December 23, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Kamloops residents will likely have to wait until the New Year for word on a federal panel review into the proposed Ajax Mine.
According to Mayor Peter Milobar, Ottawa has admitted the city’s appeal for a review was ‘lost in the shuffle’ forcing the city to resend the original request.
Milobar says a letter and email was sent to the Trudeau government after the council meeting of Nov. 24. Recently, it was discovered the correspondence had been misplaced.
“It's not surprising. It’s a brand new government, there’s lots of things happening in the country,” Milobar says.
He says it not uncommon for requests to the provincial government to be misplaced or wrongly filed and Ottawa is doing the same job on a much larger scale.
“Last we've heard we're part of a very long list for requests,” Milobar says.
When the decision was originally made in council, Milobar had no objection but did mention current Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna would be the third minister the city has approached. He thought the likelihood the new Trudeau government would grant a federal panel review was still slim.
“I was trying to be very realistic for people, there's lots of process behind it,” Milobar says, adding “I don't have a huge issue with the current process.”
In October 2013 Milobar met with former Conservative Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who turned down the city’s request for the federal review.
If a review happens, it would likely run in tandem with a provincial one.
Mining company KGHM’s application requirements on the Ajax Mine were recently declared complete by the B.C. government. The company has recently said it would submit the application in its entirety by the end of January, which would then move the proposed mine into the review and public input stage.
If the open-pit copper and gold mine is granted an environmental license it will operate just southwest of Kamloops.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015