Gravel concerns are about public empowerment

This letter is in response to Eileen Wright’s letter to the editor “Leave out the NIMBYism” (Feb 14/11).  

Wright dismissed as NIMBYism another letter writer’s concerns about the gravel mine operating on top of Vedder Mountain.  She suggests that the writer should. “…stop all the exaggerations and the confrontational ranting. State your concerns calmly and honestly and let our elected officials do the job we have entrusted them to do.”

Wright appears not to understand that current legitimate concerns being expressed came about as a direct result of some  elected officials not doing the job entrusted to them.  Community concerns about conflict gravel mining practices have remained unaddressed for decades in spite of the fact that that the unresolved issues have been made know to our elected officials in a calm, honest, and detailed manner.  

That is also the case at the Veddder Mountain mine.   Making matters worse, it was recently revealed that local politicians knew, or should have known, that the Kirkness mine was over shipping their permit conditions by a factor of about four (see “No role in gravel monitoring: mayor in the Chilliwack Progress, and the Vedder Mountain Preservation Group”  The negative implications of that infraction has caused tax payers from all walks of life to express their legitimate concerns about current Conflict Gravel mining practices in their local communities.  And that’s just the tip this gravel iceberg.

The good folks in Yarrow, Sardis and Chilliwack are working hard to hold their elected officials to account for what’s been going on in the gravel local gravel industry.  It has nothing to do with NIMBYism but has a lot to do with empowering local communities to have control over where, when and how gravel mines can operate.

Walter Neufeld

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