Still no answer to the query: Why is Ajax mine needed?
In my letter to the editor three months ago, I shared my opinion that the proponents of the KGHM Ajax mine have not adequately explained to the residents of Kamloops why the mine is needed and why it is needed now.
I suggested ongoing debates about the advantages and disadvantages of the mine have only drawn attention away from these fundamental questions.
Following the publication of my letter, I expected I might receive a call from KGHM-Ajax public-relations man Norm Thompson.
I imagined Thompson would kindly explain to me the importance of proceeding with the project and that he would make some effort to convince me, a citizen, about the need to exploit the minerals as soon as possible.
I did not receive a call and the questions I raised remain unanswered.
In the spring, I participated in a telephone interview about “mining in B.C”.
I found the wording of the questions bothersome because they did not allow me to respond with my true thoughts.
I felt I could choose between admitting my ignorance of mining or enthusiastically supporting it.
After objecting to the wording of the questions, I asked who had commissioned the survey and was told, at the end of the survey, it was commissioned by KGHM-Ajax.
I did not receive any call to follow up and so the questions and concerns I raised remain unanswered.
Others have pointed out “public hearings” have been renamed “workshops”.
The not-so-subtle message seems to be that anyone with concerns simply needs to become better informed.
KGHM-Ajax recently purchased a large parcel of land (Sugarloaf Ranch), suggesting there is confidence the mine will go ahead in spite of public concerns.
Like many others, I am not opposed to mining. I recognize the importance of job creation and economic development.
I am also aware many steps can be taken to minimize the environmental impact of open-pit mines.
I also know — with absolute certainty — that having an open-pit mine that big and that close will, without a doubt, negatively affect the quality of life for all citizens of Kamloops now and for future generations.
The fundamental questions are not so much about noise, dust, water, health and jobs.
The real question is whether it is right for a few to enjoy economic benefits at the expense of many.
If we endorse this way of thinking, when does it end?
How great does the cost need to be before we collectively say, “Enough!”?
If we say it is not right that a few should benefit at the expense of many, how can this message be communicated clearly before projects like this even get off the starting block?
Our elected officials (at every level of government) have failed us miserably in this regard.
How was the KGHM-Ajax project even allowed to get this far?
Our elected officials must now come out from behind the bafflegab of political correctness and stop the KGHM-Ajax project from proceeding, regardless of what the environmental review says.
I expect those in leadership to do the right thing.
Then again, I also expected Norm Thompson to call me.