Many proponents of the Ajax mine state the future of Kamloops is in jeopardy if the mine does not get the go ahead. Further, proponents often suggest that those who do not support the too big and too close disaster should move.
I have talked to miners, gone to information sessions and studied the proposed Ajax mine.
My wife comes from a family of miners and she grew up in a mining town in B.C. Her community was promised that, with the “latest technology,” the landscape would be left in pristine condition, that the community would prosper and that money would be provided for cleanup when the mine closed.
The mine there is now closed. Those who prospered have left. The valley is now polluted. The mining company went into receivership. There were insufficient funds put aside to complete all aspects of cleanup. The cemetery is so contaminated by mine residue that burials cannot take place. Those who took over abandoned houses do not have the financial ability to restore former amenities.
My grandparents settled in Kamloops in the 1890s. They, my parents and I have worked hard to see that Kamloops developed into the prosperous and attractive community that it is.
I well remember the serious economic downturn our community faced in the 1980s when we depended primarily on forestry and mining as economic drivers. Civic leaders, including members of City council, provided leadership in getting widespread input from citizens and experts to see how such economic disasters could be prevented in the future.
It was determined that we should encourage economic diversity and develop a clear vision for the future. We, I believe, have followed that plan and are now a prosperous, attractive and progressive community.
What logical person can argue for us to turn back the clock and once again become dependent on the boom and bust pattern of so many mining communities?
I do support economic development and appreciate the importance of mining to our economy; however, let us not let one mine destroy a very attractive and well functioning community by being too big and too close. We are happy with the way our community is developing and appreciate the efforts of so many to make
Kamloops what it is.
Yes, I am a senior citizen, but I do have children and grandchildren living in the community and I am committed to leave them the kind of community my grandparents, parents and I worked hard to create.
If one thinks about it rationally, rather than those who are happy with their community moving elsewhere, does it not make more sense for those who ardently want active mining in or immediately adjacent to their community moving to a community that welcomes such activity?