Concerns about the mine are valid

Editor shouldn't dismiss people's concerns about Raven project

I refer to the front page story and editorial about the proposed Raven coal mine at Fanny Bay in your Sept. 18 edition. I urge you to follow up your reporting of the project manager’s views with a story about the very significant and legitimate issues related to this project that have been raised by the public over the last several years.

These include potential harm to watersheds, watercourses, the marine environment and the fish and wildlife in this sensitive area of our precious coast. Please also investigate the risk to the hundreds of sustainable jobs that already exist in the shellfish industry in Bains Sound.

In exchange, the community is offered short term employment, mostly low skilled and dangerous.

Please do not accept at face value assurances from the proponent of this project — and the implied threat that they will dip into their deep pockets to have their way.

The assertion that this project has made it this far because there is no threat to shellfish, air quality or aquifers is simply not credible.

The very real and legitimate concerns of the residents of the many Vancouver Island communities whose quality of life would be affected by the approval of this project should not be dismissed as inflammatory.

Instead, these concerns should be mitigated by a proper environmental assessment, the adequacy of which should also be investigated by our local media.

As you point out in your editorial, the approval process should consider the science, to be sure, but environmental, social, health and heritage values are also significant factors that contribute to the quality of life that our residents expect and deserve.

Barry Avis

 

Qualicum Beach