To the Editor,
With the environmental assessment of the Raven coal mine project about to enter the application stage, it’s important to note that the residents of the Comox Valley and Port Alberni have not granted the social license for this massive coal mine project.
At the level of an individual project the social license is rooted in the beliefs, perceptions and opinions held by the local population and other stakeholders about the project. It is therefore “granted” by the community.
The social license has been defined as existing when a project has the ongoing approval within the local community and other stakeholders, approval or broad social acceptance and, most frequently, as ongoing acceptance.
With the overwhelming majority of the 5,000 comments submitted during two public comment periods and the three public meetings indicating widespread public concern and opposition to the coal mine project, it’s not hard to see why the social license hasn’t been granted by the residents of the Comox Valley and Port Alberni.
While our elected local, provincial and federal representatives frequently hide behind their talking points of letting the environmental assessment process run its course, they should pay special attention to the lack of the social license on this project. Without that license granted by the residents of the Comox Valley and Port Alberni, the Raven coal mine project is doomed to failure.