It’s not an action-adventure flick, but the latest Kamloops video production features explosions and mushroom clouds in the first 20 seconds.
A YouTube video published Friday — entitled Is This of Future of Kamloops? — is not shy about its message against the proposed open-pit Ajax mine.
After an opening shot aerial of the city, the narrator’s voice intones over scenes of gently blowing grasses, wildflowers and grazing deer.
“The lure of a peaceful afternoon draws many to the tranquil beauty of fragile grasslands in and around the city,” states the voice-over narrative.
“All this is about to change.”
The video then shows slow-motion shots of ripping explosions in an open-pit mine, causing clouds of dust to rise.
“Is this the fate of Kamloops?”
By Monday afternoon, the 30-minute video had about 2,000 views.
While it features professional production values, there is no attempt at subtlety, whether through frequent shots of mine explosions or raising the spectre of poisoning the city of 85,000 with substances including cadmium, lead and chromium.
City small businessman Bill Ligertwood said he volunteered his time on the production end. He said it’s the product of the Concerned Citizens of Kamloops, primarily Dianne Kerr and Sandy Abraham.
“I just did it as a favour,” said Ligertwood, adding that prior to working on the project he was “ambivalent” about the mine coming to the city.
“After completing that (video) and doing some talking to people, I’m not ambivalent anymore,” Ligertwood said.
KGHM-Ajax proposes to build the open-pit mine within the boundaries of Kamloops. As designed, it will be within 1.5 kilometres of Aberdeen and Pineview Valley. It is undergoing a comprehensive federal-provincial environmental assessment.
Contacted Monday, a KGHM-Ajax spokesman said the company is considering its reply.
“We’re getting our technical team to look at it so we can prepare a proper response,” said Norm Thompson.
“We need to prepare a response to it. It will be out there. If we don’t respond, people will assume it’s true.”
Kerr, who served several terms on Kamloops council in the 1980s and headed TRU’s management centre, said the goal was to let more city residents know “the facts.
“When we talked to people, we discovered a lot don’t know much about it. It gives them a visual sense of how the community will change.”
People interviewed in the video include city councillors Tina Lange and Donovan Cavers, as well as a city physician, former TRU business professor and even a youth soccer player.
“With the mine, will there be tournaments in the future or will teams go somewhere else?” asks the unidentified youngster.
An unnamed young woman, who identifies herself as a TRU student, declares, “I would never work at Ajax.
“I’d rather be unemployed.”
Michael Davis, a partner and Vancouver communications firm Reputations, said both the early number of views is impressive as is its use of visuals to convey its message.
“The video is obviously way too long but it puts the issues in a very visual way — that’s effective.”
Davis said KGHM-Ajax should be concerned that the number of views “shows a substantial core of opposition.
“I’d say (to KGHM) you’d better start selling the benefits for the people of Kamloops and the surrounding area in a visual way that’s short and an example that people can understand.”
One of the longest segments features Kelly Orringer, a professor of pediatric medicine at University of Michigan. She raises the spectre of everything from lower IQs in children to birth defects from a toxic soup of substances including lead, chromium and arsenic that will emanate from Ajax mine.
Even exhaust from diesel-powered heavy equipment is fingered as a carcinogen.
You can view the video here.