Building resistance to Canada's destructive mining industry
Review of Joan Kuyek's book Unearthing Justice

Fidler, Richard

Publisher:  Climate and Capitalism
Date Written:  13/11/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23836

In her book Unearthing Justice: How to Protect Your Community from the Mining Industry, long-time activist Joan Kuyek brilliantly shares lessons from decades of fighting environmental and community disruption by Canada’s mining corporations.



Throughout, Kuyek illustrates her account with vivid examples drawn from the struggles of communities, many of them Indigenous, to stop prospecting on their lands or limit the damages resulting from the installation, operation, and closing of mining ventures.

Especially valuable is a final chapter proposing ways to "put mining in its place." Among the many suggestions she offers, a key regulatory proposal is to force mining firms to pay the full monetary costs of their extraction of metals and gems. Although, as Kuyek said above, that alone cannot compensate the full cost to nature and human society, she maintains that "Forcing companies to internalize even some of their costs will make most mines uneconomic."

More fundamentally, she says, "We all want stable economies that heal the environment and do not pollute the waters, land and air.…We want livelihoods that sustain the planet and communities."

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