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Mining promoters in city 'far back from frontlines'

Stacey Gaiga, Alberni Valley Times, March 30 2015

Port Alberni - If it's the same Pamela Gardner I think it is, then her letter advocating mineral exploration in BC is precarious [Times, March 25]. She's known for writing letters with questionable motives.

An apology was sought by Miss Gardner, who has been involved in politics for years, for writing a particular controversial letter this past winter.

According to the Vancouver Sun, this letter was authored by Miss Gardner who has served as a BC Liberal Party riding president in Burnaby-Edmonds, with Brian Bonney, communications director for the B.C. Ministry responsible for multiculturalism, and Mark Robertson, director of field operations for the BC Liberal Party A leaked document revealed the BC Liberal government's drive to make over Burnaby Hospital was concocted by this trio of party operatives in an effort to unseat an NDP MLA, prop up a potential BC Liberal candidate and win votes in other key ridings.

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Gardner wrote an apology: "And I concede that I have made mistakes that lead people to be even more disenfranchised with politics and for this I am sorry," in an emailed statement to the Burnaby NOW.

So what is Miss, politically-connected, Pamela Gardner's motive in submitting a letter to little ol' Port Alberni, just after Raven Coal withdrew their coal mining application amid a torrent of opposition? Who is she rubbing elbows with now?

She states, "mineral exploration... is an environmentally safe industry." Perhaps the exploration is, but subsequent industrial activities aren't, such as the experienced long-standing arsenic and sulfate problems due to Quinsam Coal's failure to deal with concerns expressed by scientists, at 30 times higher levels than provincial guidelines.

Gardner sounds like Angela Waterman of the Mining Association who spews out mining PR rhetoric from the big city, far from the frontlines.

These people have livelihoods and lifestyles that will never be adversely affected by the looming threat or consequences of mining. They both advocate for something written for ads and brochures, far from our reality, like taxpayers being left to pay the bill to clean up the toxic mess left behind at the Union Bay Coal Hills at a price of $17 million.

Stacey Gaiga
Port Alberni

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