council for their decision.
I hope it becomes an annual celebration.