One councillor steps out of Ajax mine debate
As city council spends the following months forming an opinion on the proposed Ajax mine south of Aberdeen in Kamloops, one local politician won’t be taking part in the discussion.
Coun. Nancy Bepple has removed herself from any discussion or decisions on the mine after revealing her ties to the proponent, Abacus Mining and Exploration, and to the mining industry.
The councillor said she owns shares in the company, while her partner is on the board of a junior mining-exploration company.
Those ties could put Bepple in a conflict-of-interest situation as a city councillor.
“I could sell my shares, but I don’t want to get rid of my partner,” she told KTW.
Bepple, who intends to run for a second council term in November, said she bought the shares years ago, noting they are worth only a few thousand dollars.
She said she thought about selling the shares, but noted she could be perceived to be in a conflict with her partner also involved in mining.
Though she didn’t want to speak on the Ajax proposal specifically, Bepple said she generally supports mining as long as it is carried out in a way that is acceptable to society.
“I’m willing to buy mining shares,” she said, noting the industry has many benefits, including providing high-paying jobs.