Mega-projects not always a necessity

Kamloops Daily News
January 21, 2013 01:00 AM

Lately I'm becoming increasingly disheartened over what seems to be our federal government's obsession with fast-tracking recklessly ill-conceived mega-projects before the environmental assessments are completed and touting them as necessary for "growth and prosperity."

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would say we don't need jobs; nobody wants to be "that guy."

But seriously, how can we properly consider issues such as the vast social and environmental impacts of projects like KGHM's proposed Ajax Mine if we already think they are "necessary" for jobs and our prosperity.

How can we rightly expect a comprehensive, unbiased, environmental assessment to ensure our children's safety if we're already veiled by the illusion that this is the solution?

We've alluded to the trickle-down effect on this topic; the notion that another mega-project will bring more millionaires and thus more prosperity to the rest of Kamloopsians is simply not a fact.

The trickle-down effect works effectively only when it reaches the majority of citizens and this only happens when the dollars stay in town long enough to cycle and multiply.

With multinational corporations increasing influence in this town, dollars are being soaked up like a sponge and silently exiting and we don't even notice.

We need to think hard about our collective decisions and correspond with our mayor and City council to get the facts. If this project is approved, a precedent will be set for just how close future mega-projects can be to our town. Is this what we really want?

We do have a choice, so we shouldn't use the necessity argument. We have a strong economic foundation that can get stronger with a lot more spending in locally owned businesses, agriculture in the valley and recycling our investments. We can keep people employed by boycotting automation, such as self-checkouts, for example, which take away service jobs.

We really don't need billions and rampant expansion and increasing government indebtedness to ensure growth. We can all prosper in due course with what is already present in Kamloops: right here on the surface.



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