Clark boosts coal mine based on imaginary benefits
VICTORIA— Christy Clark needs to explain how a coal mine in the Comox Valley will benefit the E&N railway, which has suffered from years of Liberal neglect, say New Democrats.
“First the Liberals denied Island residents a credible, independent and comprehensive environmental review panel and joint hearings with the federal government. Now the premier is inventing public benefits to the E&N railway to defend the Raven coal mine," said New Democrat environment critic, Rob Fleming. "She should know the proponent plans to truck coal over Highways 19 and 4 to Port Alberni and has no intention of using the railway."
Yesterday, when questioned about the Raven coal mine, Clark said that " a coal mine, potentially, would be a huge source of revenue for the E&N Railway."
The E&N railway is in such terrible condition that the Dayliner has been shut down since March 19 due to poor track conditions, and the rail portion of the Johnson Street bridge has been closed to bicycles and pedestrians due to safety concerns.
"The Liberals have done nothing to ensure that our island railway remains a viable option for residents, tourists and industry alike," said Scott Fraser, the New Democrat MLA for Alberni Pacific Rim. "The premier's assertion that a coal mine could somehow help our railway recover from a decade of Liberal neglect is bizarre and misleading."
Even James Lunney, the Conservative MP from Nanaimo-Alberni, blames the B.C. Liberal government for the state of the railway, saying "I can only say that from the federal level you're not going to attract funds without support from the province."
Adrian Dix and the B.C. New Democrat team are strongly committed to protecting the environment while strengthening the economy of local communities.