NIC hosts coal debate

North Island College Business School host a debate on the proposed Raven Coal Mine project April 8.

Students of North Island College Business School are hosting a public debate on the proposed Raven Coal Mine project April 8, with the winner to be decided your votes.

Compliance Coal’s Raven Coal Mine project seeks to situate itself adjacent to the vibrant Baynes Sound aquaculture industry. Public outcry from organizations such as the BC Shellfish Growers’ Association has sought to rally Comox Valley opposition before the company reapplies for environmental review.

The Raven Coal Mine is projected to create over 300 full-time jobs in the Comox Valley, with additional job creation in transportation and support industries, during the project’s estimated 17-year lifespan.

The Raven Coal mine project is estimated to contribute $1.1 billion in total to the region’s economy. Alternatively, the Baynes Sound aquaculture industry is  host to approximately 600 sustainable jobs in coastal and rural communities, contributing $28 million annually to B.C.’s economic output.

Selection of either of these conflicting alternatives will shape the long-term economic and cultural landscape of the Comox Valley and northern Vancouver Island as a whole.

North Island College School of Business students Christopher Lefebvre, Mia MacDonald, Kelsey Smith, and Megan White have dedicated countless hours investigating the economic benefits and environmental impacts of coal mining and shellfish production.

Drawing from academic articles, industry reports, and corporate press releases, this debate seeks to both inform and include the communities impacted by the proposed Raven Coal Mine.

The  April 8 public debate is free to attend and commences at 8:45 a.m. in Room 204 of North Island College’s Tyee Building.

Recent voting restrictions imposed by the Fair Elections Act will not be enforced.

— North Island College

On Monday, April 7, you can join staff and students from École Robb Road in kicking off their voting campaign at a school assembly to raise awareness of the school’s participation in the Majesta Trees of Knowledge Competition.

As one of 10 finalists, École Robb Road needs votes from the public to earn top spot and win the $20,000 outdoor classroom. Canadians can vote daily and enter to win $10,000 from Majesta by visiting from April 7 to May 5.

Students and staff at École Robb Road have made three videos to promote the school in this competition, including a music video called Who’s In The Garden?, a rendition of What Did The Fox Say? These videos will be premiered at the school assembly.

The Trees of Knowledge competition was launched in 2011 by Majesta in partnership with Tree Canada and Focus on Forests to help teachers and students experience the benefits of being outdoors.

Each year through Trees of Knowledge, one Canadian school is awarded a complete, customized outdoor classroom, valued at $20,000. Additional prizes are also awarded to schools that finish second, third and fourth and for the school that has the most creative idea to rallying support.

The school’s voting campaign launches Monday at 1909 Robb Rd. in Comox from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. École Robb Road is a French immersion public elementary school in Comox with 500 students.

— École Robb Road