Alberni councillor stands by CBC coal interview

A Port Alberni city councillor stands by what she said on CBC Radio about the Raven Coal Project even though some have chastised her about it.

Counc. Cindy Solda was interviewed on CBC’s ‘On The Island’ on May 12.

When asked by the interviewer about the benefit of the project to Port Alberni, Solda replied that there would be jobs across the Island.

But in Port Alberni there would be some jobs on the waterfront loading coal but there would be spin offs at restaurants and hotels.

“Indirect jobs (though) there’s a lot of positives to that,” Solda said.

Regarding transportation of coal, council’s preferred long-term option is rail.

Solda supported trucking in the short term only, she said, “…if all the safety issues and highway issues were met.”

There would be truck traffic by the hospital “But there’s a lot of truck traffic there already,” she said.

Solda would not answer whether or not rail was a deal breaker with the city. “That’s up to the will of council,” she said.

The coal storage may be located in the Tsunami zone, but if a big wave cascaded up the canal “That would be my least worry,” Solda said.

The answers point to a lack of homework on the councillors part, project critic Stacey Gaiga said.

“ I know they have a lot on their plates but educating themselves about this issue should be on that plate,” Gaiga said. “They need to do their homework.”

The jobs would be construction to start and dirty ones later. “The Port Alberni District Labour Council is opposed to the project and not interested in the jobs,” Gaiga said.

And if a Tsunami washed through 80 tonnes of coal the arsenic, cadmium and mercury would steep into wherever the coal was washed.

“And people who say coal is not toxic – that’s bull**it,” Gaiga said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

 

Read the verbatim transcript by clicking here.