It’s nail-biting time on Ajax application

KAMLOOPS — There’s a sense of nervous anticipation these days with respect to the Ajax proposal, much as there is when a jury is in the final stages of deliberation at a big trial.

In fact, that’s a pretty apt comparison. In the six years since the proposal surfaced, Ajax has gone through several phases of the decision-making process as the pros and cons have been argued.

The clock is now ticking on the final steps. Never has a decision been of more importance to Kamloops and the surrounding region.

Tonight, Monday, June 19, the City will host a town hall meeting at which the public can hear presentations from SLR Consulting and Interior Health on reviews of the Ajax application.

“Town hall” is a misnomer. A true town hall meeting is a community forum, and a forum is an opportunity for dialogue, for engagement, for interaction, discussion.

City Hall has made it clear it doesn’t want the meeting to be a forum but, rather, an evening of presentations and straight-forward questions and answers. The format is well-intentioned — the City doesn’t want a raucous debate of pros and cons; it wants to let people ask questions, to receive answers, and that’s it.

As Acting Mayor Arjun Singh puts it, “I don’t want any cheering and booing.”

So, anyone expecting a lively back-and-forth on the merits of the open-pit mine will be disappointed. The agenda calls first for a short presentation from Interior Health, including medical health officer Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi, and Ivor Norlin, manager of infrastructure programs, health protection.

That will be followed by the main course, a presentation by SLR Consulting on the independent review of the mine application it carried out on behalf of the City. The meeting promises, quite frankly, to be a snoozer in terms of live action, though full of important technical stuff. The 70-page report has already been on the City’s website for a week, so anyone with a deep-dish interest in the project will have had a good…

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