Nothing new in letter from mining vice-president

Dear editor,

Ms. Waterman’s letter (Record, Aug. 29) doesn’t offer new information.

Dear editor,

Ms. Waterman’s letter (Record, Aug. 29) doesn’t offer new information; it simply reflects the plethora of form letters we’ve all received and sites EA processes found on websites we’ve thoroughly researched.

She assumes we’re prejudging this government’s EA process for Raven Coal when in fact; we’re using structured and established guidelines in the Environmental Assessment Act to measure the EA agencies’ performance on managing and guiding Raven coal’s legal requirements.

Two years ago I asked the CEAA for evidence of environmentally responsible coal mining examples, anywhere in the world, and nothing has ever been produced.

If Ms. Waterman thinks we ought to respect the long-standing arsenic and sulfate problems due to Quinsam Coal’s failure to deal with concerns expressed by scientists, and that it’s safe industry practise to have 30 times higher levels than provincial guidelines, I’d like to know what Environmental Assessment Act she’s reading?

And, where’s this evidence of revenues from the mining industry going into health and education? Government cuts to health and education over the past few years don’t support this fairy tale.

The only rich in the history of coal mining on Vancouver island was experienced by the very few who left a dark legacy for many taxpayers today to pay the bill to clean up their toxic mess left behind, like the Union Bay Coal Hills at a price of $17 million.

Perhaps Ms. Waterman should do her homework and earn the right to comment on our situation because, unlike Ms. Waterman who sits in an office in the big city, we’re here on the front lines, living and breathing this nightmare of a proposal.

Her life, livelihood and lifestyle will never be adversely affected by the looming threat of this Raven coal mine, which has already negatively affect our lives and wasted our time.

The unprecedented amount of opposition to Raven Coal exists because we are very well-informed of the process and the history because it’s our lives that are at stake.

We live here, this is our home and it’s clear Ms. Waterman is advocating for something written for ads and brochures, far from our reality.

Stacey Gaiga,

Port Alberni

Editor’s note: Stacey Gaiga is a member of Coal Free Alberni.

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