Two on-land spills of toxic mine tailings in less than a week, surprisingly high support at the Amax annual shareholders' meeting in New York and an interim report from the McInerney Scientific Review Panel which confirms many of the long-range fears of the Nishga Indians, environmental groups and church bodies ... a scenario which developed quickly in the past few days has prompted renewed cries for a public inquiry into the Amax Corporation's mine operation in Kitsault, British Columbia.
Archbishop E.W. Scott, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has sent another strong request to the Federal Government to "set up a public inquiry...as quickly as possible. In am convinced," the Archbishop continued, "such an inquiry would be in the best interests of the governments concerned, the Amax Company, the Nishga people and the general public."
The Primate's telex was sent on Tuesday, May 12th, to the Prime Minister; the Ministers of the Environment; Federal Fisheries and Oceans; and Indian and Northern Affairs.
The full text of the Archbishop's telex is enclosed.
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For further information, please contact:
Consultant in National Affairs
Richard J. Berryman
Anglican Church of Canada
600 Jarvis Street
Toronto, Ont. M4Y 2J6
May 12, 1981
In the light of the Amax shareholders' action last week in New York whereby 1.5 million shares were voted in favour of our resolution calling for a moratorium and full public inquiry into the Kitsault marine disposal of tailings and a further 16 million abstained; and in the light of national public opinion and the many serious doubts raised by the McInerney interim report which confirms the validity of the fears expressed by the Nishga Tribal Council re the potential damage to marine life and human health, I again urge you to set up a public inquiry under the Public Inquiries Act as quickly as possible. I am convinced such an inquiry would be in the best interests of the governments concerned, the Amax Company, the Nishga people and the general public.
That the following be included after the words "Alice Arm" at the end of the first section of the resolution:
"and to declare a moratorium upon development of the resource until technology is developed to safely dispose of the tailings."
The Amendment was accepted by the mover and seconder of the motion.
The motion now reads:
"That the 29th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, through the Primate, urge the Federal Government to withdraw its special order-in-council; that is, the "Alice Arm Tailings Deposit Regulations, SOR 79-345", permitting the Amax Corporation to dump its effluent into Alice Arm, and to declare a moratorium upon development of the resource until technology is developed to safely dispose of the tailings.
And further, that this Synod requests the Primate, in co-operation with the Diocese of Caledonia to initiate discussions between the Federal Government, the Province of British Columbia, the Nishga Tribal Council, and the Amax Corporation, in order to determine the terms on which the Amax Corporation might proceed, giving due consideration to the need for effective environmental protection and the need for the participation of the Nishga People in the developmental process.