Opinion

United Church Presbytery opposes coal mine above Baynes Sound

Dear editor,

At its Oct. 27, 2012 meeting in Port Alberni, the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery of the United Church of Canada discussed concerns about the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine above Fanny Bay.

After study and debate, we concluded that this project is not supported by our beliefs and our responsibility to God’s Creation.

The project does not offer a responsible balance to the call to care for this earth, God’s Creation. The also project fails our assessment of risk to sustainable jobs, agriculture, streams, and safe water for all residents in the Fanny Bay area, adjacent region and the transportation and shipping corridors.

We could see no compelling cost benefit balance to the economic well being of the area or of British Columbia. Two motions were passed:

• Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery calls upon the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada to refuse the Raven Underground Coal Mine permit; and that Comox Nanaimo Presbytery issues a press release to this effect.

• That Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery encourages its pastoral charges and individuals to express their concerns in writing to elected members of government at all levels regarding the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine.

Letters have been sent to ministers of the federal and British Columbia governments requesting that they not support and approve the application from Compliance Energy for a permit to develop the Raven Underground Coal Mine on Vancouver Island.

We are also encouraging individual members and pastoral charges to express their concerns directly to their elected representatives at all levels regarding the proposed Raven Underground Coal Mine.

The Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery includes all 23 United Church of Canada pastoral charges from the northern tip of Vancouver Island, south to Chemainus, plus adjacent Gulf Islands and Powell River.

Rev. Minnie Hornidge

Editor's note: Rev. Minnie Hornidge is chair of the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery of the United Church of Canada.

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