Dear Editor: According to several items in The Western Star and an interview on CBC radio, I am not the only taxpayer in Corner Brook with serious concerns and a number of unanswered questions regarding Thomas Resources Inc. requesting the right to continue mining operations in our watershed. The following highlights several of my concerns:
Why is the director of Community Services for Corner Brook Mr. Paul Barnable the city’s lead person on this file? I listened to him during a CBC radio interview on this matter and of course, he was not able to answer many of the more technical questions stating the company should be contacted. This is highly technical demanding significant expertise and I am sure Mr. Barnable is a dedicated public servant but is it fair to Mr. Barnable or taxpayers in this community to place him in this situation? Does this raise concerns about the current level of abilities of those dealing with this matter and do we not have local expertise to address these questions? If not, how can anyone approve permits that allow anyone to mine anything in our watershed without adequate information?
When contacted by an interviewer on CBC radio to request some of these details, it is my understanding the company declined to provide a representative to answer any questions on the radio. I tried finding out any information about Thomas Resources Inc. and there doesn’t appear to be anything on the Internet. This even includes on Corner Brook’s own website and information describing the project a phone number with the CEO and principle contact number names blackened out. I looked up the phone number on Bell 411 which states there is no listing for the stated number. Could be my error and hopefully those providing the approval for Thomas Resources on our city council have more luck in getting some details into this companys background. Shouldn’t it be a priority to have some details and information about an entity one is doing business particularily when your are representing the public and on such an important matter?
The current request appears to be for a limited number of holes to be drilled and I understand a winter “project” and not a very large one at that.
What happens if this company hits something and wants further access to expand? This could cause a major problem for us because of the very nature of business — growth, big trucks and human traffic, storage sheds, oil and gas tanks while maximizing profits.
Would any level of success not usher in a period of development that would place our watershed at serious risk? A watershed that provides an important and excellent source of water for our community.
I don't know when the vote on Thomas Resources Inc. project will be on the list for a vote by city council but anyone out there doubt it will be soon, well before the next municipal election?
Steve Ransier, Corner Brook