Science or Political Science ?

Here is a quick cynical thought on the politics playing out in BC.

Let’s look at the BC government’s handling of the Propserity Mine proposal, the Federal response to the mine and how that might relate to the Enbridge oil pipeline proposal.

Bear with me as this convoluted tale plays out as follows.

  • 2010. Prosperity proposes the ridiculous notion that they can simply drain Fish Lake and use it as a tailing pond, not to mention it will be one of the world’s largest open-pit mines mining sub-grade ore. (This company is proceeding as if it is 1914 – the good old days when they did anything they wanted)
  • Our illustrious BC government approves the mine. Mines Minister Bennett (no relation to me thank goodness) is a strong proponent for the mine despite overwhelming scientific  evidence that this mine is an environmental and social disaster.
  • 2011. The Federal Environmental review rejects the mine – for good reason. (despite BC approval)
  • BC government objects and continues to lobby for the mine.
  • The mine company re-applies – no longer draining fish Lake. A tailing pond will be built nearby instead. All the other issues regarding contamination, groundwater influence and First Nations’ concerns still remain.
  • BC government approves the new proposal and continues to lobby the Feds.
  • 2013. The Feds reject the mine again in a scathing review.
  • BC Mines Minister continues to lobby for the mine.
  • Ironically and sadly, “The area that TML [Prosperity] wanted to turn into one of the world’s biggest open-pit, low-grade gold and copper mines was featured in B.C.’s own tourism pamphlets, yet Bennett dismissed it as a “muddy little pothole of a lake.” – See more at: (rejected)
  • BC government wants a one-window review process (i.e. let BC cabinet decide and keep the Federal Review out).  The Feds are considering this.

It is certainly obvious that our BC government cannot be trusted to make the right decision.

So what happens now. Here is the cynical thought: The Federal Conservative Cabinet will approve the Enbridge pipeline and brush off any criticism that they ignored the science and public concerns by holding up the rejected Prosperity mine as evidence that they listen to science and public concerns, which on the surface seems to be true.

Could it be, however, that the Federal Cabinet rejected the mine as a political sacrifice for the bigger approval coming for the pipeline? Do you think under different circumstances, without Enbridge/Gateway in the offing, the Feds would have approved the mine? For now it seems the Federal Cabinet did the right thing on the mine – let’s see what happens next for the pipeline.

Is it science or political science?

Further reference – Substantial concerns regarding the Prosperity mine include:

 

 

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