Rick Stiebel/News Staff
Highlands council remains steadfast in opposition to a proposal to build a gravel quarry in the District.
“We’ve had the same stance for quite a while,” said Highlands Mayor Ken Williams. Highlands turned down an 2017 application by O.K. Industries to rezone the 65-acre site from greenbelt. The company then made an application for a quarry through the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for the property it purchased in 2014.
While acknowledging that the District is unable to influence the work of the statutory decision-maker for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Williams said council has provided its concerns to the review process.
“Our position hasn’t changed,” Williams stressed. With regards to an open house conducted in May that provided additional documentation and research, Williams said, “We didn’t see any information specifically addressing climate change, which council believes is a key component of the ecological assessment.”
Council also wants to see more information on reclamation of the property once the quarry work is completed. “According to the Mining Act, the site must be left in a non-degraded state,” Williams noted.
Council is currently seeking input from all stakeholders on a local area plan for the south Highlands. “It’s part of updating our Official Community Plan, which is a priority,” Williams said.
Don Harrison, the statutory decision-maker for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Cory Sangha, president of O.K. Industries, could not be reached for comment.