The consequences of coal run as deep as the mines themselves

Dear editor,

A staggering 33.6 per cent of the Comox Valley is currently covered by coal licence applications and existing coal tenures. Owners, like Compliance Energy, are poised to profit  from  Premier Clark’s coal mine and coal port expansion program that is pitched to create jobs and economic enhancement.

Given a global plunge in coal prices and demand resulting in cascading mine closures, bankruptcies, and job losses, this is not the time to support building a new coal mine or to put any faith in Compliance Energy’s promise of 300 jobs and one billion dollar revenue for nearby communities.

Currently, over 1,000 B.C. coal miners have lost their jobs, including one half of the Quinsam Coal Mine workforce off 144, leaving families and their communities economically stunned.

Even if the market for coal revived, research indicates mining job promises tend to be inflated and would fluctuate depending on the stage of mine development and global market.

Also, high-paying jobs requiring three to five years’ experience and professional training tend to be filled by people living outside the community.

Quinsam’s promised 300 jobs  levelled off at 144, but half of these jobs were recently slashed in response to market conditions.

More alarming, however, is compelling evidence that when a coal mine moves into the neighbourhood, communities can suffer devastating and irreversible economic hardships related to declining population, loss of revenue and significant loss of jobs in industries that cannot coexist in a coal mining zone.

Comox Valley communities would witness significant job losses in industries that demand preserving and protecting a beautiful and welcoming environment and that are supported in regional and community plans.  These include tourism, arts and entertainment, recreation, retirement and shellfish aquaculture.

This is not a local NIMBY issue, as the economic effects of such a dramatic reversal of economic vision would resonate throughout Vancouver Island.

Now that finally and tragically the Mount Polley tailings spill has exposed the myth that mining companies and our government are committed to protecting the environment, it is time to expose the equally perilous myth that the Raven Coal Mine will economically benefit communities and create jobs.



Sharon Small

Comox Valley


Just Posted

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

Air quality statement in effect for Comox Valley

Smokey skies could mean a high risk on the air quality health index

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Comox resident part of famed basketball team

Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for Edmonton Grads

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read