News from MiningWatch Canada
miningwatch.ca has been completely redesigned - with more information about mining in Canada and around the world where Canadian mining companies operate. Information is more easily accessible by country, by issue or by company. The site will be officially “launched” on September 15. Visit us soon and often for the latest news.
On June 28, 2005, MiningWatch released a study highly critical of the policies and practices of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). According to the report, Protecting Fish/Protecting Mines - What is the real job of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?, DFO - the federal agency mandated to manage and protect fish and fish habitat in inland waters – has allowed extensive destruction of fish habitat from mining development, ignoring its own mandate as well as public concern and advice from independent scientists. The report has generated a great deal of interest – over 2,500 downloads from the website within the first three weeks – with feedback received from DFO, the mining industry, First Nations and environmental groups who have commented on accuracy, timeliness and balance of the report.
On July 5, 2005, MiningWatch submitted comments on the federal Environmental Assessment report on the Victor Mine. The comment demands a panel review and a delay in approvals for the mine, so that the affected First Nations will have time to create the capacity, land use planning and education to benefit from the profits from mine over generations. The finding in the CEAA report of "no significant environmental effects" boggles the mind. The Victor Mine is an experiment in mining in muskeg using dewatering wells, for which there is no precedent. It is like mining a sponge in a bath tub. Comments from Wildlands League, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Muskegowuk Council can be read at www.wildlandsleague.org.
Susan Isaac will be leaving MiningWatch Canada at the end of August to look for other opportunities. She has been a wonderful asset to the organization, helping to streamline administrative systems and develop resources, as well as researching and writing the paper Protecting Fish/ Protecting Mines: What is the Real Job of the Department of Fisheries an Oceans? She will be deeply missed.
Julea Boswell will be starting September 6 in a new position, Administration and Resource Development Co-ordinator. Julea has extensive experience in this capacity, working with the arts and recreation communities in Ottawa.
We have had two summer students this year: Kelly Fritsch, a Masters student at Carleton, has been working on website redesign. Jamison Young, a law student at the University of Ottawa, has been preparing the background paper for a conference on regulating Canadian mining companies operating internationally to be held in late October.