Miner thinks Ajax mine wrong for Kamloops

Kamloops Daily News
January 3, 2014 01:00 AM

In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government can no longer break the law in conducting "weak environmental assessments" of proposed new mine developments.

That the B.C. provincial government has been complicit in this shoddy environmental process would be fair considering the unique partnership these two governments have in fast-tracking new mine development.

In 2012, the federal Conservative government's omnibus bill was passed into legislation.

With virtually no discussion or opposition, huge sweeping reforms to Canada's environmental laws were introduced; indeed change is coming.

Massive changes in the standard to which mining companies are held accountable were made law. The mining and oil industry cheered when the changes were made.

Having done away with thousands of vital and necessary environmental assessments, the federal government has also delegated more responsibility to the provinces and has effectively gagged environmental scientists.

With little or no funding for environmental sciences, these same government scientists now research industry backed sciences.

The federal government has reduced Canada's environmental stewardship to that of a Third World country.

With no public participation, company disclosure or any meaningful discussion whatsoever, the idea that any foreign mining company would even care what the citizens of Kamloops have to say is rather a moot point. Our concerns don't matter.

In my opinion, as someone who has worked in the mining industry his entire career as an underground miner and shift boss, it is a very bad idea, both environmentally and financially to allow this mine to proceed.

Common sense should prevail. The people of Kamloops would be so much better served to clearly state their opposition. Anything less will certainly be regretted.

This mine should never be allowed to proceed if only because of its proximity to Kamloops. Dust particles and toxic inversion are relevant and must be considered. Kamloops is directly in line with prevailing winds.

Copper mining is the single largest source of environmental contamination in the mining industry. Some of the contaminants include arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, uranium, thorium and radium-226. And these are only some of the contaminants found at copper mines.

If contamination from the Ajax mine were to include our drinking water, or the health of our children, what laws are now in place to notify or even warn the City of Kamloops?



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