Wednesday April 23, 2014

Proposed mine a risky gamble

A very supportive crowd gathered at the Alumni Theatre a week ago to be reminded by Mel Rothenburger how much we love Kamloops.  

While common sense is often hard to come by, Mr. Rothenburger  showed us an abundant supply of it, with his non-biased approach to the question of living with a mine in Kamloops. He suggested we imagine a town without one.

With disruption to our ecology, our health, our ears, our breath, we would lose the Kamloops we now know.  

Our vision for a worldwide Tournament Capital continues to fill us with hope. This thriving city that has been built through years of guidance by many preceding city councils is worth keeping.

Yet Rothenburger also showed empathy toward those who desperately want the kinds of jobs that Ajax may offer them, even though it is impossible to predict how many positions — of this perhaps one to two per cent of our total workforce — would actually go to those who live here.

The question that hangs on our already dusty air is just how much more pollution is worth accepting in exchange for the risks.  

Nobody knows — least of all our MLAs, whom we fervently wish would choose protection of vulnerable citizens above industry-no-matter-what.  

We have no crystal ball, and God has not told us either, what the damage might be, either during the process or after the mine has closed and left us with our alternative title of Mining Town.

We know that it is either wishful thinking or blatant propaganda to assume that a mine — close to and inside our city — will have zero effect.  

“Mitigation” is only a soothing seduction. We need to continue examining the studies already done, keep on asking the hard questions.

Is the gamble really worth the risk? Just how much mining money might pass through our future tills is an unknown.

We will do well to remember this as we enjoy today’s comfortable economy: a bid for quick prosperity can become very expensive.



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