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Lead voice for proposed coal mine leaves company

Candace Wu, Parksville Qualicum Beach News, Sep 8, 2015

The man leading a controversial coal mine project near Qualicum Beach has resigned.

Compliance Coal Corporation issued a statement Thursday saying "Stephen Ellis has resigned as an officer of the company to pursue another opportunity."

The resignation comes on the heels of a heated letter Ellis sent to the Environmental Assessment Office late last month claiming the "built-in biases" of the EAO hindered plans for the Raven coal mine project proposal to move forward in Buckley Bay.

Compliance's statement Thursday was brief, saying Ellis will stay on as an advisor and aid in the company's transition until a successor is appointed.

John Snyder, president of CoalWatch, a group historically against the Raven coal mine, said he's not sure the resignation will affect the coal mine proposal. "Frankly, I just think they are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," he told The NEWS. "Regardless of Mr. Ellis' resignation, the Raven coal mine project will continue to face intense public scrutiny, concern and opposition and it simply can't be reasonably justified."

Snyder said over the past six years there have been several changes in Compliance's corporate structure, but "the constant during this time is the Raven coal mine project has faced broad-based concern and opposition on a host of environmental and socio-economic issues. The net result is a lack of social license for the project."

According to Compliance's website (www.theravenproject.ca), the Raven project proposes to remove metallurgical or steel-making coal from a site west of Buckley Bay ferry terminal.

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