Harrison Hot Springs’ fight against the proposed quarry on Hot Springs Road has gotten some federal backing.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May, spouse of local Green Party candidate John Kidder, has written a letter of support for the Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs for their opposition to a proposed quarry project along Hot Springs Road.
The quarry, initiated by TC Merritt Valley Farms, would see 13 years of gravel extraction from a property along the main road into Harrison. The property is in the District of Kent, and as of yet, Kent council has not stated an opinion on the proposed project. However, residents and council members in Harrison Hot Springs have been vehemently opposed since the application came forward more than a year ago.
In July of this year, May visited Harrison Hot Springs with Kidder as part of a “lightning tour” of the Matsqui-Mission-Fraser Canyon riding. While here, Harrison councillor Michie Vidal spoke with May about the proposed quarry, and the concerns of the residents.
“As an activist, as an environmental activist, I would have been on the ground to make sure that got stopped,” May said during the July 12 visit. “As a federal party leader, I have to say ‘How do we get in on this?’”
On Aug. 2, May sent a letter to the provincial minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources stating her support for people like Vidal who had been opposed to the project since the beginning.
“This project poses myriad threats to the community,” she wrote. “The proposed quarry will hurt the area’s vital tourist industry by marring the beautiful landscape near the town’s entrance. Huge gravel trucks going through the town centre will create safety hazards and put additional stress on the tourism industry.”
“I implore you to not grant TC Merritt Valley the permit to start this quarry project,” she continued. “I urge you to stand with local and regional government, local residents and tourists and protect Harrison from the irreversible damage this project would cause.”
So far, no decision has been made on the quarry proposal. The final outcome will wait until all referral agencies and governments have had an opportunity to respond; currently, there’s no indication of when that will be.
To catch up on all our coverage of the proposed quarry check out agassizharrisonobserver.com/tag/Kent-Quarry.