NDP candidate challenges Tory about coal mine

Federal NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard is backing community calls for a stronger environmental assessment into the proposed coal mine in Comox Valley.

JOHN SNYDER and others protest outside John Duncan's new election campaign office in Courtenay.

Federal NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard is backing community calls for a stronger environmental assessment into the proposed coal mine in Comox Valley. And she’s challenging Conservative MP John Duncan to finally speak out on behalf of the community.“The proposal for a massive underground coal mine in the heart of the Baynes Sound watershed puts hundreds of jobs in the shellfish industry at risk,” Leonard said this week in a news release. “Drinking water, air quality and traffic safety are all issues that need to be addressed.“That`s why we need to a have a full independent expert panel review — we need the strongest form of environmental assessment when so much is at stake.”Members of CoalWatch Comox Valley were unable to get the same kind of commitment from Duncan when they met him Saturday at his new Comox Valley election campaign office in Courtenay.“This is a defining moment in the Valley’s history,” said Leonard. “I know where I stand on this issue. But where’s John Duncan? He just isn’t stepping up to the plate.”In the 10-minute meeting Saturday, CoalWatch president John Snyder told Duncan that the group, along with many other people on the Island, want to see the federal environmental assessment on the mine referred to a more rigorous Independent Review Panel, with public hearings.“Unfortunately, he was non-committal on that issue,” Snyder said.Leonard said Duncan’s response is a failure to show strong leadership for the people he represents.“The Raven mine would be massive, roughly the size of Hornby Island. And it would be directly above Fanny Bay, Union Bay, Denman Island and Baynes Sound, some of the most beautiful places in our country,” she said.Research done by the CoalWatch group shows mining jobs created would be far fewer than those currently existing in the shellfish industry and would mostly go to outside, experienced miners, hired from other international mines.— Vancouver Island North NDP

Just Posted

Comox Change the Debate event set for Wednesday night in Marina Park

Event in solidarity with others across Canada to demand a leaders’ debate on climate change on CBC

Waiting game for Cumberland cannabis licence hopefuls

Applicants gained local support but are going through checks with province

Comox Valley’s music fest feels like ‘best ever’ to organizer

Vancouver Island Music Festival didn’t sell out but still saw strong turnout

Comox cadet spends summer servicing aircraft

Cadet Warrant Officer Second Class Mitchell Mansfield from Comox, is spending his… Continue reading

New producer at the helm for Comox Nautical Days

Nautical Days has a new producer, but those planning on attending the… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Council restricts water bottling, adopts Urban Forest Strategy

Courtenay council adopted a bylaw Monday to restrict water bottling in all… Continue reading

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Most Read