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iN PHOTOS: Residents wear their support and opposition at Ajax town hall meeting

Most of the crowd at the town hall meeting on the Ajax mine proposal Monday, June 19, 2017 wore their opinion for everyone to see.
June 20, 2017 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS – The warning sign at the entrance of the conference room was clear: no signs or placards allowed, but that didn't stop creative residents from literally wearing their support on their sleeves at last night's town hall meeting on the proposed Ajax mine.

A sea of neon green shirts donned by Ajax supporters dominated the crowd of about 500 residents. Not to be outdone, anti-Ajax folks wore blue shirts to represent a code blue hospital emergency. Peppered in the mix were a few creative homemade shirts.

SLR Consulting presented their assessment of KGHM's Ajax mine application at the meeting last night, June 19, at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre. At the end of the presentation, people were given a chance to ask the consulting company about the assessment process.

Several residents took that as an opportunity to argue a stance or ask questions about other mining situations that were not in the scope of the presentation.

Deputy mayor Arjun Singh was strict and stopped several people who were not asking clear questions and just arguing a point. There was no applause, jeering, or any audience response allowed and Singh threatened to cut the question period short after one bout of applause.

Kamloops City Council sat in the front of the room during the presentation.
Kamloops City Council sat in the front of the room during the presentation.

Chris Becker was wearing a code blue shirt.

"It means we are concerned about the health of the people of Kamloops. We want the best for people who live here now," he says.

For him, there are still looming questions left from the last town hall meeting.

"They've resolved some of the points and uncertainties from last time. But so far it's very much the same as the last one," Becker says.

The presentations were long and at times heavily filled with terminology. The answers during the question period followed the same pattern and people started filtering out slowly around 8 p.m.

However, Kamloops resident Goetz Kopf didn't take issue with the content or structure of the meeting.

"It's pretty straightforward to me and English is my second language," Kopf says.

Kopf was wearing a neon Ajax support shirt.

"What I don't understand is, regardless of any other impacts, mining was a foundation in terms of industry in Kamloops. It was good enough to build Kamloops, now all of a sudden it isn't good enough?"

Members of Kamloops city council will have their chance to ask SLR Consulting about the assessment process at a special council meeting on June 22 at 9 a.m. in council chambers. The meeting is open to the public but due to the limited seating, Singh suggested that anyone interested in the meeting watch via online live stream on the City's website.

To get caught up on the proposed Ajax mine coverage, click here.

Resident Claudette Laffey wore this handmade anti-Ajax shirt to the public town hall meeting last night, June 19, 2017.
Resident Claudette Laffey wore this handmade anti-Ajax shirt to the public town hall meeting last night, June 19, 2017.

The question period was held at the end of the presentation.
The question period was held at the end of the presentation.

People in support of Ajax mine wore neon green shirts.
People in support of Ajax mine wore neon green shirts.

People opposed to the proposed mine wore blue shirts, referring to a hospital emergency code.
People opposed to the proposed mine wore blue shirts, referring to a hospital emergency code.

Residents took turns asking questions about the assessment process.
Residents took turns asking questions about the assessment process.

Most residents had no problem broadcasting their support or opposition of the proposed mine.
Most residents had no problem broadcasting their support or opposition of the proposed mine.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kim Anderson or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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