WEB EXTRA: Problem with Raven coal mine — location, location, location

Dear editor,

Thank you for publishing Carmine Elias’s letter in your May 2 issue (Mine would affect us negatively.)

Dear editor,

Thank you for publishing Carmine Elias’s letter in your May 2 issue (Mine would affect us negatively.)

It is the best letter I’ve seen on the problem with the Raven coal mine.

At an all-candidates’ event last week Don McRae continued to express what has become his mantra. “Our government’s environmental process is considered a model for Canada and is admired by other countries around the world.”

He is asking us to trust the process. Being somewhat knowledgeable about the process, I don’t trust it. But even if he were correct, the real problem is not the process. It is location, location, location.

B.C. and Canada might have the very best building codes for the design and construction of factories — admired all over Canada and around the world. But Mr. McRae wouldn’t allow a factory to be built next door to a school, or a hospital or in the heart of Courtenay’s business district.

With the 10 operating coal mines in B.C. most of them, except for two of the oldest, are from 12 to 40 kilometres away from local communities.

But with its smokestacks billowing stuff into the air, and its huge waste-rock heap and coal washing ponds releasing stuff that flows downhill, Raven Mine is only five kilometres from the water tables of Fanny Bay and the thriving shellfish industry of Baynes Sound.

Carmine Elia nailed it.

In continuing to gin up its wonderful, super sophisticated and world-renowned environmental review process, Mr. McRae and his government failed to ask the most basic question that any high school student in this valley would recommend they start with: Is this the right place for a coal mine?

Mike Bell,



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