[ RadSafe ] "Uranium ban sends radioactive signal"

Franta, Jaroslav frantaj at aecl.ca
Fri May 2 12:32:06 CDT 2008

This really takes the cake !


Uranium ban sends radioactive signal
Globe and Mail, 2 May 2008 


Kevin Krueger [is the] B.C. Minister of State for Mining<SNIP>

But there remains the little matter of why the B.C. government felt the need to act with such finality, and so precipitously. It's certainly not because the government was convinced of any environmental or health peril posed by uranium mining. "Saskatchewan has proved, and is proving every day, that uranium can be mined responsibly," Mr. Krueger says.

That might seem like a solid rationale for allowing carefully scrutinized exploration to proceed. Wrong. "We'll leave our uranium in the ground, and that's what the public wants," says Mr. Krueger, adding that the Liberals have no intention of changing course later, come what may. "That's a forever position, as far as this government is concerned."

The reason is simple enough. The public doesn't like uranium, therefore the government has banned it. A good deal of the public opposition has come from the direction of the Big White ski resort, which would be within sight of the proposed mine. And Mr. Krueger mentions that B.C. won't need the uranium itself, since it has no need for nuclear power.

Unfortunately for B.C., neither of those reasons would have allowed the province to say no to the Boss application. According to Mr. Krueger, an exploration application can only be turned down for a specific environmental or health threat. Having an inchoate dislike for the idea of uranium isn't a sufficient rationale, at least at the regulatory level. And that really is the trigger for the moratorium: The government could not say no to Boss specifically, so it had to deny it - and everyone else.

That approach is out of step, to say the least, with Mr. Krueger's comments from last July, when he assured would-be explorers that uranium mining was possible in B.C. "It is not ruled out. If there's an application for exploration, it will be given full consideration just like any other application. The chief inspector of mines will make a decision on it," he told The Globe and Mail.

But since then, the Liberals have seized the green agenda from the opposition NDP by launching an innovative carbon tax. Why cede that electoral advantage over a minuscule uranium drilling effort that in any case would have tarnished the view from the summits of the Big White ski resort?


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