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McGuinty accused of breaking promise regarding Adams Mine


Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 08:00

Local News - Kirkland Lake:

The new provincial Liberal government hasn’t had a chance to warm their new chairs in the House and already the NDP is attacking the government on its Adams Mine position.

Marilyn Churley, the NDP’s environmental critic, is accusing the Liberals of breaking a promise by refusing to stop plans to dump garbage in Adams Mine.

However, Timiskaming Cochrane MPP and Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay says he and the government haven’t changed their position on Adams Mine.

“McGuinty Liberals have trashed their commitment to keep garbage out of the Adams Mine and opened the floodgates to cause serious environmental damage,” said Churley.

She bases this on the fact the Ministry of Environment posted a notice entitled “Adams Mine Permit to Take Water”. The notice says the Liberal government has granted a draft “Permit to Take Water” to 1532382 Ontario Inc.

Ramsay says what is happening is an application for the renewal of a Permit to Take Water has been applied for.

“Just as any citizen in province who applies for a permit, he is entitled to, we can’t make arbitrary decision on who can apply for a permit,” said Ramsay.

The posting of the application is just part of the process and not an approval of the application. After the posting there is a 45-day consultation period, when people may bring forward information. After this the application goes to the regional director for a decision.

Ramsay said his position on the Adams Mine has never changed and he views the application as being part of the day-to-day workings of the government. The posting is part of the process and for the Adams Mine project to proceed it requires several permits. Different procedures must be followed for different permits.

Churley says the permit grants the company permission to pump 26 million litres of water per day from the Adams Mine so the proponent can do preliminary construction work on the pit. She also contends that the public has no chance to appeal this decision once it’s finalized.

“It’s becoming more and more clear every day that McGuinty Liberals never had any intention of keeping this promise (Ramsay promising to kill the project) and were willing to say anything to get elected,’ said Churley.

The Adams Mine issue has been ongoing for about 10 years. As an MPP in opposition Ramsay made it clear that he did not support the project, and now he is a minister in the new government he is on record of opposing the Adams Mine project.

ID- 49370

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