Boss Power “won’t be overly difficult”: bureaucratEmail shows commissioner trying to smooth waters
An internal email from Patrick O’Rourke, B.C.’s chief gold commissioner at the time of the uranium policy change, shows bureaucrats trying to calm down Boss Power in the wake of the policy change.
An excerpt from the email, dated April 25, 2008, describes a phone conversation between O’Rourke and Boss Power president and CEO David Stone:
“[Stone] asked if gov’t would compensate,” O’Rourke wrote. “I replied that the announcement did not refer to compensation, and none was being offered, but that did not preclude him from raising it. He said the Blizzard property was their sole asset and the decision had rendered it valueless.”
In the email, O’Rourke states that Stone characterized the government decision as being “unscientific.” O’Rourke said he responded to Stone’s concerns by saying that government “had considered all factors” and “concluded that in the balance, the public interest in no uranium had outweighed the limited adverse impact on industry.”
“I don’t think [Stone] agreed, but he didn’t argue,” O’Rourke assessed.
The email wraps up with O’Rourke relaying a request from Boss Power for a meeting between Boss Power, its major shareholder, Santoy Resources, and Kevin Krueger, then minister of state for mining.
“On that point,” O’Rourke said, “my advice is to accept – I don’t think they’ll be overly difficult, and the minister understands this issue well.” •
Internal emails reveal bureaucrat confusion over Boss Power work application
Government emails reveal confusion about a notice of work application that, it turned out, Boss Power had filed with the province days before the policy change was announced April 24.
Boss Power’s application was for permits to carry out exploration at its Blizzard uranium property in the fall of 2008.
On April 25, 2008, chief gold commissioner Patrick O’Rourke emailed Butch Morningstar, executive director of regional operations with the mining ministry’s mining and metals division, to ask if the ministry had received such an application from Boss Power.
“Pat, the answer is no,” Morningstar responded. “They have not received any application from Boss Power.”
However a government Q&A dated May 2008 said that the permit had been received prior to the announcement – but hadn’t been noticed by staff.
“The notice of work was received in our regional Ministry office in Cranbrook on Monday or Tuesday (April 21 or 22, 2008), but it was not addressed to the chief inspector of mines and was not initially recognized as an application,” the Q&A stated.
“It sat in a staff member’s mailbox, unopened – and it wasn’t until after government made the announcement on uranium (2:15 p.m., April 24) that it was brought to the attention of senior staff.”