Medical Health Officer believed Ajax such a serious health hazard
that the review process should have been stopped.
October 23, 2013
Dr. Peter Barss was the Interior Health Authority's Medical Health Officer from 2010 - 2013. The Medical Health Officer is appointed under the Public Health Act to protect public health and safety. Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment Society, by obtaining documentation through Freedom of information requests, has concluded that Dr. Barss expressed grave concerns over the potential health impacts of the Ajax mine.
In an email directed to his Medical Health colleagues and the BC Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall, Dr. Barss stated:
"Hence, in my professional opinion the proposed Ajax Kamloops open pit mine is ill conceived and poorly situated, and therefore unsafe, and would represent, if enacted, a serious public health hazard for the city and peoples of Kamloops. The project should therefore be declared as such as soon as possible. As I understand, under Article 31 of the BC Public Health Act, the Ministry of Mines, Ministry of the Environment, and the EAO should therefore be ordered to stop the review process for the proposal and remove it from further consideration."
The documents we obtained under the Freedom of Information Act would suggest that his concerns were shared by several of his colleagues.