BURNCO Rock Products wants to dig a 70 acre pit (30 Hectare) mining lake, create an onsite crushing and processing plant, to produce 20+ million tonnes of aggregate over 16+ years. A conveyor bridge is to be build to a new barge dock terminal. The project will create only 12 direct operational jobs and threaten a natural productive estuary.
What is at stake?
McNab Creek is renowned for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and for its beauty, and quiet.
McNab Creek is also one of the last few remaining natural and reasonably intact estuaries in Atl’kitsem / Howe Sound. Estuaries are very important for fish stocks to reproduce. McNab creek is a salmon bearing stream.
In the 2011 edition of the company’s project report, 21 species at risk were identified as potentially occurring on the property.
The Vancouver Aquarium is concerned about the salmon, and rock-fish at the estuary mouth.
Squamish Chief: [Vancouver Aquarium] Researcher [Jeff Marliave] explores McNab Creek, Sept 2012. Photo: Squamish Chief
- The project will cause dust, noise and light pollution for wildlife, local residents and recreational users of the area.
- A permanent dike at the north and east side of pit lake would lock McNab Creek into its current flow, even though this creek has meandered over time, changing its flow path.
- This Gravel mine project was turned down twice by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans due to serious concerns about the project’s effect on fish and fish habitat. See this letter from the department dated June 27 2011.
The ‘benefits’ of the project should be weight against the above described serious harm this project would cause.
Suggested project benefits:
- Profits for Burnco
- 12 full time jobs
- A suggested upgrade to artificial salmon spawning channel (Water Course 2), which was originally built to compensate for the damage done to Rainy River by the Port Mellon Paper and Pulp mill.
HOWEVER, the upgrade or rebuild would do nothing to compensate for the damage to fish and fish habitat in the McNab estuary.
Environmental Assessment of the proposal
A review by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is currently underway.
- In 2016 a Public Comment Period was held from August 15th to October 3rd.
- The overwhelming public response, 3,590 issues raised by the public, forced the company to request a 180 day suspension of the review period, something which was granted by the EAO.
- As of June 21 2017 Public comments and responses from Burnco can be viewed here. Use the find option in your browser or viewer to locate your name or comment.
- It is expected that another public comment period will be held before the final recommendations will be send to the Minister.
- If you want to go deeper: here is the link the EAO website for the proposed Burnco McNab Creek Gravel Mine Project.
What you can do:
- Visit McNab Creek! If you have a boat, access to a boat, or are about to go on a kayak journey in Atl’kitsem / Howe Sound, a campsite just east of McNab Creek is part of the Sea to Sky Marine Trail.
- If you have concerns about this project you can email the Environmental Assessment Office.
- Sign the Petition. (Hosted by the Future of Howe Sound Society).
- The Future of Howe Sound Society is taking the lead to have this project overturned. Their website contains a lot of information about this project
- Write letters to elected officials:
Honourable Michelle Mungall
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources,
MEM.Minister@gov.bc.ca or michelle.mungall.MLA@leg.bc.ca
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, MP West Vancouver – Sea to Sky – Sunshine Coast
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Jordan Sturdy, MLA West Vancouver Sea to Sky
6392 Bay Street, West Vancouver V7W 2G9
Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River-Sunshine Coast
5, 4720 Sunshine Coast Hwy.
Sechelt, BC V0N 3A2
David Rafael, Senior Planner
Sunshine Coast Regional District
1975 Field Road Sechelt, BC V0N 3A1