September 28, 2015 - 12:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - The City of Kamloops already has a 20-page list of questions for consultants to look at while reviewing the Ajax Mine environmental application but staff still wants to hear from the public on any items they may have missed.
KGHM submitted the environmental application for the proposed Ajax Mine earlier this month and while it has not yet been approved or rejected by the province, the city is hoping to get a jump on the process by having a full list of questions for consultants to consider while reviewing the application.
With that in mind, the city is hosting a town hall meeting tonight, Sept. 28, at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre.
Public Works Director Jen Fretz says the intention of the meeting is two-fold. They want to let the public know what consultants plan on reviewing, but also find out what other community questions are missing from the list and need to be addressed.
“What other questions have we not included that should be there?” Fretz says. “What are your community questions around the proposal? If the community thinks we need something, that’s what we want to hear.”
Fretz says the meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., will begin with a brief introduction and overview of the questions already on the list. The public will then be given the opportunity to voice other questions they would like to see addressed as well. Each person will be given three minutes at the microphone.
She is aware groups both opposing and supporting the mine plan to attend — those in support are planning to wear neon green badges in support of the mine — and hopes they will respect the intention of the meeting.
“I hope people do put some thought into what they want to say and questions they want to put forward,” she says, adding council will not be making a decision one way or another at this meeting. “Our hope is those coming to the mic will help us round out our list of questions. The scope of the review is what we’re trying to set.”
If the application is accepted the project moves on to the public input and review stage. The city has hired a consultant to conduct a review of the application on behalf of the city, which will be funded by KGHM.
Further meetings and workshops will be held by the city during the review stage before council makes a decision on what Kamloops-specific feedback it will provide to the province about the application.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting can submit a 500-word letter to the city’s website between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2.
After the input stage the province will decide whether to allow the project to enter the construction phase. If approved the open-pit copper and gold mine will be located just southwest of Kamloops.
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