‘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 pair win HM in FBCW Literary Writes contest

Theme of the contest this year was Who is ‘The Other’

Funeral for Maple Ridge senior killed while walking snow-covered roadway to be held April 13

Jimmy Gonczol was killed walking in a vehicle lane of 228th Street on Feb. 12 following the worst snowfall of the season

55+ Social for Ridge Meadows seniors who want to get out

Ridge Meadows 55+ Social is a Facegoup through which activities are coordinated for active seniors

On Cooking: You should cook topless

‘Water is a colourless and flavourless liquid.’

Maple Ridge magnetic hill defies the law of Newton

It is a stretch of road where cars roll uphill instead of down

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor reprimanded for accessing medical records without consent

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Most Read