READER COMMENT: Bailing out the juniors

Last week our Hot Topic question concerned how much money might be spent if the federal government bailed out junio...


Last week our Hot Topic question concerned how much money might be spent if the federal government bailed out junior companies. Some readers (19%) would see nothing spent on them, 65% of the respondents think each would need $2 million or more to stay afloat.


The "nothing" option was ably supported by Gerard Waters, a successful investor in Kildare, Ireland. He wrote: "There will be no need for the Canadian government to bail out the juniors. The good ones will find the necessary finances, the less-able will be bought out, and those without a good product will go to the wall. This is called capitalism, which is the worst economic system except for all the rest."


Oliver Maki, an old sourdough living in Capreol, ON, wrote to defend preservation of the junior industry.


"What would we lose if we let the juniors die?" he asked. "We would lose the greatest army of entrepreneurs we have ever had. It was the unswerving faith of the prospector, who historically brought about the discovery of some 60% of what are still today, our major mining camps. Yes, some 20,000 uncouth, mainly uneducated, but determined people went into the unmapped, black fly-riddled muskegs of Canada in the early part of the last century, solely on the strength of their own [desire] to succeed, with no promises of reward, but knowing that if success ensued they could expect the right to reward, hopefully commensurate with the sacrifices made. Yes, this was what brought into being the Sudbury's, Flin Flons, Kirkland Lakes and Yellowknifes. Countless thousands still today collect pay checks in these places, with no sense of gratitude, remorse or thanks to the memory of the vanguard who made it all possible.


"In the Soviet Union, somewhat the same rate of success in terms of discovery, was accomplished, but with the effort of some 500,000 trained geologists, motivated by a dictatorial central command whose orders were, discover, or suffer the consequences. No opportunity was granted for the freedom to fail," he continued.


"How many of our decision makers are aware that if the world economy was to make a turnaround today, our required metal supplies would exceed the demand by only a very short while? If our prospectors and juniors are denied the early financing that is needed now, to find new resources, what are the bailed out auto industries going make those energy efficient cars from? Maybe corn stalks, left over from the biofuel plants.


"As a prospector, who has held his license for the right to search for nearly 70 years, I have seen the imposition of ministerial rules whose sole upshot has been to impose ever more stringent obstacles and impediments to hinder our ability to alleviate those very conditions which are at the root of many of our supply short comings. Lets clear the trail a little and remove some of the socialistic entanglements we find ourselves in and give a helping hand to those that can find the needed hidden resources with which to maintain the development that Canada and the world needs," Maki urged.


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