Column: Let experts have final say

Mount Polley Mine will probably be in the news for some time to come.

Mount Polley Mine will probably be in the news for some time to come.

The focus at the moment is on its reopening.

I missed the meeting last week but according to reports, those from all sides of the debate had their say. Some want the mine back in operation as soon as possible, some want it closed forever and some are saying reopen but let’s do it right.

My own view, and I believe it’s shared by many, is that any decision should be based on the best expert opinion available. There are a number of studies underway.

The government-ordered Independent Panel has reported, but two other official studies, one by the Chief Inspector of Mines the other by the BC Conservation Officers Service, have not. If those two don’t count, why were they commissioned in the first place?

Some local politicians are among those lobbying to get the show back on the road without further delay.

No doubt they are under pressure.

No one argues that the mine plays a huge role in the local economy, but with all due respect along with love and kisses, I don’t know that any of our elected officials have expertise in mining or the environment.

There is too much riding on this for it to be a political football. Engineers, technicians, biologists, etc. have to have the final say on the reopening. We don’t want another disaster.

Williams Lake Band Councillor Councillor Rick Gilbert is quoted as saying the mine should re-open but not until all the cleanup is completed, and that we have to ensure this never happens again. Amen to that.

***

Our cat, a rather large and usually shedding animal, has recently taken to sleeping on my computer desk, between the monitor and the key board.

He prefers to do this when I’m using the computer and he gets huffy when he’s removed. I like animals but people are mostly more reasonable.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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