WIN!!! MLAs shut down Tory bid to open uranium mining ban

WIN!!! MLAs shut down Tory bid to open uranium mining ban

Postby Oscar » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:30 am

MLAs shut down Tory bid to open up uranium mining ban debate

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Andrew Rankin ( Sept. 25, 2019

The province’s Progressive Conservatives have failed in their attempt to gain traction on revisiting the ban on uranium mining in Nova Scotia.

All but two Conservative MLA members of the standing committee on natural resources and economic development voted to keep the province’s ban in place on Tuesday.

The Tory members invited members from the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, including executive director Sean Kirby, to the committee to make a case for lifting the ban but the committee shot the idea down.

The vote came as result of a motion from NDP members asking the committee to reaffirm their support for the ban.

Conservatives Pat Dunn and Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin were the only dissenting votes.

The Tories put the item on the agenda for discussion, arguing that the debate was warranted given the large amount of uranium deposits in the province and the potential for adding mining jobs.

A moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in the province came into effect in 1981 and a public inquiry was launched under Judge Robert McCleave in 1982. The ban was officially made law in 2009.

NDP committee member Lisa Roberts said the item should never have been on the agenda in the first place and the ban shouldn‘t be questioned.

“This topic was put on the table by our Conservative colleagues, against our objections, as we are concerned at any perceived or real weakening of support for the ban that’s currently in place,” said Roberts. “Nova Scotians have resolutely opposed uranium mining for over 30 years.”

The Tories said in an emailed statement that the party respects the majority vote and said its intention for introducing the topic was not to decide whether to lift the ban on mining uranium, but rather to get information and have a conversation on a ban that’s been in place for nearly four decades.

“After hearing statements from witnesses, it is clear that this topic is anything but black and white and we welcome continued discussions on this topic,” read the statement.
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