He only had 15 minutes with B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Rich Coleman Wednesday morning, but Mayor Peter Milobar emphasized Kamloops residents’ concerns about the proposed Ajax mine.
“We wanted to impress the concerns around dust, noise, those types of things and make sure it was front and centre of the discussion,” Milobar said in a telephone interview from Victoria, where he and five other council members are at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.
“He hears our concerns as a community. He fully understands the uniqueness of the location and potential implications of that,” he said.
Coleman’s response was that the mine proposal will be held to a high standard in the review process, he said.
Coun. Donovan Cavers, who has big concerns about Ajax, said the minister expressed strong faith in the government’s environmental assessment process.
“I’m a little more reserved maybe about it. But I hope to bring it up with Terry (Lake, Minister of Environment) tomorrow. I feel the Environmental Assessment Office, for the amount of files they have, they’re a little understaffed in my opinion.
“The minister had faith in that organization. He outlined the economic benefits that mining has in the province. But mostly it was Peter outlining the city’s concerns.”
Coun. Ken Christian said the mayor accurately represented both sides of the Ajax debate in the 15-minute meeting.
“It’s a very divisive issue in Kamloops. We wanted the minister to be aware of that,” he said.
“We made sure the points were made.”