After I wrote the post about voting against Domtar's environmental permit extension, I got calls from all the local media, as well as from CBC in Kelowna. CBC chose not to interview me in the end, which I am actually pretty happy about.
I made an error in phrasing which understandably the media has been keying in on. I did say below that I thought "now or in the near future" would be the best time for the mill to close, if that were to happen. I should have made it clearer. Here is a letter to the editor to Kamloops This Week, who really ran with my below statement, that clarifies my position I hope:
Regarding your article "pulp friction", I want to first offer an apology for some sloppy phrasing on my blog - yourkamloops.com.
When I wrote that "now or in the near future" is probably the best time for a mill closure, I was not at all advocating for the mill to be shut down now or in the near future.
I should have said that a mill closure would be really painful for the community at any time. I don't advocate it happening, but if it did, I hope it happens in a good economy, so it is easier to weather the detrimental effects. Easier, but not easy at all.
My essential point is that the 7 years (2000 to 2007)the ministry of environment gave the mill to bring its emissions down was quite generous. And I think the mill should be paying financial penalties for non compliance. These penalties do not have to be so high that the mill goes out of business, but high enough so that Domtar management feel the pinch. Perhaps, the penalties can kick in and / or escalate if Domtar falls behind on its deployment schedule for the promised emissions reducing technologies.
If the Ministry of Environment accepts council and Interior Health's recommendation, I am concerned about the lack of measures to ensure Domtar's compliance.
I think most people no longer want or need to sacrifice our health and our environmment for short or even mid term economic gain.