To the editor;
I have read many negative articles of late around mining in B.C. and I want to get my two bits into the discussion.
Geologists, explorers, and developers all know that B.C., which has a land mass larger than Texas, France and Germany combined, is vastly under explored.
To encourage investment and exploration, the provincial government implemented a two-zone system to provide certainty for explorers and promote investment while also protecting parks, ecological reserves, sensitive environmental areas and other potential wilderness tourism areas.
However, a strong sense of NIMBYism and relentless badgering in the media by certain well-funded special interest groups is stifling exploration of potentially rich mineral deposits that could result in foreign investment, economic development, and thousands of jobs for British Columbians. Even local politicians are getting into the game in the lead up to the municipal elections this month.
However, the concerns expressed by these special interests and politicians are grossly exaggerated and have little or no regard to the science or the social well-being of communities.
We have to keep in mind that the land area actually impacted by mineral exploration in B.C. is much less than 0.01 per cent of our total land base. And the actual likelihood that exploration activity will result in a mine, after multiple environmental review and the economics of production are taken into consideration, is minuscule.
Yet the benefits are great and could potentially provide livelihoods for entire communities for generations to come and contribute directly and indirectly to the growth of many, many associated small businesses. This is good for all taxpayers and even for the many non-profit groups all over B.C. that benefit from the voluntary financial support exploration companies provide.
In this municipal election, I would therefore like to encourage everyone to carefully consider which candidates for election can best facilitate ongoing mineral exploration activities in B.C., and provide certainty for potential investors, while ensuring that sensitive areas and parks are protected. We must move forward.
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