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More doctors are speaking out against Ajax

Dr. Jill Calder, a leading member of Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment, speaks to the crowd at the Stop Ajax Rally Saturday afternoon.
October 31, 2013 - 11:52 AM

KAMLOOPS – Even more medical voices have joined the growing number of doctors, nurses and physicians questioning the proposed Ajax mine and the need for proper health impact assessments.

Last week Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment released an email from Medical Health Officer Dr. Peter Barss from June 2012.

“In my professional opinion the proposed Ajax Kamloops open pit mine is ill conceived and poorly situated, and therefore unsafe, and would represent, if enacted, a serious public health hazard for the city and peoples of Kamloops. The project should therefore be declared as such as soon as possible,” Barss said in an email to his colleagues and the B.C. Chief Medical Officer.

As the group continues to sift through the related documents received under a Freedom of Information Act request the group is finding that several public health colleagues share the doctor's opinion.

“The proposed Ajax project is unprecedented in respect of the potential noise and air quality impacts on an urban centre,” the Environmental Health Officer for Interior Health, Misty Palm, said in one email.

Another doctor for Interior Health said there are 'obvious and significant concerns' when it comes to the placement of the mine. In that same email to Barss Parker said 'extreme due diligence should be taken by all parties to ensure that human health is protected.'

Also obtained under the request is an email from Dr. Catherine Elliot, a Physician Epidemiologist with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control who expresses concern over the lack of methodology in the plans for a human health risk assessment.

The local physicians group feel these additional voices help lend weight to the need for a full health impact assessment.

Members of the group were among the some 350 people taking part in a Stop Ajax Rally Saturday afternoon in front of the KGHM office in downtown Kamloops as well.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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