Regarding the Ajax Mine, what this community needs is information. Many people believe that the Environmental Assessment review will provide them with the information they need to make up their minds as to whether or not to support or oppose the mine. Unfortunately, this will not necessarily be the case. Critical to the issue is the socio-economic impact.
If we have our heads up, I think we all know that with the current provincial and federal political push to fast track resource development, particularly mining, this project is almost certain to get a nod from the EAO.
The development of this mine will undoubtedly be the single most important issue this council will have to deal with and I am very disappointed that they do not see a request for a high level assessment of the costs to the community that would include using economic modeling and a third-party socio economic expert to critique the proponent’s submission. The issue of who is for and who is against generally creates an adversarial situation in which people polarize and argue for a position. What is often lost is a breadth of information and encouragement to explore the larger context of an issue.
Council’s wait and see attitude is very disappointing. I do not feel that they are advocating for this community. I was dismayed at some of the remarks in the April 18 article, council divided on third-party review, and particularly shocked at Nelly Dever’s comment that the fear in the community is starting to wear some of them thin.
How can I have any faith in a council that exhibits impatience with fear in the community? Does Ms. Dever not realize that a critical role in leadership is to pay close attention to anxiety among constituents? A basic understanding of any system is that fear is commonly associated with lack of information and confusion about the information available. What we need is a council that will assure the people of this community that they are advocating for the highest quality and quantity of information possible.