War of words fires up coal mine debate
The BC Shellfish Growers Association (BCSGA) has broken its silence on the proposed Raven Coal Mine, all because of a brochure.
Distributed by Compliance Coal Corporation, it touted the Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the Raven Coal Project, set for the Comox Valley.
"We felt we had to put out something to counteract some of the misinformation we saw in their promo piece," says Roberta Stevenson, Executive Director of the BCSGA. "Wev'e been very quiet about our stand, awaiting the environmental approval process to work through the system, but once we saw their piece, I just felt we had to say something."
BCSGA has hit back with its own brochure listing the Top 4 Things to Know about the Raven Coal Project's Impact on Shellfish Farming in Baynes Sound.
Number one on Compliance Coal's leaflet about the coal mine is a promise that "It will be designed to protect ground and surface water," followed by a pledge that "It will be designed to protect shellfish in Baynes Sound."
"This mine is going to be five kilometres from the ocean and we just feel that's too cose by," expalained Stevenson. "It's not the mine itself, it's just that it's right by the beaches where we grow the shellfish and it's not far enough away."
Ultimately, the shellfish growers are worried that they cannot coexist, fearing that their industry will be replaced by the mining industry.
"We feel that our industry has more sustainability," Stevenson said. "We've been doing oyster farming in Baynes Sound for 100 years now... I'm sure you'll agree it's pretty amazing to live in a place that grows food like that, right at your doorstep!"
The flyer from Compliance Coal also talks about existing community support for their project, describing coal as "an organic rock-like substance that is found in the earth," reassuring that it will not be transported in dust form.
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