LETTERS: O.K. Industries needs to rethink its plans

Re: O.K. Industries asks to engage with Highlands community over contentious quarry project

In your June 17 article, O.K. Industry’s (OKI) spokesperson Mel Sangha calls the application by the Highlands District Community Association (HDCA) for a judicial review of the Province’s mine approval “a little adversarial.”

Does OKI consider an application to court for a fair hearing adversarial? Is it adversarial to take a stand when our community feels its rights are trampled upon? And, with the planet now under extreme stress by any measure, is it adversarial to suggest that ‘business as usual’ warrants review?

What seems “adversarial” to Highlanders is an Island paving powerhouse asserting ownership by disrupting the very things that brought us to the Highlands: peace and quiet; connection with natural eco-systems; abundant clean surface and ground water; dust-free clean air to breath; and a calm, rural lifestyle.

OKI’s plans to strip mine its property will depress land values for residences as far as five kilometres away by amounts up to 25 per cent. In effect, a portion of nearby residents’ life savings invested in their homes will transfer into OKI’s pockets.

OKI is doing this after Highlands council voted down rezoning the property from greenbelt to industrial, after hearing from 200 residents at an open house that the mine was not wanted, and after learning of a petition by 1,000 Highlanders taking their objections to the BC Legislature.

Adversarial? Let’s hope that the company will give this a rethink in light of all that we stand to lose.

Scott Richardson, HDCA chair

Highlands

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