Open letter to Brad Cathers, Minister of Energy Mines and Resources,
I wish you would stop demonizing the mining industry. By excluding mine shareholders and the workers who fly in weekly, by disallowing them to comment in the Peel consultation process because they aren’t Yukoners, is simply not fair.
The ads your department posted said, “We want to Hear from You”, not, “We want to hear from Yukoners, only.” These ads were in newspapers and websites that are read with interest all over the world.
In all 10,500 stakeholders, shareholders and interested people worldwide took the time to consider the Peel issue, this is remarkable and you should honour ALL of them. I won’t even bother to get into the stupidity of not providing a statistical count of the results. Everyone loses on that one.
But I think your comments in the legislature last week about Chevron’s Crest Iron Ore deposit made you no friends around the board table at Chevron. To suggest that an oil company could hold the Yukon hostage with lawsuits for an in-the-middle-of-nowhere, iron-ore deposit is a public relations nightmare.
Chevron knows that it will never be able to develop that mine or any other oil and gas interest without the social licence and subsidies from Yukon people. Everything from our regulatory bodies and First Nation governments, to the law of the land has to be taken into account before a mine can happen.
No one likes to be bullied. The mere suggestion that an oil company would be so quick to empty its deep pockets on lawyers with a whole bunch of outraged locals ready to fight, is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Irresponsible.
Mr. Cathers, you are creating a lot of ill-will between the Yukon people and the mining industry. We would all like you to think before you speak next time.