Zero harm? Let me count the ways mine will harm . . .
I noticed the big advertisement KGHM bought in the March 5 edition of Kamloops This Week (‘Meet Jean-Paul and Ryan’), in which new Ajax employee Jean-Paul is quoted as saying, “I will work tirelessly to demonstrate how we can achieve zero harm with the Ajax project.”
The complete destruction of 10 square miles of native grassland is a giant harm that cannot be undone.
It is so near impossible to restore disturbed rare grasslands that I’m betting the mine and both levels of government are probably not even going to attempt it.
Grasslands are also critical habitat for 30 per cent of B.C.’s species at risk.
A 2004 provincial government publication, Grasslands of the Southern Interior, stated B.C.’s grasslands “are one of Canada’s most endangered ecosystems.”
After 23 years, Ajax will leave a giant, 1,600-foot-deep contaminated hole in the ground and 10 square miles of contaminated wasteland full of invasive weeds.
(Note the problems New Gold is experiencing with weeds.)
Other examples of harm:
• Air quality.
• More dust, toxins and particulate matter in Kamloops.
• More respiratory problems, more people hospitalized.
• More air-quality alert days.
• Fewer doctors.
• The likely disappearance of Jacko Lake and contamination of Peterson Creek.
• The loss of habitat for species at risk and pollinators.
• Daily blasting for 23 years so close to houses and schools over land that already experiences disturbances, owing to groundwater issues.
• Loss of property values.
• The carbon footprint of the mine.
I’m all ears to learn how new Ajax employee Jean-Paul can convince us of zero harm.