Monday May 16, 2011

 

Voices 

The Clark Roadside Attraction

BC Environmental Agency has carte blanche, who's up for some "peaceful civil disobedience"? 

Submitted by Betty Krawczyk

 

n Philip Round’s article entitled; The Christy Clark Show Rolls Into Town (Comox Valley Echo May 20, 2011) he reported that Christy Clark made certain statements concerning the proposed Raven underground coal mine. Premier Clark is reported to have assured citizens of Comox Valley that the BC Environmental Assessment Office assessing the Raven Mine proposal was an “entirely independent” agency.

In a pig’s eye. I’ve been involved with, and watched, this agency long enough to know they do whatever the BC Liberals fancies. I’ve watched the EA Office give their okay for the destruction of Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver in order to make way for an unneeded highway to save about three minutes getting to the Olympics in Whistler, after only a third of the area was actually assessed.

 

But there was also another bigger reason for this unprecedented approval after assessing only a third of the area. This highway, paid for by the public, was to be privately managed, and would facilitate the development of multi- million dollar homes on top of the bluffs. More like top of the world. For them. Because we got tricked into paying for private development. But the EA Office said in effect that it was perfectly all right to make their decisions with only one third of their environmental assessment completed. Entirely independent agency?

If this were true we wouldn’t have to endure the disgraceful loss of habit for endangered species, we wouldn’t have the continued logging in watersheds, we wouldn’t have clear cutting on mountain sides that causes flooding in the valleys, we wouldn’t have the ruination of salmon streams by careless logging, we wouldn’t have lice breeding fish farms that kill wild fish, and we wouldn’t have private industry damming up our rivers which further damage fish stocks. In other words, if our EA agency were truly an independent agency we would have sane and healthy environmental policies instead of sick, political ones.

Kevin Falcon succeeded at Eagleridge Bluffs in getting the EA to okay the concept that only a third of an area was needed for assessment approval to begin a project. Either the people at the EA offices were terrified of losing their jobs or all inexplicitly became brain damaged at once.

 

A one third assessment could not possibly have represented the entire area of bogs, marshes, birds, red listed species of flora and fauna along with the Arbutus forests of Eagle Ridge Bluffs that was there. Kevin Falcon got his wish but in the process he has contributed to the loss of any lingering respect among many British Columbian for our provincial EA office.

But never mind. It’s an inside job anyway. The only agency in BC that makes the decisions concerning our environment now is the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations; the minister is Steve Thomson. Mr. Thomson is, in my opinion, merely an unobtrusive figurehead for this most important office. By pulling together all of our natural resources under one ministry the BC Liberals can speed things up considerably.

 

This reorganization tightens the screws on the dissolution of the very concept of public ownership. They can sell off, destroy, give away and off load to the south, or internationally, any and all of our Crown Corporations and public resources with the greatest of ease. We are quickly and systematically being divested of all of our common property.

In my opinion the decision on the Raven Coal Mine has already been made. It was made by Kevin Falcon and Christy Clark with Gordon Campbell’s blessing along with the wealthy investors salivating in the background. All that is left now to stop or slow the development would be peaceful civil disobedience. Anybody up for that?
 

 

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