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Residents need to realize coal is not good for city

Ellen Chambers, Alberni Valley Times, November 14, 2012

Last Thursday evening, passions ran high at a gathering sponsored by the Citizens for a Local Economy.

Representatives from numerous community organizations came out to hear speeches delivered by Kelly Drybrough and John Snyder.

I imagine it is getting more and more difficult for Port Alberni City Council, Alberni-Clayquot Regional District directors and Port Alberni Port Authority directors to continue supporting Compliance Coal with its coal port project when the people of the Alberni Valley vehemently oppose such a venture.

Even though Bob Cole and Mayor John Douglas tried to put a positive spin on the "Gateway to the Pacific" plan, people in this Valley know increased port expansion in this fjord will further contaminate our air and water whether the coal comes by truck or by train. We know federal and provincial environmental assessments for the project are based on "tobacco company science" since scientists doing the assessments are contracted by Compliance Coal. We know more Valley residents will die on Highway 4 if those B-train coal trucks start rolling and we also know the offer of 21 jobs is ridiculous.

At a recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Mary Polak, Minister of Transportation, was asked "Minister Polak, are you aware that Port Alberni City Council and the Chamber of Commerce created a Four Pillar Economic Plan without community consultation and without community support...thus, rapid port expansion and the coal port project are not wanted by the majority of the populace who live here?"

Her response was, "The community will have to adjust and face new challenges."

My, my, doesn't that sound a lot like a euphemistic way of saying "Let them eat cake?" Add Mary Polak to the growing list of politicians who care not for the people paying their exorbitant salaries with inflated, expense accounts like MP Lunney. However, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ellen Chambers Member
Citizens for a Local Economy

© Alberni Valley Times 2012