Watching the behaviour of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) reminds me of the Clue board game. The detectives’ inquiry is to understand what MANS is up to (the imaginary crime), what instruments are being used to meet this end and where the action is taking place.

A February 13 article by Grant McDaniel in The Reporter seems to provide some clues. In that article, Inverness Municipal Council was asked to write a letter of support for MANS’ $19.5 million financial request to government to fund their Mineral Play Fairway Project. The amount $19.5 million is a major taxpayer gift so the value MANS is offering government must be astronomical.

A recent CBC News article on March 11 also seems to indicate that MANS is engaged in a full court press to replace governments’ own research with industry created data.

The provincial government’s open for business policy and commitment to reduce mining regulations appears to not be enough to satisfy MANS apparent appetite to promote unfettered mining in Nova Scotia. Citizen detectives like myself might be forgiven for asking if MANS is now seeking to replace or influence the geophysical survey work done by the Ministry of Energy and Mines with data produced by the mining industry’s primary cheerleader?

Councillor Jim Mustard is correct in saying he “is not sure how the information gathered by the Mineral Play Fairway Project adds anything to what’s already known by the geographical mapping of the province.”

While the jury may be out, the Mining Association of Nova Scotia’s ask for $19.5 million research dollars certainly invites citizen detectives to raise the question, is a subtle crime of seeking influence going on here?

Paul Jenkinson

Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia