A by-election issue should be about where aggregate mining should be located with-in the FVRD.
The present conflict that is seething amongst many residents whose anger is about to explode is regarding the flawed and biased Aggregate Pilot Project concocted behind closed doors for nine years with The Directors of the FVRD, Randy Hawes, past Minister of Mines, and aggregate business men. Rumor has it that the aggregate industry mapped areas they wanted with the colour green to denote dollar bills and presented it to the FVRD.
Public meetings were held to tell the public that their homes are located in a green area and the existing by-laws will not be enforced.
The historic scenic ride along the Lougheed Highway from Mission to Hope is already marred from the ugly scars of aggregate mines but there is no end in sight. They want every last stone. They want to flatten the entire Deroche Mountain.
The argument is aggregate is a vital commodity that creates jobs and the roads that are close to the pits make it economically viable.
The questions of how is it affecting the watershed that feeds into salmon spawning creeks, lakes and the mighty Fraser and community wells need consideration.
The FVRD is surrounded by mountains but the trees and vegetation that are a vital part of life are scraped bare allowing the air shed to rain plumes of dust particles down from the pits. Silt flows into creeks. The discharge from the idling trucks, the pollution drifting in from Vancouver is trapped by the mountains and the air shed has more poison than Vancouver. Asthma is on the rise.
The constant crashing, and blasting that regurgitates shocks awake sleeping babies, night workers and the sick.
The loss of revenue from the tourist industry is greatly affected. Tourists stay away.
How will mining in our community affect the children of the future when it is stealing from our children today?
Why should peoples lives be adversely affected so that the 1 per cent get rich?
Presently a gravel pit is waiting for a permit to mine above a tourist camp ground, a salmon spawning lake, the community of The Scowlitz First Nation, and another community of over 300 homes.
A positive change needs to happen for our communities, for animals and our environment and it should start with our elected officials.