Raven Coal job promises are inflated

33.6 per cent, or 580 square km, of the Comox Valley is currently covered by coal licence applications and existing coal tenures

A staggering 33.6 per cent, or 580 square km, of the Comox Valley is currently covered by coal licence applications and existing coal tenures whose owners, like Compliance Energy, are poised to profit from Premier Christy Clark’s coal mine and coal port expansion program that she markets as creating jobs for B.C. residents and economic enhancement.

It is curious, therefore, that given a global plunge in coal prices and demand resulting in cascading mine closures, bankruptcies and job losses, this is not the time to support building a new coal mine or to put any faith in Compliance Energy’s promise of 300 jobs and $1 billion revenue for nearby communities.

Currently, more than 1,000 B.C. coal miners have lost their jobs, including one half of the Quinsam Coal Mine workforce off 144, leaving families and their communities economically stunned.

Even if the market for coal revived, research indicates mining job promises tend to be inflated and would fluctuate depending on the stage of mine development and global market. Also, high-paying jobs requiring three-five years experience and professional training tend to be filled by people living outside the community. Quinsam’s promised 300 jobs leveled off at 144, but half of these jobs were recently slashed in response to market conditions.

Rather than increasing jobs, mining communities are afflicted with job losses in industries like shellfish aquaculture, tourism, recreation and retirement that can not coexist in a mining zone. The shellfish industry alone employs about 600 workers in this region.

Now that finally, and tragically, the Mount Polley tailings spill has exposed the myth that mining companies and our government are committed to protecting the environment, it is time to expose the equally perilous myth that the Raven Coal Mine will economically benefit communities and create jobs.

Sharon SmallComox Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer safe, flare gun, even a walker

Oceaside RCMP deal with 196 complaints in one-week span

Coldest Night of the Year walk in Parksville scheduled for Feb. 22

Annual event raises money for those in need

PQBeat Podcast: The Old School House Arts Centre executive director Illana Hester

Listen: Talk includes changes at TOSH, long-term view of local arts scene

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Three protesters arrested after blocking driveway at premier’s home

Protestors claimed they would make a citizen’s arrest of the Premier, according to West Shore RCMP

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Most Read