KGHM Ajax must participate in SSN's assessment process

Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on January 14th, 2016 4:00am

The Kamloops Area Preservation Association congratulates the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) for establishing its own Project Assessment Process for the proposed Ajax Mine. KAPA also applauds the decision by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) that the mine proponent, KGHM Ajax, must participate in the SSN’s assessment process, as outlined in a November 20, 2015 letter from the EAO to KGHM Ajax, posted on the EAO website.!-1807974911!1448063277098.pdf

Stk’emlupsemc has developed their assessment process based on Secwepemc law, and involves the member communities and families. Details of the assessment process will be shared publicly once the agreements with the Crown and proponent are finalized.

“The First Nations have essentially created their own panel review process, and it is our understanding that this process involves community hearings for First Nations members,” KAPA spokesperson, John Schleiermacher observes. “We have also learned that the Stk’emlupsemc Project Assessment Process has the endorsement and participation of both the federal and provincial governments, and KGHM Ajax,” Schleiermacher adds.

“The First Nations elected leaders have worked diligently to ensure that their constituents have the equivalent of a panel review, the highest level of environmental assessment” Schleiermacher points out. “Why have our MP, Cathy McLeod, and our MLAs, Terry Lake, Todd Stone, and Jackie Tegart, failed to secure a panel review and public hearings for everyone else?” Schleiermacher asks.

“Only Kamloops City Council has made any effort on behalf of its constituents to obtain a panel review with community hearings for the proposed mine,” Schleiermacher notes.

“We already know the present assessment process is inadequate because it is ignoring key recommendations of the Mt. Polley Review panel for proposed tailings ponds, and it is excluding the cumulative effects of developing other nearby ore bodies that are owned by KGHM Ajax, some of which are even closer to Kamloops residents,” Schleiermacher contends.

“Lack of public hearings for the proposed mine raise serious questions of accountability and due process that the federal and provincial governments must ultimately answer to. What the First Nations have achieved shows that it is not too late for the federal and provincial governments to establish a panel review,” Schleiermacher concludes.


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