Ottawa meeting set for Ajax mine proposal
The mayor of Kamloops will be in Ottawa on Dec. 1 to meet with federal Environment Minister Peter Kent to discuss the city's request for a formal panel review of the proposed Ajax gold and copper mine south of Aberdeen.
The person travelling to Ottawa will be the winner of the Nov. 19 mayoral race — either Peter Milobar, Dieter Dudy, Gordon Chow or Brian Alexander.
The Ajax project is now undergoing a comprehensive environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The project is also subject to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act and the federal and provincial assessments are being conducted at the same time.
Kent may refer at any time a project to a review panel if he believes the project may cause significant adverse environmental effects has elicited enough public concern to warrant such a referral.
According to Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP Cathy McLeod, in the past, courts have concluded that in order to support the referral of a project to a review panel, public concerns must be linked to potential significant adverse environmental effects and those effects must be linked to areas of federal jurisdiction.
“I do understand that the decision around Ajax mine is a very important one for the City of Kamloops," McLeod said.
"The environmental assessment process has been designed to be arm's-length from political interference, with a decision based on a scientific assessment of the Ajax project."