Buffer zones and proposed area of operation in a recent site map created by Westbrook Consulting Ltd. (Swikar Oli/ News staff)

Highlands group invites provincial leaders to a panel opposing local mining application

The public forum begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Highlands Community Hall, 729 Finlayson Arm Rd.

A local group is holding a question and answer panel for Highlands residents today about the proposed aggregate mining site on Millstream Road, near the district’s southern gate.

Premier John Horgan and Michelle Mungall Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum are among those invited, said Highland District Community Association chair Scott Richardson.

“We think it’ll be interesting to see if any of those parties show up more than their delegates. And it will be interesting to hear what they have to say,” he said.

ALSO READ: Highlands raise concerns over proposed quarry near subdivision

The group’s core concern is that the mining legislation in British Columbia is “extremely skewed towards land owners and miners,” he added.

The imbalance is such that a company can come into the Highlands, meet the technical requirements for putting a mine, then blast rock, “reading massive amounts of dust for… years,” without having to pass a public interest test, Richardson said.

A letter from the group addressed to the premier highlights the community’s opposition to the Mines Act Permit that O.K. Industries Ltd. submitted to the province for a 60-plus acre lot on Millstream.

“In June 2018, the HDCA hosted an open house to discuss the situation and the Community Hall was filled to capacity (in excess of 135 people),” the letter states.

ALSO READ: Association calling for more information on mine proposal

The ministry previously wrote in an email to Black Press that the permit is still being reviewed and added that O.K. Industries has been asked to present its updated plans in an open house next week.

“The ministry makes a serious effort to consider and weigh all relevant information and perspectives, and takes this application very seriously and is committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive review based on input from the District of Highlands and other affected stakeholders and agencies,” they wrote. Further requests for comment were forwarded to Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources and has not been addressed by press time.

The minister would not attend the session tonight however, they replied.

“As the permit application is with the Statutory Decision Maker for consideration, it would be inappropriate for Minister Mungall to attend,” they wrote.

O.K. Industries was not invited to the open house, Richardson said, because “this is between us and the province.” The company will make a presentation on lengthy environmental reports they have commissioned at an open house next week.

ALSO READ: Highlands residents invited to view potential industrial site

Their latest proposals have made attempts at appeasing locals by increasing buffer zones around riparian areas and reducing their carbon footprint.

President Cory Sangha told Black Press previously that O.K. wants to make a deal that pleases the community and can still make a profit.

“Our family’s been here for 60 years. We’re not going anywhere, and I want to work with the community,” he said.

O.K. Industry hosts a public information session at the Highlands Community Hall, 729 Finlayson Arm Rd. on May 2, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

swikar.oli@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read