EDITORIAL: A call for info

Just what is happening with Compliance Energy Corporation's plans for a coal mine on Vancouver Island

First, the province rejected the company’s first application for a coal mine near Buckley Bay. Shortly thereafter, the two men who occupied the proverbial corner offices vacated the building.

Has the shaft caved in on the Compliance Energy Corporation? Apparently not.

First, let’s have a look at the timeline. In mid-May, The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office announced it rejected the application for Compliance Energy’s proposed Raven Coal Mine near Buckley Bay.

In a letter to Compliance president and CEO John Tapics, the BCEAO said “the application does not contain the required information and (the BCEAO) has decided not to accept the application for detailed review.”

Compliance officials, including Tapics, were not immediately available for comment on the rejection, which was a bit odd. A week later, company vice-president Stephen Ellis told The NEWS that Compliance would re-submit its application within the next two months, which would be, well, right about now. No word on any re-submission has filtered to us.

On June 5, the company announced chief financial officer Jim Defer had resigned “to pursue another opportunity.”

On June 25, CEO Tapics resigned “to pursue other opportunities.” Ellis was appointed president and chief operations officer.

Other opportunities or not, the changes at the top, and the lack of any re-submission, could easily lead one to believe the death knell has sounded for Compliance’s plans to mine coal on Vancouver Island.

Not so fast. Our fine sister publication, The Comox Valley Record, has reported Compliance, which holds a 60 per cent interest in the Bear Coal Deposit south of Comox Lake, has also expressed interest in exploring coal resources above Forbidden Plateau north of Comox Lake. It’s unclear whether that interest is dated (the Anderson Lake application was made six years ago).

In any event, it’s time for Compliance and its new top officials to issue public statements about its intentions related to the Raven project near Buckley Bay or any other plans it has for coal mining on the Island.

— Editorial by John Harding