Ajax Mine

I read in one of our local papers that Peter Milobar, our mayor said that Kamloops mayor and council have very little say in regards to the Ajax mine proposal.

That struck a chord with me because I certainly recall reading an article on the KDN website with a headline that said something like “City has big say on mine, says Ajax manager.”
I know that many of our city councilors are awaiting answers from the 11 page questionnaire they sent to Ajax KGHM in July 2011 and I think it’s time that they did more to get results. I wrote a letter about it to the editor of the KDN.

For your reading pleasure:

Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar recently gave his perspective on the amount of clout the city of Kamloops has in relation to the proposed Ajax mine. He mentioned that council has little say and many councillors are waiting for information before they make a decision.

In January 2012, The Daily News published an article with the following headline: Council Has Big Say On Mine, Says Ajax Manager.

The article mentioned that Jim Whittaker, project manager for Ajax, said if any level of government said no to the project, it would not go ahead. Did the mayor miss that meeting? Can someone get him the minutes please?

The City sent an 11-page questionnaire relating to Ajax in mid-2011 and we are still waiting for answers.

I would like to see our mayor and council buck up a little and demand answers from Ajax.

With people on both sides of the coin resorting to hysterics (Oh, The Jobs!, Oh, My Lungs), it’s time our council did a bit more to get answers for our city.

Also, rather than waiting for Ajax to send back the answers to their questions, why not do more to ask the citizens of Kamloops what they want?

Even if the open-pit mine emitted an odour that was pleasing to the nose and everyone in Kamloops was promised a pony, people may still not want to live near it. Those people deserve a voice just as much as those who wouldn’t mind if Kamloops looked like Tolkien’s Mordor.

So, if the Ajax folks say the City has a big say on the mine, our elected officials should tell Ajax PR reps to stop dragging their feet and make it snappy.

Good grief.

/screed

I wanted to elaborate more on my position relating to the letter so I made my final comment on the KDN website:

I wrote the letter to point out that regardless of what an environmental assessment concludes, there still may be people that don’t want to live in a town with a huge mine right beside it. They deserve to be heard too.

As I mentioned in the letter…even if the assessment concludes that a big hole in the ground will make Kamloops smell like cinnamon and we all get a pony, there will be people that do not want to live beside a big hole in the ground…regardless of the regulated scope of what the environmental assessment includes. (I used ellipsis to pay respect to BenDover.)

Here’s an example of differential (I think I’m using that term correctly), environmental reviews. Back in the day the old bridge (with acceptable graffiti, “Go Blazers Go”), could not be fully destroyed because of fish habitats (I did read that and cannot find the link). Now the old Port Mann can just be demolished without review. It’s not like millions of fish travel that route every year. Actually.. it’s not like millions of fish travel that route, we know that. We act like it’s a miracle if a fraction of he fish that appeared normally show up.

I think jobs are great. I also think we should consider 25 years from now. We need to think beyond 50 years. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the way we’re acting, some of us are willing to tear it down in one.

Tina Lange is right.

Just stop for a moment and think about how long it took to build the city we are today? I remember the late 80’s while they started making the “Tournament Capital of BC” sign on the North Shore.

Since then we’re worked to become the tournament capital of Canada and have been awarded other accolades related to our city’s beauty.

Now there’s a chance we can open a mine and employ??? 300-600 people?

According to Venture Kamloops, we had an unemployment rate of 4.4 per cent in Oct 2012.

How many people here are qualified to work at a mine? Certainly very few of the graduates of the university we’re so proud of.

(link) http://www.venturekamloops.com…

How will we fill the jobs? We’ll be importing people from elsewhere. Folks with no commitment to this beautiful city.

Kamloops is a community that has always taken chances. We elected a black man to office over 100 years ago. We elected a Canadian of Chinese origins to mayor before any other city in North America. We elected the first Aboriginal person to the position of MP in 1968.

Let’s take a chance and invest in different opportunities besides the ongoing siphoning of our resources to foreign countries. The majority of profit related to this project will not benefit Kamloopsians. The majority of profit related to the pipelines (you know which ones I’m talking about) will not benefit Kamloopsians or British Columbians.

Expanding for a moment, even the Enbridge commercials say “3000 construction jobs and 500 term jobs *not sure what the term was.*”

We’re being siphoned by foreign interests for foreign countries and the profit is foreign to us.

We’re left squabbling about a few hundred jobs and ignore damage to our environment that takes a hell of a lot more time to repair than the 23 or so years of jobs we’ve been promised.

Mining companies talk about restoring land. Cecilia Gimenez worked to restore a fresco of Jesus…

Image

I suppose my comment allows people to paint me with whatever colour paint they like to determine my political positions. I do think that the voices of people who simply do not want to live in a mining town deserve to be heard as well. I don’t think that’s a very controversial position to take.

I am pretty sure that the mine will go through. BC Hydro has been upgrading the hydro poles along the the Trans Canada Hwy between Valleyview and Sahali in the direction of the mine.

I think the dithering our mayor and council are doing is simply to appear neutral until there is really nothing they can do or say and simply say “look, this is not a civic affair anyways.. I think there’s a new stoplight we have to vote on..”

I would love to see Kamloops do more to support the arts and I think in the end it will do much to promote our tourism. Many communities around us have events that draw thousands of people and Kamloops has tournaments. We didn’t want Wakefest.. the kids will be drinking!

Why not aim for something like Roots and Blues? Or mountain fest? We have the most beautiful summers here.

I remember when Marg Spina said that within 5 years or so more then half of Kamloops will be seniors. Well let’s try and do something that will appease them that doesn’t include downing 40lbs and listening to mulletrock on level 11!

ugh, I think I’m going really enjoy this blog.

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