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

Monster Truck Chaos comes to Victoria, tickets on sale Friday

Monster Truck Chaos rumbles into Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Jan. 25 and 26

UBC Thunderbirds win national championship at UVic

Esquimalt’s Emily Moore, goalkeeper, stops 5 goals

West Shore RCMP arrest man accused in Port Renfrew theft, Duncan fraud

Man stole two phones and wallet, spent nearly $300 in fraudulent charges

Victoria immigration lawyer has rights revoked after lying to many clients

James Edward Turner will not be eligible to practise law again for 10 years

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Most Read