Sunday, June 17, 2012

Letters

More Red Zones Si'l Vous Plaît

Lake Errock residents look forward to public APP meeting June 26

Submitted by R. J. Muckle, Lake Errock

 

hank You Sharon Gaetz for the invitation to this meeting (below), and I'm sure I'm not alone in looking forward to some answers!

 

You state in your letter, and I've heard it mentioned several times by proponents of this APP regarding:

 "... because of ongoing conflicts between residents and gravel operators. In response to this, the Aggregate Pilot Project was initiated in 2004 by the Minister of State for Mines for the purpose of developing recommendations and strategies for reducing these conflicts".

As a property owner at Lake Errock I look forward to hearing that the APP will finally allow us an opportunity to find the peace and tranquility that has been denied us, by an obscenely misplaced gravel pit! As you and others state...the main reason this APP has come to be, was "mostly to reduce these conflicts".

I will also applaud the FVRD staff when they finally gain the fortitude to enforce their bylaws, where ALL gravel pits must have SRP in appropriate zoning, and where Crushing will finally be expeditiously terminated, when carried out in non permitted zoning!

I will say this, and any unbiased and intelligent person would agree that; If any area that lies within one or a few hundred meters of any neighbourhood is not colored effectively RED, than this APP will prove itself to be a most hypocritical and farcical document that ever took 8 years to fabricate!

I'm sure many look forward to sharing this "Milestone" with you and your staff, and to bear witness the significant 'Conflict reducing measures' that is said, initiated this APP, and how it will greatly benefit us distraught residents of Lake Errock, and those in other Fraser Valley communities.

Below is a letter from Lake Errock resident Vern Oster;

As another property owner at Lake Errock, I fully support the attached email from Robert Muckles, i.e. that we are extremely concerned that the APP and aggregate mining does not destroy the beautiful tranquility of our lake, established community and local ecosystem.

While we understand that gravel is perceived as an important commodity, it should never be considered to be more significant than protecting local communities, sensitive environmental and recreational areas and critical watersheds.

We look forward to providing our input at the June 26th public information meeting, and that the FVRD and provincial government does the "right thing" for the long-term protection of this "super-natural" province.

 

Below is a letter from Lake Errock resident Jan Longmore;

 

I also am a Lake Errock resident add my support to the comments of Robert Muckle and Vern Oster and the many other community members who have submitted their concerns. I am extremely relieved to hear that finally, according to Mrs. Gaetz’s invitation to the June 26th meeting, there will be open dialogue between the FVRD directors and chair and the affected FVRD residents and that all our questions and concerns will be answered in a manner that is acceptable to all. I understand that our concerns will be listened to respectfully and will be documented correctly.

 

I also understand that these concerns will be faithfully taken into consideration when the FVRD finally makes their “long awaited” decision in regards to the APP.

 

I hope, with all sincerity, that this monumental decision will be made with the public sector in attendance as I am sure that you all realize that the “closed door meetings” from the past have been unacceptable in the publics’ opinion.

 

I hope that we have all learned lessons from the past and are now moving forward to an acceptable solution to all and not to just a few with “vested” interests.

Below is a letter from Lake Errock resident Dehlia Simper;

Corporate Grab of Crown land

Official Public Hearing of the APP, June 26, 7pm, 2012

You only have to come to the community of Lake Errock here in the Fraser Valley to see what the removal of an entire mountain looks like by aggregate mining. For residents of the once beautiful resort community, it is an ugly reminder of what industry can do without the consent of local community. For residents of the Fraser Valley, it serves as a warning foreboding of what’s to come if the Aggregate Pilot Project is legislated through.

The APP is a document that’s been years in the making, behind closed doors between the Aggregate Producers Association of British Columbia (APABC), the Ministry of Energy Mines & Petroleum Resources (MEMPR), and local government without the consultation of the public. This one sided document drafted up by the mining industry, identifies all the gravel deposits in the Fraser Valley but falls short on identifying other land use and resource development like tourism, recreation, residential use, water and fish resource.

The right to clean fresh water has always been something that we’ve taken for granted but now it is changing hands at a time when it is becoming scarcer and taking a back seat with gravel extraction. If you study the APP map that was drafted it will become clear that most of the gravel deposits targeted are around all our watersheds.

The APP will finally go to a public information meeting that will be conducted as a formal public hearing on June 26th hosted by the FVRD. This meeting only came about because of constant lobbying from concerns groups and will determine the fate of many communities in the Fraser Valley at the eleventh hour. Even though the public will have a chance to give feedback, at best this meeting will fulfill an appearance of democracy as decision makers ultimately will run with the ball that’s rolling in their direction and will bring them one step closer to a corporate grab of our resources in the Fraser Valley.

Once this project is approved, it will allow an easy transition of private consolidation of water and gravel resources and will operate with an open license of destruction. The decision will be conveniently timed with the passing of the omnibus bill c-38 that will wipe out important environmental laws including the protection of fish habitat and is backed by an antiquated mining act that the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resources use to their advantage.

What does this rigged system say about the state of democracy in this country? This systematic decimation of entire watersheds and communities strips away the very foundation of democracy that this country was based on. In the past we had laws that addressed socio-economic and environmental assessments, traces of which may still be

found under the Strategic Land & Policy Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture & Lands with guidelines for the allocation of crown lands. Under 1.2 of Crown Land Allocation Principles, it states;

  • Crown land values are managed for the benefit of the public;

  • Economic, environmental and social needs and opportunities are identified and supported;

  • The interests of First Nations communities are recognized;

  • Decisions are timely, well considered and transparent;

  • Public accountability is maintained during the allocation of Crown Land

Isn’t crown land supposed to be a trust for the people, "the Commons" that we all benefit from? How can crown land be privatized and traded while destroying the livelihood and lives of its people? We must stand up for Canada and stop this open season on land. I urge you to attend this public meeting and raise your concerns. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM Tuesday, June 26th at the Evergreen Hall, Cheam Room, 9291 Corbould Street, Chilliwack. Doors open at 6:30 PM.

For more information visit www.fvrd.bc.ca or call 604-702-5000, 1-800-528-0061 or email here.

Below is a letter from Lake Errock resident Debbie Oster;

Sharon,
As a property owner at Lake Errock, I fully support the attached email from Robert Muckle, i.e. that we are extremely concerned that the APP and aggregate mining does not destroy the beautiful tranquility of our lake, established community and local ecosystem.

The "extensive feedback you have received about residents being passionate about protecting their lifestyle" should be heard and respected in the decision making process. To quote a well known proverb- "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." While we understand that gravel is perceived as an important commodity, it should never be considered to be more significant than protecting local communities, sensitive environmental and recreational areas and critical watersheds.
To date, the absence of community involvement in the development of the APP is shocking and lacking in fair process. We look forward to providing our input at the June 26th public information meeting, and hope that finally the FVRD and provincial government will do the "right thing" and listen to the people.
 

 

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