Protecting Georgia Strait should include opposing coal mine

Dear editor,

I read with interest a newspaper article about the federal government protecting Georgia Strait.

Dear editor,

I read with interest a newspaper article in the Times-Colonist about the federal government protecting Georgia Strait from Cordova  Bay to southern Gabriola Island and including the Saanich Inlet as a marine conservation area.

While I applaud this move, I believe you should protect all of Georgia Strait.

I live in Fanny Bay. We, the thousands of people from the Comox Valley, Denman and Hornby islands, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet, are gravely concerned about the proposed Raven and Bear coal mines planned for the heart of our watershed.

Our chief concerns include toxins introduced to our drinking water, the destruction of a thriving and sustainable shellfish industry (which employs 600 people and generates $20 million annually), threats to the second most important bird area in British Columbia, highway safety on the route through the venerable Cathedral Grove on the road to Tofino, and perhaps most importantly, a major contributor (an estimated 240 million tonnes of CO2) to global warming.

I implore Environment Minister Peter Kent to include this area as part of the marine conservation area planned for the Salish Sea.  This is a beautiful and delicate ecosystem and is far too precious to be destroyed by short-term and short-sighted coal mines.

Water is our most precious resource. It is imperative that we leave something for our children and future generations. They are depending on us.

Canada can be a beacon of environmental conservation. I pray that our governments chose the right path.

Lynne Wheeler,

Fanny Bay

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