A death in the family left Coun. Marg Spina out of the media loop for a few days this week.
But on Friday, she felt ready to weigh in on the question of whether council should hold a referendum on the proposed Ajax copper and gold mine.
On the one hand, a referendum might give council a sense of residents’ feelings about the mine.
On the other, it might not be a thorough gauge and it would depend on when full information about the project becomes available.
Spina didn’t think council should spend $100,000 on a stand-alone referendum, but even the $12,000 cost to print ballots to attach it to a municipal election might not be worthwhile.
“It might not reflect all the community citizens,” she said. “I wouldn’t support a referendum if full information wasn’t available.”
Spina noted council doesn’t have any official say on whether the mine goes ahead, but it is being asked to make sure concerns are known and heard by senior government.
“Health has to be something we look at very closely,” she said.
She was glad Mayor Peter Milobar went to Ottawa to meet with Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq to map out the issues the community has raised about the project and to request a federal panel review.
Spina said she supports a federal review, as she felt it would be more thorough than the provincially led one being undertaken at present.