‘Keep community safe, livable’

I learned that people in the vicinity of the proposed gravel pit have been living next to an undesirable neighbour for decades.

Editor, The News:

Today I met several community members who will be directly impacted by the open pit gravel mine being proposed for the Yennadon area.

An information table about the proposal was provided and people were encouraged to take a stroll down 124th Avenue east of 232nd to get a better view of some of the agricultural land which will be getting mined if the proposal gets accepted by council.  Attendance at the community gathering exceeded expectations.

I learned that people in the vicinity of the proposed gravel pit have been living next to an undesirable neighbour for decades.

The word neighbour doesn’t actually fit, since the owner lives elsewhere in our town.

This owner has clear cut land that was prime habitat for a large number of local species on more than one occasion.  The clear-cutting took away cherished privacy and created erosion that added so much silt to one neighbour’s pond that nothing lives in it any more.   The stream running through the property, habitat for coho salmon, would no doubt have been adversely affected as well.

Once the land was opened up by the clear cut, numerous dirt bikers came in, creating plenty of noise on the previously wooded lot.

I understand that the owner in question has had development applications on this property turned down more than once.

I’m not cynical enough to think that the owner deliberately destroyed the beauty and biodiversity of their property to advance their position that the land should be developed, although there are those who believe that this may have been the case.

Now, to add insult to injury, we have the spectacle of an application to mine this land going to council.

The fact that the owner promises to restore the land to it’s previous condition after mining the gravel to a depth of 15 meters would be one of the most laughable things I’ve heard in my life, if it wasn’t such a serious situation for the long-suffering neighbours of that community.

With the type of track record this owner has, they have exactly zero credibility in the eyes of most of the people I spoke with today.

If the mining is allowed to proceed, exactly what material does this owner plan to bring back to the mine site to ‘restore’ it?

Is the owner aware that restoration work would exactly double the number of trucks rumbling through this neighbourhood in the years to come?

Is there anybody out there that’s heard of a farm being created on top of an old gravel mine site?

Houses, maybe, but we need to remember that this land was put into the agricultural land reserve for a reason.

The people I spoke with today are well aware that the timing of this application going to council might have something to do with the passing of controversial Federal Budget Bill C-38 which has radically altered environmental law as we’ve known it in Canada.

The expectation is that court challenges to Bill C-38 will be launched and we will see more of our precious taxpayer money going to lawyers trying to defend the indefensible.

Meanwhile, as we wait for the clarification we need, projects like this could potentially proceed with impunity.

Other people in the Yennadon community noted that the pressure on agricultural land is especially high at this time because if the NDP forms government in Victoria next May, there’s a good chance that removing land from the ALR will become more difficult.

After all, the ALR was created in the early 1970s by the NDP government of Dave Barrett, and most members of the NDP continue to advocate for the protection of farm land for future use.

The decision Maple Ridge council makes about this open pit mine should be pretty straightforward.  A resounding and swift no to this proposal would put others speculating on agricultural land in our community on notice that this council knows how to take the long term view.

Council has important work ahead of it, and distractions such as this shouldn’t be allowed to take up their time.

The citizens of Maple Ridge pay our mayor and councillors good money to keep our community safe and livable, and we expect them to serve us wisely when anyone tries to make a quick profit at our collective expense.

Elizabeth Rosenau

Maple Ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students in Garibaldi secondary’s music program rehearse for Swing into Spring. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge high school adding a spring to their step

Swing into Spring concert to raise money for the Garibaldi secondary’s music program

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of Maple Ridge man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Langley, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge still driving more, taking transit less

A sign to students outside Pitt Meadows secondary. The school is not currently listed by Fraser Health as having COVID-19 exposures. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Four more Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows schools exposed to COVID-19

Cases at three public schools and Maple Ridge Christian

Born and raised in Maple Ridge, Ernie Daykin is still astonished at this community’s beauty. He recently captured this image of the snow covered peaks of the Golden Ears in the background, and cherry blossoms in the foreground. (Special to The News)
SHARE: View of Golden Ears from many different perspectives

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read