Letter to Cathy McLeod from KAPA RE: Ajax Mine

Posted by Stop Ajax Mine on October 12th, 2011 2:29pm

The following letter was sent to Cathy McLeod on October 12, 2011 after she publicly stated in the October 6th edition of the Kamloops Daily News that she would take the city's request for a federal review panel however she did not believe a federla review panel was warranted. 

"McLeod said while she's willing to take the City's concerns to Kent, she doesn't believe that Ajax requires a review panel."


Kamloops Area Preservation Association.

Kamloops, B.C.

October 12, 2011.


Dear Ms. McLeod:

On September 15, 2011, Dr. Judith Naylor, Ms. Ruth Madsen, Ms. Fawn Knox, Mr. Don Barz and Mr. Michael Hewitt met with you at your constituency office to discuss the environmental assessment process for the proposed KGHM Ajax mine. At that meeting we explained to you in detail why we believed that the federal Environment Minister should appoint a Federal Review Panel to examine the Ajax proposal. We recall that you listened very patiently to what we had to say and, somewhat to our surprise and delight, stated (twice) that if the Kamloops City Council requested a federal review panel, you would write a letter of support to the the Hon. Peter Kent, Environment Minister. At no time during that meeting did you give any indication that you disagreed with our position. In fact, we were left with the distinct impression that you also believed that the project should get the highest level of environmental assessment, thus ensuring that the people of Kamloops would have their interests taken into account by a well qualified, unbiased agency.

Imagine our disappointment, therefore, to read statements attributed to you in the October 6th edition of the Kamloops Daily News, which state that you are willing to take the council decision forward to the Minister, but you don't support it. The article goes to further state that you do not believe the Ajax project requires a review panel. This despite the fact that the following projects ( and others not listed), all located much further from the nearest community than is the case with Ajax, did have  a Federal Review Panel appointed:

1. Marathon Platinum/Copper project (ONT). Nearest community. Marathon, population 3,863, 10 kilometres from the mine project.

2. Voisey's Bay, Kemess and prosperity mine. None of them anywhere near urban centres.

3. Cheviot coal mine (Alta). Population, 56. 12 kilometres from the proposed mine.

4. Jackpine Mine expansion. Joslyn Mine, Pierre River Mine, Kearl Lake Oil Sands and Muskeg River mine expansion. Closest community is Fort Mackay, 14 kilometres from the nearest mine. Population, less than 1000.

5. Lac Dore Vanadium Mine project. Nearest community, Chibougamau, 70 kilometres from the mine site. Population 7.563.

6. White Point Quarry project (Digby Neck, NS), a very sparsely populated area with less than 1000 permanent residents. This quarry would produce 40,000 tonnes of aggregate per week. Ajax would drill, blast, haul & crush 180,000 tonnes of rock per day.

Assuming the Daily News report to be correct, why will you not now support the view that the Ajax project, partly within the city boundary should, without delay, be afforded the best level of environmental review?  Why should there be any delay in appointing such a panel now that the city council, which speaks for its 87,000 citizens, has requested a Federal Review Panel? Are you supporting the view that the BC Environmental Assessment Office is competent enough to conduct a proper environmental assessment, given its poor record with regard Prosperity Mine. In that instance the Federal Review Panel found the Comprehensive Environmental Assessment had serious deficiencies? Read the report of the Northwest Institute, which compares the British Columbia and Federal Assessments of the Prosperity Mine. The shortcomings of the provincial assessment were found to be many and serious, and unquestionably point to the need for a Federal Review Panel to assess the Ajax proposal. The BC Auditor General's report on the work of the BC EAO also found serious shortcomings in many aspects of the BC EAO's efficiency, effectiveness and - most troubling - the lack of  transparency. The BC Auditor General reported that the BC EAO was not making appropriate monitoring, compliance and outcome information available to the public to ensure accountability, once a mining permit had been issued. The June 16, 2011 public meeting held by the BC EAO and CEAA to discuss the KGHM Ajax project was an unmitigated disaster insofar as public input was concerned. A critique of that meeting will soon be made public.

The issue of obtaining the best possible level of environmental assessment will continue to be placed before the citizens of this city, and the politicians who represent them, for KAPA believes that nothing less than the best is suitable for this vast project, half of which is located within city limits. The precautionary principle should prevail. That is, exercise the duty to do no harm when it is in your power to do so, even when all the evidence is not in. Canada is a signatory to treaties which support the Precautionary Principle. We expect Canada to follow though on that commitment. And we request that you follow through with the clear commitment you made to the undersigned on September 15th, 2011. Your commitment was that should the city of Kamloops request a Federal Review Panel, you would support them by writing to the federal Environment Minister requesting a federal review panel for the KGHM-Ajax project.

Yours truly,


Dr. J. Naylor MD, Chairperson, drjnaylor@telus.net;  Ms. Fawn Knox, Secretary, fawnfknox@gmail.com; Ms.Ruth Madsen, Environmental Co-ordinator, ruthjmadsen@gmail.com ; Mr. D. Barz, Researcher, dbarz@shaw.ca; Mr. Michael Hewitt, Researcher, hmhewitt@telus.net.

Kamloops Area Preservation Association (KAPA) 


There are currently no comments on this blog post.

Post a Comment