STAHN: Where does the community really stand on Ajax?
By Jennifer Stahn
(JENNIFER STAHN /InfoTel Multimedia)
October 03, 2015 - 10:39 AM
In recent years the organizations steadfast in their opposition to the proposed Ajax Mine have been the loud ones. They show up to council meetings and open houses, plan protests and rallies, and in general, make their feelings about the possibility of having an open-pit mine on the outskirts of Kamloops very clear.
But it seems the tide is starting to change. Those in support of the mine are starting to come out in much larger numbers and in some cases are far outnumbering those against the mine.
At a town hall meeting about a review into the mine this week the naysayers dominated the mic, but the supporters dominated the room. While only a handful of supporters spoke up during the first half of the meeting, about two-thirds of the attendees were sporting bright green ‘Support Ajax’ badges.
The eye-rolling and head shaking that could be seen throughout the audience while many of the opponents listed ‘questions’ about the mine during the town hall meeting gives a glimpse as to how annoyed some people have become with the opponents.
The Support AJAX MINE Facebook page has also surpassed the Stop Ajax Mine page by more than 1,000 people.
Support AJAX MINE page founder Caroline King, a self-described ‘mine brat’, says she can understand people wanting to know more about the mine before supporting it but finds many of the concerns brought forward by opponents off-base.
“Why would you bring up things that don’t exist? Why not ask about dust? That’s a legitimate concern,” she said at the meeting Monday night, Sept. 28.
It seems the quiet confidence of King and others who support the Ajax Mine, and often tout an abundance of jobs that would come with a new mine, is winning more people over than the opponent’s speeches, events and editorials, which are often referred to as fear-mongering.
In a project this large, with the potential for having a huge impact on our city, it’s easy to see why people would be either adamantly opposed or in support. But there seems to be an even larger group who are in support of the mine, if, and only if, it will be safe for Kamloops residents, our environment and our wildlife.
And with the review of the actual environmental application just around the corner we might finally see whether fears have been justified or if we will soon see a growth in jobs.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015