‘We cannot remain silent’ about coal mine

I hope readers are asking themselves why a group of "young protesters" would feel the need to make such a dramatic gesture.

Dear editor,

After reading your editorial (Record, June 13) regarding the cost to public property Raven Coal mine protesters caused when hanging a banner over the Bank of Montreal and the charge they “pushed the envelope,” I hope readers are asking themselves why a group of “young protesters” would feel the need to make such a dramatic gesture to get the public’s attention regarding the imminent threat the Raven Coal mine presents to the Comox Valley.

Estimates of $2,000 to repair property damage are insignificant when matched against the costs Raven and its associated mines in Cumberland and at the base of Mount Washington would create — the cost to poisoning the Baynes Sound with toxins that will end a sustainable shellfish aquaculture business employing 600 people, the cost of lowered house value of impacted communities like Ships Point, Fanny Bay, Denman and Hornby islands, the cost of buying water when domestic wells become contaminated, the cost of millions of dollars of reclaiming poisoned water sources after the mine closes in 16 years and the cost of health care for black lung disease that is on the rise among young coal miners and families breathing coal mine toxins.

If the Comox Valley community understood these costs and the threat Raven poses to their quality of life and livelihood, they would have joined the “young protesters” who felt compelled to “push the envelope.”

Each of us is compelled to protest transforming the Comox Valley into a coal mining zone in his or her own way.  We cannot remain silent.

Sharon Small,

Comox Valley

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