Dear Editor: The following comments are essentially those which I submitted to city council on Jan. 29.
Dear council members: Let us face it — the upcoming decision by council whether or not to allow drilling at Corner Brook Lake is really about allowing future mining at that location.
No company, its CEO, board of directors or owner is going to spend large sums of money on exploration unless they are convinced or have prior knowledge that the project will be permitted if the test results are positive.
Although now retired, I spent many years in engineering and as a private citizen on the ground in the area in question, both in summer and winter. I can assure you that it is not suitable for this or any other development. Much of it, besides being extremely variable, is very steep with greater than 20 per cent slope, has very little top soil, underground water flow, recently cut over, old woods roads etc. A spill of contaminates such as oil, gas, chemicals, silt etc., will go into the lake adjacent to the outlet or directly into the Corner Brook Stream.
In the latter case, it will be swept rapidly down the stream and into the water intake to Trout Pond, thence into the city water supply with no way of stopping it. We may not even know if it is happening. It will be of no use then to say the possibility of this occurrence was supposed to be remote. Thomas Resources are playing the “jobs” game as the upside of this development — 50 jobs over 30 years; $50 million in investment, trying to convince council they must act favorably to promote growth in the city.
In fact, there is no guarantee on the dollar value or whether or not the majority of the jobs would be in Corner Brook or even in the province itself.
The Grenfell Student Union has it right when they noted that “full scale development, the ultimate goal, comes as too a great risk.”
Has the watershed management committee, if it still exists, made a recommendation to council? If so, let them as a whole and individually, make it public.
I also call on each city councillor to announce their stand and listen to the citizens of Corner Brook who elected them and who I believe are against this project.
Many members of this council may not be around after the upcoming election. The easy thing to do would be to let the drilling go ahead with the knowledge that the final approval on the mine would fall to some future council.
I trust this will not happen and that this matter will be resolved once and for all and our watershed will remain protected for us and future generations.
Robert G. Scott, P. Eng., retired