Opposition to Baynes Sound coal mine based on facts

Dear editor,

I'm not sure why a Parksville writer had an editorial in the Record about the Raven Coal Mine, but I read it with interest.

Dear editor,

While I’m not sure why a Parksville-Qualicum writer had an editorial in the Comox Valley Record regarding the proposed Raven Coal Mine, I read it with great interest anyway.

What struck me was its suggestion that the debate has been dominated by posturing and conjecture equally on both sides of the debate, and that it has been “no coal mines ever” vs. “we need the jobs, period.”

It’s just not true.

Opposition to this Raven Coal mine proposal has been dominated by presenting challenging facts to the pervasive assumptions carried by many, including in your editorial. Clearly, you have not spent a great deal of time examining what the opposition has been saying.

From the beginning, those opposed to the Raven Mine have been pointing out the fact that the shared aquifers of the mine and our communities have not been mapped. For many, this is our drinking water.

It is neither posturing nor conjecture. The Raven Mine poses a very real threat to this precious fresh water resource.

I’m sure if this proposed mine was planned for the area you get your drinking water from, you might see things somewhat differently.

And for all the promise of “hundreds of well-paying jobs” (350 is the number claimed ), we still have no idea who will fill the skilled mining jobs.

The current B.C. government’s own resource sector audit has reported that B.C. has a severe shortage in skilled coal miners, and that immigrant labour will be needed to fill these jobs for some years to come, as is the case in northeastern B.C. coal mining.

Adding to this sorry scenario, is the fact that the Raven Coal Mine’s owners would pay no mineral royalties to the provincial treasury, as they own the land and the mineral rights beneath it, “fee simple.”

At the very least, other major resource extraction operations pay royalties, presumably because the right to do so comes with the responsibility to contribute something in paying for the highway degradations you note, and the other shared public amenities that have been paid for with the public purse.

In attempting to be “fair and balanced,” you have negated the overwhelming legitimacy of the fact-based opposition to the Raven Mine proposal.

We have not relied on posture and conjecture. We have been uncommonly sensible, while the Raven Mine owner’s have relied on a public relations strategy with a slick website showing pictures of happy people in the untouched wilderness.

And that posturing is truly Orwellian given the facts that are not in serious dispute.

Keith Porteous,

Denman Island

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

Just Posted

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year,… Continue reading

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Two Comox Valley groups share annual Project Watershed award

Keep It Living Award given to Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust

ATV crash at bottom of Mount Washington sends two to hospital

Two people were hospitalized following an ATV (all terrain vehicle) accident shortly… Continue reading

Game on! Outdoor pickleball season starts up in the Comox Valley

Comox Valley Pickleball Association members Evie MacDonald and Donny Cruickshank (near court)… Continue reading

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Chilliwack school board censures trustee Barry Neufeld after controversial Facebook post

Board chair issues statement on censure but little else regarding Facebook post controversy

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

Most Read