Ottawa – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo is pleased to confirm that a meeting has been scheduled with Environment Minister Peter Kent for December 1, 2011 regarding the Ajax mine proposal.
“Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar, or his successor, will travel to Ottawa to present their position regarding a formal panel review of the proposed Ajax mine,” said McLeod. “I’m pleased Minister Kent has accommodated this request so quickly, and I’m sure that he will make a determination based on the legislative criteria.”
The project currently is undergoing a comprehensive environmental assessment (EA) under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The project is also subject to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act, and the federal and provincial assessments are being conducted in tandem; this harmonized approach is intended to ensure as efficient and accurate an assessment as possible.
The Minister of the Environment may refer at any time a project to a review panel if he is of the opinion that the potential of the project to cause significant adverse environmental effects, or the public concerns, warrant such a referral.
In the past, courts have concluded that in order to support the referral of a project to a review panel, public concerns must be linked to potential significant adverse environmental effects and those effects must be linked to areas of federal jurisdiction.
“I do understand that the decision around Ajax mine is a very important one for the City of Kamloops. The Environmental Assessment process has been designed to be arms-length from political interference with a decision based on a scientific assessment of the Ajax project,” stated McLeod.
“I look forward to the meeting with Minister Kent and the discussion regarding the specifics of a formal panel review,” concluded McLeod.