News Release, Wilderness Committee, April 7, 2016
VICTORIA – The Wilderness Committee is celebrating an announcement by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) late yesterday afternoon, which terminated the assessment for the proposed Raven Coal Mine in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
The Wilderness Committee has stood in opposition to the proposed mine for six years because of the risks to local water quality, ecosystems, public safety, more sustainable industries and our shared climate.
“This announcement is the long-awaited final nail in the coffin of the Raven Coal Mine,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee. “This project has always been a terrible idea that has never had public support and the EAO finally made the right decision.”
Throughout the last six years, the project’s proponent, Compliance Energy, has been widely criticized for its inability to build support for its project. The company’s history of missed deadlines, incomplete submissions and criticism of opponents culminated in August 2015 with a letter to the EAO, accusing the agency of “built-in biases” against the project and a lack of fairness and transparency in its review process.
“Compliance was given ample opportunity and due process, and it failed to gain trust and social licence,” Coste said. “This is a well-deserved victory for the thousands of citizens who we’ve stood with to fight this proposal for so long.”
The Wilderness Committee worked with local individuals and groups like CoalWatch Comox Valley to host rallies, demonstrations, public meetings and other events, to raise awareness of the issues and encourage public participation in the process.
Compliance has lost all of its major investors in the project, and in late February announced its insolvency and the resignation of the entire board of directors.
From day one the proposed mine faced steep opposition, with municipal governments, First Nations, business groups, local organizations and thousands of citizens expressing opposition.
“Part of Compliance’s problem is that there is no way to justify a new coal mine on Vancouver Island,” Coste continued. “Everyone knows we can do better than the finite extraction of dirty fuels, and I hope that the end of this campaign will mark the end of this sort of short-sighted economic thinking.”
For more information, please contact:
Torrance Coste – Vancouver Island Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
Photo: Oyster farmers celebrate the termination notice near the proposed mine site (WC Files)