City needs to step up over coal port: delegation

City to form select committee regarding Raven coal project re-application.

The City of Port Alberni has taken a proactive step with regard to the re-application by Complianc e Coal’s Raven coal project.

This should be good news to Jane Armstrong and Maggie Paquet, who lobbied the city at the beginning of Monday’s council meeting to take action with this new coal application. Both have been vocal opponents to the coal application for the past several years.

“The city must act now to fulfill its obligation to protect the public interest,” said Armstrong.

“Whether you as elected officials are in favour, opposed or undecided on the Raven Coal project, you have an obligation to represent the public interest and understand the environmental process,” said Armstrong.

She warned council that there were only certain periods during which the city would have a chance to comment on the Raven Coal proposal during the environmental assessment process. There will be a 30-day period for the city to comment and a 50-day public input period.

Armstrong criticized what she saw as the city’s lack of involvement in the last application process, saying that out of the seven drafts produced during the environmental assessment process, the city commented on only one.

She praised local First Nations groups for fighting against the Raven Coal project. The first application was rejected by the province’s Environmental Assessment Office.

This time, Armstrong and Paquet would like to see more Alberni Valley and Port Alberni focused input.

In a report provided by Armstrong and Paquet to council, they said that “Compliance [Coal] regarded Port Alberni as unimportant as so much of what is critical to the ecology or our area was either ignored or deficient in the application.”

Paquet listed a number of concerns that she felt went unaddressed during the last application process, including air quality, marine quality, human health impacts, transportation corridor impacts and a lack of proper First Nations consultation.

In order to address those concerns going forward, Armstrong and Paquet asked that an ad hoc committee be started in time for the 30-day period during which the city can comment on the application. Armstrong said that the committee should be made up of volunteer experts to advise city council and city manager Ken Watson, who sits on the working group tasked with reviewing the application and ensuring there are no gaps.

She said that a committee of experts was essential because the new “application will be 14,000 pages and it’s going to take work to go through and there’s only 30 days.”

Armstrong stressed that city funds would not be spent on hiring experts.

“We are not suggesting you hire people, we do believe that there are people within the Valley who have the expertise in marine sciences, air quality and ecology to be able to do this work.”

 

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Cheetham Team comes in second at Alberni Valley bonspiel

The annual mixed bonspiel drew 37 teams from across the Island and Lower Mainland

Seedy Saturday draws many green thumbs in Port Alberni

Char’s Landing was the place to be last Saturday

Port Alberni’s Star Trek fan association donates legacy funds

Alberni Deep Space Port is dissolving its charitable status

New form of martial arts pops up in Port Alberni

Darran Chaisson and DoJin Won hosting classes at Dragon Martial Arts Taekwondo

VIDEO: Port Alberni welcomes Gathering Our Voices delegates

Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations welcomed guests during opening ceremonies

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read