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Stop wasting our time over Raven coal mine

Stacey Gaiga, Alberni Valley Times, March 17, 2015

Port Alberni - Congratulations is in order to the City's appointed Raven Coal committee!

They've been vindicated, considering what this paper wrote about the two local residents on the committee and the four experts in various fields who live elsewhere.

Besides the fact the committee's report was accepted unanimously by the City at a public Special Meeting, the Environmental Assessment Office has just published an evaluation listing 62 pages of deficiencies in Raven's re-application.

During the Raven Coal Committee's presentation to city council on the evaluation of the working group's material submitted by Compliance Energy for re-application for the Raven coal mine project, it was quantified that an AV Times journalist continued to report that Raven coal would create 50 to 70 trucking jobs for our community, evidently absent in Raven's application. This was received with snickers from several people attending the meeting and ironically, the subsequent wanton opinion piece by the paper, "Coal mine benefits lost amid opposition," depicted the committee as "biased."

Raven coal committee's mandate was to review the re-application to see if the deficiencies identified by the BCEA/CEAA May 16, 2013 were addressed with information as required by the Application Information Requirements (AIR). The committee appropriately reported their findings after thousands of hours of research. Evidently the reporter did not understand the committee's terms of reference.

The committee's job wasn't to analyze the worthiness or benefits of the project and stating they were biased was ignorant. As was implying our community's "aggressive opposition" compromised a [nonexistent] rail benefit which I have already addressed in my previous letter.

This recent 62-page EAO document describing Raven coal project deficiencies reads, "the AIR requires that the executive summary include a summary of issues identified. This was not evident in the executive summary (would have expected to see mention of concerns about groundwater and drinking water, coal dust during transportation, impact on shellfish industry, etc.)".

Compliance Energy has failed yet again and it would be appropriate that certain people finally concede to this reality. It's high time Raven coal gives up, goes away and stops wasting our time.

Stacey Gaiga
Port Alberni

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