Raven coal mine concerns heard

CoalWatch and Tsolum River groups oppose application by Compliance

The regional district board heard several concerns Tuesday about another coal licence application from Compliance Coal Corporation. The company — which is the proponent of the proposed Raven underground coal mine in Baynes Sound and which holds a 60 per cent interest in the Bear Coal Deposit south of Comox Lake — has also expressed interest in exploring coal resources near Anderson Lake above Forbidden Plateau north of Comox Lake.

Compliance says it has no intention of exploring either the Bear Coal or Anderson Lake deposits, even if government approves the Raven project. The Anderson Lake application was made in 2007, since which the Province has held it in abeyance. Nevertheless, if the deposit is developed, CoalWatch Comox Valley questions what type of environmental review process it would encounter.

Mindful of changes in federal and provincial review processes, and proposed changes in the Fisheries Act, CoalWatch president John Snyder feels the review process on the Raven proposal will be a thing of the past.

“With the Anderson Lake coal licence in the application phase, we have a special opportunity that was unavailable to us on the Raven and Bear Coal licences,” Snyder said. “We have the opportunity to say ‘NO NOW’ before anything moves forward.”

At the last committee of the whole session, directors approved a letter to the chief inspector of mines to inform terms and conditions of the licence submitted by Compliance.

“Why would the CVRD board not simply say no to this application given the fact that the Province and federal government ministries have not heeded the requests from the CVRD for an independent and comprehensive assessment process,” David Stapley said.

He was referring to a board resolution to oppose further processing of the Raven application until senior levels of government conducted comprehensive aquifer mapping, undertaken baseline studies of affected flora and fauna, and appointed an independent scientific panel to review the application.

Wayne White of the Tsolum River Restoration Society also asked the board to oppose the application.

“My feeling is the Comox Valley can grow without coal,” said Area A director Bruce Jolliffe, noting the granting of coal licences is a discretionary practice, as per the gold commissioner.

He called for an amended letter requesting no licence be issued due to concern that coal mine exploration, and further exploration, impacts existing industries. His motion passed.

 

CoalWatch reminded the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency of a legal obligation to assess “cumulative environmental effects that are likely to result from the project in combination with other projects or activities that have or will be carried out.” The board agreed to include the wording in the policy comments in the letter.

 

 

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates address other issues of importance

“Other than the topics already discussed, what is the most important issue in your constituency?”

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address other issues of importance

Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?

A school of Engel Völkers salmon to support Kus-kus-sum Project in the Comox Valley

Engel & Völkers Vancouver Island North and their associated advisors are decorating… Continue reading

Speed-date nights come to the Comox Valley

Two nights set for Oct. 24 and 25 at the Comox Valley Curling Club

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read