By BJ Bjornson
Why, oh why does this story sound so familiar?
An old N.W.T. gold mine that was recently cleaned up by the federal government is set to become a mine once again.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) took control of the heavily contaminated Colomac Mine site in 1999 after its owner, Royal Oak Mines, went bankrupt. Cleanup work was completed this year.
Now, mineral company Merc International Minerals Inc. announced it is acquiring the mineral rights to the property.
. . .
Tlicho elder Joseph Judas said he doesn't understand why the federal government would let another company mine at Colomac after it took them nearly 10 years and millions of dollars to clean it up.
Well Joseph, near as I can tell, the reason is likely that this federal government is made up of �business friendly� Conservatives, which means that they are happy to help out their business friends by spending taxpayer dollars to clean up the mess one of those friendly businesses left behind once the mine stopped being profitable enough, and then once the costly mess has been dealt with, they are more than happy to let another one of those friendly businesses move in to make even more money off of the property without all that nasty toxic clean-up to worry about anymore.
Being �business friendly� also likely means that the Conservatives will not be pushing too hard for the mining company to put up a bond against the eventual clean-up costs for this new project. After all, it wouldn�t be �friendly� to note that mining companies have a notorious history for spinning off failing mines that then declare bankruptcy and stick the clean-up bill to the taxpayers.
After all, friendship is all about trust, and if you can�t trust a mining company to clean up after itself, who can you trust really?