Rock to Road

News
The other side of the coin


December 15, 2009
By Andy Bateman

December 15, 2009 – An article in yesterday’s
Chilliwack Progress (B.C.) quoted a rare alternative viewpoint in the aggregate
approval process.

B.C. Mines Minister Randy Hawes
said critics of a proposed gravel removal plan for the Fraser Valley
are “terrorizing” communities in the region by fanning the flames of unfounded
fears.

And those critics may
“unwittingly” be doing communities more harm than good, he says, as the plan
would save taxpayers “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in legal fees, and
maintain an affordable source of aggregate, most of which is bought by local
governments with taxpayers’ money.

Hawes also says the charge that a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) recently approved by Fraser Valley Regional
District directors was done “in lockstep” with the gravel industry is “frankly,
a bunch of drivel.”

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Public hearings were not held
during the five years the MOU was being hammered out, he says, because there
would always be someone opposed to some part of the plan and “we would not have
completed the project.”

Having elected FVRD directors on
the Aggregate Pilot Project committee was a “balanced way” of including
residents’ concerns in the MOU, he insisted.



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