Following a request by the province’s Environment and Land Use Committee, the provincial cabinet has issued an order-in-council to prevent permits from being issued for uranium and thorium exploration and development in British Columbia.
The order-in-council, issued under the Environment and Land Use Act (ELU Act), complements the policy position issued by the government of British Columbia in April, 2008, that it would not support the mining of uranium in British Columbia.
This order-in-council will support that position by preventing the issuance of a permit for the exploration of uranium or thorium, or exempting a person from the requirements for such a permit.
Uranium mining has been an important issue in the North Thompson Valley. About 30 years ago, local protests against a proposed uranium mine to be located near Birch Island were an important factor in the provincial government bringing in a moratorium. When that moratorium expired valley residents once again rose to the challenge to prevent uranium mining in the North Thompson Valley.
The April 2008, announcement by the provincial government came as more than welcome news to valley communities.
At the time Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger stated, “We’re not going to be revisiting this question as long as we’re in government. There’s not going to be exploration and mining of uranium in B.C.”