EDITORIAL: What effect will NDP-Green pact have on Ajax?

The twists and turns in post-election B.C. will create waves that may alter the province from north to south in myriad and profound ways, including right here in Kamloops.

While Premier Christy Clark has vowed to follow tradition, form government this month and test the legislature’s confidence via a vote on the B.C. Liberal government’s throne speech, it is only a matter of time until her government is defeated (notwithstanding a Liberal coup to entice a non-Liberal MLA or two to cross the floor).

We will then have an NDP minority government propped up by the support of the three Green MLAs, who have vowed to support the New Democrats on all matters of confidence (budget and supply bills).

The NDP-Green pact has all eyes on various sectors as energy projects, the way we vote, minimum wage, tax rates, transportation, political donations and much more become caught up in the seismic shift that is expected to accompany the slimmest of possible majorities making decisions in Victoria.

The fate of a project that has divided Kamloops for a decade, the proposed Ajax open-pit copper and gold mine south of Aberdeen — could be in the hands of a government desired by opponents of the KGHM proposal.

Remember, after all this time — after the numerous public meetings, including the City of Kamloops’ trio in June and July  and after the extended review period — the proposed mine requires the approval of both Ottawa and Victoria. If one side nixes the proposal, it is dead.

During the recent provincial election campaign, only the two local Green candidates — Donovan Cavers and Dan Hines — stated their opposition to Ajax. The Liberal and NDP candidates would not stake a claim to clearly supporting nor opposing the project, though Liberal Todd Stone did say he hopes the mine can be approved pending meeting all conditions.

If the NDP-Green alliance can survive long enough, will it mean Ajax’s prospects for survival have diminished? If so, how…

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