John Tapics’, CEO of Compliance Energy Corp, recently made comments in Port Alberni regarding the proposed Raven Coal Mine, a joint venture project.
He reiterated that the transportation of coal by rail would be highly unlikely unless the government covered the costs to upgrade the existing rail corridor. I bring this matter to your attention as a serious issue regarding the proposed coal mine in the Comox Valley.
For a variety of reasons, the coal must be transported by rail.
• The health and public safety of islanders and tourists alike will be jeopardized by large B-trains on the highway;
• Excessive wear and tear on our public roads will end up costing considerable sums to repair and maintain;
• There will be a negative impact on tourism as we render scenic drives obstructed and potentially impact tourist sites such as Cathedral Grove. Not withstanding any benefits of the proposed mine there are many environmental issues to address.
I encourage the government to stipulate in the review process that approval of the mine is conditional on the coal being transported by rail. The three principals ITOCHU Corp., LG International Corp. and Compliance Coal Corp., involved in the joint venture (Raven Coal Mine Project) have healthy balance sheets and therefore should be required to participate in upgrading the existing rail corridor as well as the construction of a spur line to the mine site.
At the very least a partnership between government and industry must be struck to develop a rational system of transportation.
As our government avows its position on supporting families I submit that families will suffer if coal is transported by road.