‘New quarry would be underway’

Pitt Meadows council trying to stop ‘runaway train’

New quarry proposed for Pitt Meadows is contentious.

There would likely be blasting at a new quarry on Sheridan Hill already, if not for the opposition of Pitt Meadows City Hall and residents.

Mayor John Becker said the process for the Ministry of Energy and Mines to approve a quarry is like a “negative billing option.” The applicant files a notice of work, and it is up to neighbours or other opponents – including a municipal government – to “ramp up their opposition in a very short time,” he said.

The original application called for work to begin in early April.

“If we had been asleep on this one, it would have been a complete disaster,” said Becker.

The applicant, Meadows Quarry of Maple Ridge, would like to start a quarry on the south side of Sheridan Hill, removing 240,000 tonnes per year, and lowering the height of the hill by 30 metres, to 45 metres from 75.

The City of Pitt Meadows and Katzie First Nations are ramping up their official opposition to the Sheridan Hill quarry.

Pitt Meadows will formally request an archeological investigation of Sheridan Hill and a full environmental assessment of the proposed quarry there.

At the same time, the Katzie First Nation has called for “an immediate halt to the mining development proposal at our creation site, Sheridan Hill,” in a press release from Chief Susan Miller.

“As a nation, we are not willing to let our rights be further extinguished and are prepared to assert these rights,” said Miller.

“We must ensure that our traditional territory’s cultural and ecological sites are protected for future generations of the Katzie people, as well as for our friends and neighbours who reside here. We stand united with them as our partners in protest of this development.”

She explained that Katzie territory includes land from the Pitt and Alouette watersheds, and land on both sides of the Fraser River in Pitt Meadows, Langley and Surrey.

She said the Katzie’s rights were infringed upon through the existing Lafarge quarry on the north side of Sheridan Hill, which was done without the band’s consent.

“Given that we have not been consulted or accommodated, we feel that it is important to make this public declaration: We do not consent to the continued destruction of Sheridan Hill and the site of our creation story,” said Miller. “Further destruction to this cultural site is like erasing our beginning, which further extinguishes our sense of identity and sense of place. We can’t allow that to happen.”

The motions before council at last night’s meeting were to have staff write the Ministry of Energy and Mines, requesting that the Katzie be provided with an opportunity to conduct an archaeological investigation, and that a hold be put on processing the quarry application until it is done.

It is also asking for copies of technical reports done to support the quarry application, and that the quarry’s approval be postponed until the city has time to review them.

The city will also write the Ministry of Environment, requesting a full environmental assessment be required for the quarry application, “on the basis that the proposed extraction volume of 240,000 tonnes per year was chosen in order to avoid the mandatory requirement for an environmental assessment at 250,000 tonnes per year and the concern that there will be little or no senior government oversight on the project to ensure that no more than 240,000 tonnes per year is extracted.”

Becker said these measures are “an attempt to slow this runaway train,” and added that the approval process is done with a “ridiculous time frame.”

He added: “It insults the notion of consultation and due process.”


Just Posted

Maple Ridge councillors named to local groups

Division of labour for new council

Operation Red Nose ready for 11th year in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows

The new host organization this year is Kidsport Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

Gardening: George and the family berry plan

Pitt Meadows family’s farm roots go back to 1925.

Letter: Premier has ‘no clue’ on PR

Or Horgan is deliberately hiding his intentions.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Clear skies for Fraser Blues Remembrance Day flyby

It was the first time the formation team flew over the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Remembrance Day ceremonies

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

5 to start your day

One left dead after Abbotsford shooting, touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield and more

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Most Read