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LETTER: Have your say on the industrialization of Howe Sound

Public comment period on the proposed Burnco Gravel Mine starts October 27

Dear Bowen Islanders,


Kw’ech’ténm, pronounced Kw’ech’ • te • nm, is the name of a former seasonal village of the Squamish. Renowned for its beauty, tranquility, it is a place you feel far away from busy life on Bowen. Kw’ech’ténm also sits next to of the few remaining natural and reasonably intact estuaries in Atl’Kitsem / Howe Sound.

Estuaries are very important for fish to reproduce. The shores close to Kw’ech’ténm, are covered in thick deep seaweed: providing excellent nursery conditions for marine life. In an 2012 Squamish Chief article, Vancouver Aquarium researcher Jeff Marliave reported seeing huge numbers of schooling larval herring: “when divers see larval herring schooling, it means it’s really high abundance.”

The return of herring and the stronger returns of salmon are indicators that Atl’kitsem is recovering. Something that brings back the dolphins and whales!

So every time we see a Humpback, pod of Orcas or Dolphins personally or from a Tweet or Post, it touches us: this is the place we live! This is what makes Atl’Kitsem so special. This is why people come to our island too.

So where is the Kw’ech’ténm site? It sits right at the mouth of McNab Creek, an area were the Burnco Aggregates corporation from Calgary wants to dig a gravel mine with processing facility and pier. The project is now at the end of the Environmental Assessment review. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans advised twice against the project.

Since June 2006 up to May 9 2017, this company has donated $350,700 to the BC Liberal party. The company donated while this political party was in power and its gravel mine proposal for McNab Creek was going through an Environmental Assessment Application process.

We had two chances to let the Provincial Government know how we feel about this gravel mine proposal. The last time, 95% of the respondents were against the project.

What is new? We have a new provincial government, AND we will be able to comment on the recommendations BEFORE the Environmental Assessment Office will be sending these to the Minister of Environment, which is a first!

Starting on October 27th – ending on November 27th 2017, you can have your say about the gravel mine proposal, and we urge you to do so.

Details for submitting your comment(s) can be found in this copy of the Undercurrent and on our website


On behalf of Concerned Citizens Bowen.

Anton van Walraven

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