To the Editor,
Case studies of mining towns warn that if Raven and possibly two additional coal mines go into operation in the Comox Valley, rather than creating economic bounty, they could have a profound and irreversible negative economic impact.
Some towns in the Columbia Basin, Campbell River and Princeton provide compelling evidence that mining profits do not flow into nearby communities. These areas are considered economically depressed due to higher than provincial averages of low income families and unemployed; and Princeton’s latest census shows a decline in population despite Copper Mountain Mine’s promise of economic enhancement.
Two analyses of Raven’s economic promises, written by Alice de Wolff and Joan Kuyek and available on coalwatch.ca, conclude that promised job numbers, salaries and benefits to local communities are significantly inflated.
More alarming, however, are the negative impacts that Raven could can have on local economies due to the following:
• population decline due to perceived health effects from airborne pollution of coal dust and greenhouse gas emissions;
• revenue decline in sectors that cannot thrive in a coal mining zone;
• significant tourism revenue decline, as tourists avoid mining zones in their search for pristine areas;
• loss of tax revenue from a depressed housing market in affected communities.
Any one of the above negative impacts can be expected to seriously erode prospects for stability and enhancement. Cumulatively, they presage economic catastrophe.