Tuesday, September 29, 2015


September 29, 2015
Mayor & Council
City of Kamloops

RE:  AJAX - September 28th forum at Coast Hotel – Conference Center – PROCESS SUGGESTION

Thank you all for your time last night. One appreciates that these sorts of obligations are onerous, so it is useful to reflect on process to perhaps optimize future encounters. May I compliment you, Mr. Milobar on your firm hand in keeping people on track at the start?

One understands that this is a very contentious issue and so a forum like the one held last night needs to seek to manage interpersonal relations to prevent exacerbating ill will. In reflecting on any given attempt at public consultation or interactions, one needs to ask have we reduced polarization, increased it or are we in the same place as we started. My sense, given what I observed last night, is that we are in the same place as we were when the meeting started – granted there may have been some valuable data collected.  

It is a useful exercise to facilitate discourse between “opposing” parties, this is readily accomplished by breakout sessions with small groups composed of various interests. At present there is irrationality in much of the rhetoric; it needs to be countered with meaningful dialog. As someone who believes we can manage the mine’s externalities that are potentially negative and derive a good deal of benefit from the project – I want to find a way forward and I know that quiet, meaningful dialog can take us there. If I were opposed to the mine, I would rather maintain the polarization, promote fear and continue with damaging and irrational rhetoric.

It seems, Mr. Milobar that you’ve take a neutral stance on the issue – if that is the case, a forum that facilitates people of “opposing” interests to interface will result in moderated views, and a more harmonious community – there are plenty of studies to support this assertion.

Thank you all again for your leadership on the issue, I hope you find this suggestion useful.

Kind Regards
Neil Thomson

More thinking on the issue:

”Imagine if you will that in 25 years, from the beginning of mining to full extraction of all valued minerals; at the close of mining activates, the city had planned from the outset a residential development to replace the mine site. With this in mind, a model residential development site could be part and parcel of the mining process. So rather than a rectangular pile of rock as a tailings pile, the site could be sculpted perfectly to suite residential lots. Lots, with the perfect southern exposure, a sculpted lake, a geothermal complex for community heating and perhaps a nine hole executive golf course. The point here is, that what some perceive as destruction can be managed to provision a superior outcome.” 

Earlier Thinking

Response to Mr. Walsh’s OpEd in Kamloops This Week
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