Speaking in defence of the BC Liberal government’s weak assessment process for the proposed coal mine in Comox Valley, MLA Don McRae has overlooked some key points.
First, the strongest form of environmental assessment is an independent expert panel review with full public hearings. The local community is insisting on this approach, given how much is at stake — especially for hundreds of jobs in the shellfish industry. So far Mr. McRae and the Liberals have refused to support a stronger review process.
Second, Liberal leader Christy Clark has made it clear she wants mine assessments to be even weaker. She recently said she is “tired” of hearing people say they have concerns about mines, and that government should be “getting out of the way of economic activity.”
If Don McRae is serious about protecting the shellfish industry, he should speak out now. Will he support the strongest form of environmental assessment or not? Will he stand up and defend our vulnerable shellfish industry and the hundreds of jobs that come with it?
Editor’s note: Kassandra Dycke is the provincial NDP candidate for the Comox Valley.