September 19, 2013 - 4:15 PM
KAMLOOPS – Support from the Union of B.C. Municipalities came today for a resolution penned by concerned Kamloops residents asking the province to modernize the Mineral Tenure Act.
Members of the Kamloops Area Preservation Association, Kamloops Moms for Clean Air and Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment came together to ask local governments to lobby the provincial government for changes to the act.
“Making changes to the Mineral Tenure Act is consistent with the growing awareness that the health of local populations must be considered in the project review process,” the group says in their letter. “We believe it is extremely important that local governments and First Nations across B.C. support efforts to enshrine their right to refuse proposals that threaten the well-being of their citizens or local eco-systems.”
With concern that the act has remained substantially the same since the 1800s and does not give weight to economic activities such as tourism, forestry and farming the town of Tofino sponsored the resolution and today local municipalities voted to support asking the province to work towards modernizing the act.
"It's time to modernize BC's outdated Mineral Tenure Act in a way that ensures the full range of interests - including social, cultural, ecological and economic - are given fair consideration on BC's land base. That was the thrust of our resolution," Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne said in a release today.
The resolution asks for the province to undertake a broad-based public engagement process similar to that what is being done with the Water Act to ensure a range of interests, including social, cultural, ecological and economic, are given fair consideration on land base.
The modernization of the Water Act went to the public engagement and policy development phase in December 2009 after the background research was completed. Currently it is in the legislative drafting phase and will be introduced as a bill next year.
A study by West Coast Environmental Law and Fair Mining Collaborative outlining the negative impacts of a “free entry” mining law and best practices from other jurisdictions was also release publically today. Union members had access to the report prior to voting on the resolution earlier today.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013