Mr. Mayor and council members, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to stand united against the planned Ajax mine.
I have lived in this city since 1972 shortly before the Afton mine project was developed. I attended the public hearings and listened to the promises made by the mining company then. The same promises are being made by the Ajax mine proponents.
That was 40 years ago and the destruction created by the smelter and mine remain unchanged since its closure. Can anyone in the city point out the long term tangible benefits to Kamloops citizens that resulted from the development of that mine? Every time I fly to Vancouver I can see the scar created by that mine and the complete lack of any reclamation. Then one flies over Highland Valley Copper and I shudder to think that this will be Kamloops’ southwest sector in 20 years.
The planned mine by Ajax is significantly larger than Afton is and will create enormous environmental problems effecting the health, welfare and lifestyle of the people who live in this city.
Mining corporation track records are abysmal. Once they are allowed to begin, no one, neither the provincial government nor the federal government, will stop them. When they violate health, environmental or labour standards the threat of reduced tax revenue or job losses will be sufficient for the government agencies to expand the permits or allow for exceptions. Recall what happened when Weyerhaeuser’s emissions exceeded allowable limits.
This is not about jobs or mining, its about you as the elected representatives taking a stand to ensure that the families and children who live in this city can look forward to a future with clean air, water and a quality of life unimpeded by a Polish mining corporation’s interests.
Corporations don’t care about the B.C. environment, Kamloops or anyone living here. They care about making the most money with the least outlay.
Please do the right thing and be able hold your heads high in 10 or 20 years when questions are asked. Your integrity is on the line, please don’t compromise it for the sake of short term jobs or to appease political or corporate forces. This is our home.