Is it a reasonable and sane proposition to construct a huge hole right above our fair city of 90,000 souls and fill it full of poison?
The hole will be filled with billions of litres of water and sediment full of arsenic and other toxic heavy metals.
The hole would have to be built to ensure the poison would never surge downhill into Peterson Creek, then through the centre of our city and into the Thompson River.
Forever is a very long time.
The Mount Polley mine was opened in 1997. The tailing pond at that mine has been holding back its poison for 17 years— until a few days ago.
It is plain to see this has caused an environmental disaster in a sparsely populated area.
The Ajax spokesmen reassure us tailing ponds “if properly designed, constructed and maintained, don’t fail.”
Does this mean they won’t fail forever?
Does this mean we, our children and their children’s children are going to be safe from a similar disaster forever?
Our local provincial politicians will tell you this is a matter for ongoing study.
What does common sense dictate? Is anyone truly comforted by these words?
Are we willing to subject ourselves, our descendents, our land and our waters to such risk?
R. William Stinson