Harrison Hot Springs – JULY 4 UPDATE – Info organizer Michie Vidal noted that some 160 people showed up for the info session that ran simultaneously with the info session at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall on Pioneer Avenue.
Thank you everyone for the turnout today! Over 160 of you during the afternoon! Thank you for attending the Open House and having your opposition heard. Interesting that all or the proponents displays and comments attempted to address every concern we have raised. The Asst. Inspector of Mines discussed our concerns and met with us for close to an hour. Our MLA (Laurie Throness) was there to answer our questions. Many thanks to Mayor Facio and Council Members who attended and took the time to address our Rally participants and clearly voice there opposition! Your Committee will take a short break and then plan our next strategy. We are not done yet!
That was followed up by an official statement on July 5: FRIENDS OF AGASSIZ & HARRISON HOT SPRINGS Friends of Agassiz & Harrison Hot Springs are disappointed with the proponents Open House held July 4th regarding the proposed Quarry Mine at 3628 Hot Springs Rd. This Open House was ordered by the Chief Inspector of Mines as part of his consultation with stakeholders prior to a decision to deny or approve the mine permit application. A large number of our supporters attended and spoke with numerous individuals hired by the proponent. It is the view of Friends of Agassiz & Harrison Hot Springs that our concerns and questions were not adequately addressed or answered in order to change our opposition to the Quarry mine permit application. Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs wish to note discrepancies based on our research and the Notice of Work filed with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources including: “Mine operations would have no impact on business or Tourism in Harrison Hot Springs as the operations are outside Harrison” Mayor Facio and Council, Tourism Harrison and MLA Laurie Throness have publicly stated the mine would have devastating effects on both Tourism and Businesses in Harrison Hot Springs. “Trucks will not cross the centerline on Hot Springs Road” The proponents route map clearly indicates exiting the site and travelling south on Hot Springs Road through Agassiz. It is impossible to follow this route with loaded tandem trucks without crossing the centerline on Hot Springs Rd. “Traffic flow volume will not increase from what it is now and will not significantly impact the area” The proponents traffic studies were conducted during lower volume season focusing on the Agassiz area. Residents, tourists, cyclists and school buses with children entering and exiting use Hot Springs Road year round. “Blasting and crushing is planned for only five months during the off season. Transporting of materials year round to meet clients requirements” This is contrary to the Notice of Work document which indicates year round operations including blasting, crushing, excavation and mechanical screening. In addition, the presentation indicated the Quarry would be for “personal use only.” “We are required to leave a 20 metre easement from sloughs to protect endangered species” This was a comment from an individual hired by the proponent. Our research and documentation indicates fuel contamination and a constructed bridge over the stream was present earlier this spring. Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs will vigorously continue with our campaign, working closely with all levels of government to achieve our goal to have the Quarry mine permit application denied. Our determination has not been diminished. The next phase of our ongoing campaign will provide awareness of these, and other discrepancies to the Chief Inspector of Mines. Thank you. Friends of Agassiz & Harrison Hot Springs
JUNE 25 UPDATE – FVN has learned that Friends of Agassiz & Harrison Hot Springs will be holding an Information Rally on July 4 from 2-8 PM.
It will be held at the covered BBQ/Picnic area beside the Agricultural Center in Agassiz.
This event will coincide with the Aggregate Mine Application Open House. (The Application Open house will be inside while the Info Rally is outside).
According to organizer Michie Vidal: ” Our goal is not to disrupt the Open House but to provide information on our groups opposition. We are hoping all media covers this issue.”
MAY 1 ORIGINAL STORY – As you may have seen on social media, the group Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs have been very vocal about not wanting a gravel pit near the Village. The actual address is 3628 Hot Springs Road, District of Kent. This is south of the Village and north of the turnoff to Agassiz Speedway and Kent/Mountain institution.
After a petition was delivered to Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness, the organizers have ramped things up a notch with this release, which in part states:
After a very successful Phase I campaign, with over 1550 petition signatures presented to the BC Legislature by MLA Laurie Throness, over 3000 on line petition signatures directed to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and hundreds of letters forwarded to the Chief Inspector of Mines, residents continue to voice strong opposition. The application by TC Merritt Valley Farms to build a gravel pit near the Village has been submitted to the Ministry which, if approved will continue for 13 years.
A key organiser Michie Vidal said,” residents are as motivated as ever, it’s been such a community effort. I’m pretty impressed and overwhelmed with the way the communities have come together, adding that for now,” the goal of the citizen activists is to share the message with as many elected officials as possible”.
The Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs are launching Phase II of the ongoing campaign. The focus will involve a new letter writing campaign, targeting Federal and Provincial Ministries, Municipal Governments and organizations which may provide submissions to the Statutory Decision Maker, prior to a decision on the mine application. The potential devastating effects on the environment, local economy, health and safety of residents and tourists of a proposed mine to the communities cannot be mitigated.
The Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs will continue to strongly voice opposition to the Quarry Mine application with the focus and goal to have the permit denied.