EDITORIAL: Politicians had better listen carefully to opposition to Raven coal mine

The Raven underground coal mine will be an issue, at least on the mid-Island, in the next B.C. election. Politicians had better listen carefully to the opposition.

Almost 2,000 people submitted thoughts during the 30-day public comment period about the Raven underground coal mine.

There is some support in the Comox Valley for the mine, based on the current shortage of high-paying jobs in the area.

A retail- and tourism-dominated economy makes it tough to keep our youth close to home and to attract residents other than retirement-minded Albertans.

While we enjoy clean air and water, the limited industrial tax base means local governments must plunder the wallets of retailers and homeowners for the services we expect.

Is the eventual decision about the mine a simple choice between economy and environment?

Also, with Gordon Campbell departed, has the B.C. Liberals’ zeal for mining gone with him? The majority of about 1,500 speakers at public meetings in Courtenay, Port Alberni and Union Bay who made their objections clearly hope so.

The Comox-based B.C. Shellfish Growers’ Association and anybody who relies on the half of B.C. shellfish farms that are in Baynes Sound are deeply worried about mine runoff from the creeks between Union Bay and Fanny Bay. A key point of the BCSGA’s marketing campaign is the pristine water in which its product is grown.

Salmon advocacy groups are rightly concerned about how a mine might damage habitat in those creeks, further hurting already-threatened stocks.

Concern by the K’ómoks Band and the fact it is still negotiating a treaty is the latest wild card, which could easily stall progress toward an eventual mine.

The mine will be an issue, at least on the mid-Island, in the next B.C. election. Politicians had better listen carefully to the opposition.

We hope MLA Don McRae is lobbying in Victoria to tell the environment minister what people here are thinking about this risky project with big downside in a populated area.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read