More than 100 people attended a recent information session about the proposed rock quarry in the District of Highlands.
The meeting was hosted by the Highlands District Community Association (HDCA) and included a panel of three experts, Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan; Vicky Husband, a member of the Order of Canada and B.C.; and Highlands resident Neville Grigg.
Grigg gave the public an overview of O.K. Industries’ proposal, including a look at what the site could look like after logging. He also talked about the implications of removing a hill by Millstream Road, which acts as a noise buffer to Western Speedway, as well as the crushing of rock and hauling it seven hundred metres in and out of the property.
The HDCA has requested more information about the proposal from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. In response to a letter the HDCA wrote to Premier John Horgan, Horgan said it would likely be late summer when O.K. Industries sends their complete plan package to the ministry so the HDCA won’t receive any further information on the issue before then.
During the session, a member of the public asked what Highlands council’s position is on the matter, and Coun. Gord Baird came forward to address the question.
Baird said that council isn’t swaying either way on the issue, but noted they did deny O.K. Industries’ rezoning application in 2016. Baird said they considered potential taxation a positive, but the benefit wouldn’t be realized until 35 years down the road when development could take place.