KAMLOOPS — With the demise of the Ajax project will come the death of a peculiar breed of rheotrical device Kamloops residents have adopted over the past few years.
I call it 'Ajax hyperbole,' and its speakers should qualify as bilingual.
Whether you supported or opposed the mine, chances are you picked it up.
Anti-Ajax folks would commit to one extreme when speaking of the perceived ills of the project.
They would talk about how it will destroy our landscape, poison our water, and cause toxic dust to fall from the heavens for 20 years.
Ajax supporters would employ the same language talking about the mine's benefits.
"It will bring wealth to the entire city, and instead of dust falling from the heavens, it will be dollars."
"None of our young people will have to leave to find work."
That may be the most ridiculous claim.
People interested in working in certain industries have to leave to find work all the time.
This isn't the mid-20th Century when someone would start out as an 18 year old working in the small town mill, spend 50 years on the job and retire.
The 21st Century workforce has to be mobile.
It's a fanciful notion to think that a local job market should first and foremost cater to the professional interests of people who don't want to leave.
Even if it's just jobs we're looking for in the Kamloops area, they are on their way.
According to a 2015 labour market survey by Venture Kamloops, the region will need 35,000 workers before 2025, many of them of the trades variety.
That survey assumed both Ajax and Trans Mountain would not be approved.
The 'Ajax hyperbole' was always a debate tactic meant to sway the moderates and undecideds.
It rarely represented the truth on either side.
Now that the project is in the rearview mirror, hopefully we can get back to speaking English or any other native languages to each other