Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Natural resources

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Re: Idea of copper mine in park angers environmentalists (Feb. 2). So the question that arises is this: When is a provincial park, designated as protected by the Department of Conservation, really protected?

For Manitoba, the answer is quite obvious: never!

Then why even bother to broadcast and advertise how the government is doing such a good job in concerns and caring for the future generations when putting land aside for the sake of conservation.

For in the end, as we all know, this is nothing more than a lot of sanctified hooey.

JOHN FEFCHAK

Virden

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No one denies the importance of maintaining certain ecosystems and associated environmental components. There are a lot of locations in this province this can be done.

However, as is often revealed, most Manitobans south of the northern mining communities do not understand why there is access to these parks in the first place: mining and exploration.

Why were excessive parkland restrictions imposed on the most prolific established mining areas and of greatest resource potential in the first place?

And, if the intent is to shut down mining and exploration in these areas, please explain why exploration licences in these areas are granted, approved and administered? Why are associated fees, mining taxes and infrastructure put in place?

If you want mining gone for good, then OK, refuse the exploration permitting and save everyone the wasted investment.

Why else did you think they were spending millions on exploration drilling? Do people think it was some fanciful hobby of investors who had nothing better to do with their money?

And, if you want the mining gone, say goodbye to the last true significant vestige of private-sector productivity and prosperity in this province. Also say goodbye to the beginning of the economic cycle in Manitoba and myriad service groups tied to that productivity.

As it stands, investment in mining is already leaving Manitoba in spades due to excessive government intervention. Unless that changes, environmentalists will likely get their wish anyway in the Grass River area.

DAVID OWENS

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 7, 2013 A12

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