The government will not compensate Keno residents who wish to move out of the community because of mining activity, said Resources Minister Brad Cathers.
Nine people signed a petition urging the government to compensate them for harm done to the tourism industry and potential health and safety risks of the nearby mines.
But compensation is not warranted, Cathers told the legislature.
“The government is working hard to ensure the community benefits from mining activity in the area. The goal is to ensure that mining in the community of Keno can coexist and, Mr. Speaker, we believe this is the case.
“For that reason, we do not believe compensating Keno residents who wish to leave would be consistent with either the goal of supporting development in that area or government’s obligations.”
The government’s response will likely come as no surprise to Bob Wagner, a signatory of the petition, who recently moved away from Keno.
“We don’t really expect anything will come out of anything that we do,” said Wagner in November. “Our experience is that Keno does not matter, that the people in Keno do not matter to the agendas that are out there right now.”
Government and industry are working together to remediate the effects that historic mining has had on the environment, said Cathers.
“While we cannot go back in time and regulate the past, work is underway today to successfully remediate these historic environmental issues, making the region a better place to live and work in addressing those ongoing environmental issues.”
The government has also supported the local tourism industry with funding for the local museum, he said.