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WIN! Compliance withdraws its application for the Raven coal mine

Barlow speaks against the Raven coal mine, September 2011.

The Council of Canadians Comox Valley chapter has been opposing the Raven coal mine for almost five years.

The Globe and Mail now reports, “A controversial proposal to mine more than 16 million tons of coal in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island has been withdrawn in the face of growing criticism about the negative impacts it could have on rich shellfish and salmon grounds. Stephen Ellis, president of Compliance Coal Corporation, said his company has backed out of the B.C. environmental assessment process for the proposed Raven coal mine not because it’s environmentally risky, but because there is so much public misunderstanding about the project. …Mr. Ellis admitted he was concerned the proposal might have been rejected by the [Environmental Assessment Office], which refused it once before in 2013 because of inadequate information.”

And CBC adds, “Plans for the controversial Raven coal mine in the Comox Valley have come to a halt. On Monday, Compliance Energy Corporation withdrew it’s application for a second environmental assessment.” While this hopefully puts an end to the mine proposal, the news report adds that the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) “said Compliance Energy Corporation can still resubmit another application after it deals with the issues identified.”

Comox Valley chapter activist Alice de Wolff says, “We are relieved that this proposal has stalled again, but are concerned that it will re-emerge either from Compliance or another company. This is, however, a big victory that has brought us together as a community and made us stronger as activists.”

The chapter notes, “The Comox Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians and Council supporters from Parksville, Port Alberni to Campbell River have been active in a broad ‘Raven Revolt’ coalition that has made it very clear that there is not a social license for this mine. They have raised deep concerns about the mine’s effect on ground water and aquifers, about air quality, about its impact on the sustainable shellfish industry in Baynes Sound, and about the contribution of the mine’s product – coal – to global warming.”

In December 2010, the Comox Valley chapter presented its Community Action award to CoalWatch for its work against the mine. In July 2010, the chapter joined the peaceful direct action coalition to mobilize against the mine. In September 2011, Maude Barlow spoke to about 600 people at a public forum in Courtenay in opposition to this mine. In January 2012, the chapter joined a protest of 400 people in Buckley Bay against the mine. In November 2012, the Council of Canadians formally passed a resolution to oppose the Raven coal mine at our annual general meeting in Nanaimo. In May 2014, the chapter organized a rally that attracted more than 100 people to downtown Courtenay to protest the mine.

The Council of Canadians extends its congratulations to John Snyder and CoalWatch Comox Valley. He has stated, “I’d like to acknowledge all of the people who have voiced their concerns and opposition to this massive coal mine project over the past 5+ years. From writing letters, going to rally’s, supporting our CoalWatch fundraising dinners, and placing lawn signs, please know that your efforts have made a difference.”

Further reading
Comox Valley chapter opposes Raven coal mine on Vancouver Island (February 2015 blog)