World Water Day Rally In Mission Friday

B.C. Watersheds along with Friends of Deroche Mountain are sponsoring a World Water Day Rally in the Valley.

In honor of protecting our local watersheds, a World Water Day rally is scheduled on Friday the 22nd between 4:30 and 6:30 pm in front of MLA Randy Hawes office in Mission on 1st avenue. Randy Hawes is our local MLA rep and the chair of the (APP) Aggregate Pilot Project.

We are at the 11th hour of plans for major irreversible changes that could be implemented that would be destructive to our water sources. Mining Zones are planned for our most important Fraser Valley Watersheds, and in habitats that are also some of the best salmon spawning areas left in the world! Many believe that the APP could be approved before the next election and that if approved the APP will help to rubber stamp permits in the large mining zones planned, accelerating the current unsustainable aspects of the Mining Act.

What can you do? Make some noise now; write to newspapers, as well as support others with comments who have written, and contact politicians before the election & tell them to commit to scrapping the APP plan and to amend the Mines Act ASAP! It only takes one sentence. Before the election will be our best and most affordable window of opportunity to get commitments to restore some local rights over our watersheds.

Attached is a petition to Amend the Mines Act, as well as some background in a resolution. Please print a page and get your friends to sign. If you can get it back to me we will have an accurate count to give to Rich Coleman.
The main selling point of the APP on the FVRD’s website , see mapping plans here:

234,635 ha. of Green Zones areas if approved will no longer need public consultation and will facilitate easy permitting.

189,301 ha of Yellow Zones may have some public consultation similar to what we have under the Mines Act, under which there has been minimal consultation, regulating or enforcement of regulations(unless prompted continually by the public).

“The objective of APP is to develop a set of recommendations supported by local government and the Aggregate Industry for new approaches that reduce conflicts and secure a long-term stable aggregate supply.”

Contrarily well over 90% of those speaking at the public meetings have been opposed to the APP. Since we already have over a 100 years worth of gravel permitted for our local needs, what is it really about?

Many of the details of the APP have been decided in closed door meetings without public inclusion.

In spite of the overwhelming opposition, almost all FVRD Directors are still in favor of the plan. I believe that the main selling point for local government has been the tonnage fees that would go to the FVRD. I believe for industry and insiders since we don’t need more gravel permitted for our local needs, that it is more about control over large areas our crown land, water and forest resources. Permits can also be bought, forests clear-cut and then re-sold to other international corporations like what we are now seeing with China and India’s interest in our raw resources.

As a member of the APP tri-party committee I believe that both the APP as well as the Mines Act facilitates a system that will be unsustainable for our needed affordable water supply. International Corporations are already buying up control of our watersheds through mining permits. This is already happening! The plan is to eventually expand to have gravel zones through-out B.C.

With the recent downgrades to DFO and MOE any expectation of meaningful proactive regulating of our watersheds and habitats is unrealistic. The FVRD have not enforced their last new improved zoning bylaw for mining. The Ministry of Mines does very little in the way of effective regulating and enforcement. Whether by the proposed APP Zones or by the archaic Mines Act if we want a sustainable future, mining with no limits or consideration of hydrological and cumulative impacts has got to be stopped. We already have well over a hundred years worth of gravel permitted in the Fraser Valley. What we need now is water security and protection of our important habitats!

At the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) last fall, at a forum Rich Coleman told me that the they were already working with the APP maps and that they would have the backlog of permits processed by this spring. See in the attached link my resolution to Amend the Mines Act that a majority at UBCM voted in favor of in 2011.

Your community may just be fighting for one pit or watershed protection issue today, but unless we get changes by amending the Mines Act among other things, our children will be fighting for their basic water rights. See what our government own environment scientists have to say about trends in the below summary and then multiply the affects if we don’t retain local standards and control to be able to protect watersheds.
Come to the rally and see the maps of the large gravel zones that are proposed and network widely. For news or to help with more rallies to come call: 1-604-820-1451

Wendy Bales
FVRD Director Area C

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