September 10, 2014 - 11:01 AM
KAMLOOPS - Mayor and councillors may disagree with the lack of additional public input being provided for the proposed Ajax Mine but refused to endorse one councillor's personal attack over the issue.
In a recent letter to council, Scott Bailey with the Environmental Assessment Office, agreed to host a public information session on the environmental application process as well as attend a council meeting early this fall. He also said he has no intention of holding a second public input session, despite recent changes to the mine footprint and the tailings storage.
And that drew the ire of Coun. Donovan Cavers Tuesday afternoon.
That second piece is what made Coun. Donovan Cavers lash out Tuesday afternoon.
“I feel Mr. Bailey is almost as incompetent as the (Environmental Assessment Office) seems to be,” he said. “I’m sure the (office) is very busy right now… they seem to be understaffed.”
Councillors originally willing to send a followup letter to Bailey quickly backtracked following the attack, saying they did not want to be attached to his comments.
“I don’t support (the letter) after the character assassination, the personal character attack,” Mayor Peter Milobar said. “It makes it tough to support things when you start trying to personalize things. I’m not going to be attached to things like that.”
Coun. Arjun Singh agreed and noted he was very upset by what Cavers said.
“I care for (Cavers) a great deal, but what you said offended me,” Singh said. “I’m going to be quiet… because I’m going to get very upset.”
Singh asked Cavers to apologize and then left council chambers several times following the statement to cool down while Cavers defended his stance.
“It was not a character assassination, it is my interpretation of the quality of the letter,” he said. “I expect a higher standard from a provincial body that is assessing something of this magnitude.”
In the end, only Coun. Tina Lange, who originally put the motion forward, joined Cavers in voting to send a followup letter to Bailey, with the remaining council members refusing to stand by Cavers in his statements.
Several council members said they hope to speak in person to Bailey, or whoever the representative from the office is who comes to Kamloops in the fall, about a possible second public input session for the requirements for the proposed mine.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014