Monday November 22, 2010

Community News

Friends of CRV Want Targeted Gravel Boycott

FVRD in a Catch-22 situation breaking laws it can't enforce

Submitted by Glen Thompson, Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley


riends of the Chilliwack River Valley are calling on all levels of government to boycott Conflict Gravel operations across BC. According to the Minister of State Randy Hawes, 70% of the gravel produced in BC is purchased by governments.                                                We’re asking that these elected officials stop the purchase of gravel from pits located in communities where local                       Glen Thompson, FCRV director. Voice File.

residents are opposed to these

operations. We’re asking that elected officials listen to their constituents and vote with their dollars.

There are many gravel pits that the FVRD has publically stated are operating in violation of regional bylaws. The FVRD claims they cannot enforce their bylaws due to the legal costs involved. While this may be true the FVRD could pass a procurement policy that prohibits purchase of gravel produced in mines that are in violation of regional bylaws.

Friends of CRV would like the policy to include prohibition of gravel purchases from mines that the region describes as being located on “lands unsuited to industrial aggregate operations due to irresolvable conflicts and incompatible uses [and] inadequate transportation routes”. (FVRD APP document page 8)

Randy Hawes and the regional district have publically stated they do not support locating an open pit mine at Larsen's Bench in the Chilliwack River Valley because it fits that description. The logical conclusion then is for them to avoid purchasing gravel from a site they disapprove of.

While this would be mostly symbolic on the part of the region since they do not purchase large amounts of gravel, it would give the region some legitimacy when they say they are trying to resolve Conflict Gravel.

If the province put its dollars where its mouth is, the impact would be much more than symbolic, it would end conflicts in many communities. Using their market clout the province can either end Conflict Gravel or reward it.

Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley are asking communities from Texada Island to Revelstoke to demand that their MLA’s, municipality and regional representatives put an end to Conflict Gravel as a first step to resolving Conflict Mining across BC.

Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley are scheduling a number of events in conjunction with other organizations such as the Area C Environmental Stewards and in communities as far away as Revelstoke.

Upcoming events:

Dec 1st Community Initiated reforms of the BC Mines Act presented to NDP Environ-ment critic Rob Fleming at the Yarrow Community Hall 7pm

Dec 3rd Direct Action Event (time and target to be announced)

Boycott Conflict Gravel. For more information call Glen Thompson 604-847-3732


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