Hurray for Coldstream council. You approved Tolko to go forward with the pellet plant despite fierce opposition. The folks protesting this project, while well-meaning, seemed to forget some key issues.
First, many moved to this area when there existed a sawmill, glass plant and railroad near to a later-built school.
No one expected these facilities to shut down, but the glass plant did, putting 350 folks and their families out of work.
Just last summer, Kelowna Pacific Railway went bankrupt, putting another 40 men and women on the unemployment line. But with no rail service, all of the industries from Lumby and Coldstream had to resort to trucking everything, increasing the traffic, especially trucks past the school to the mill, thus increasing dust, gas fumes, pollution and noise. But our protesters were never heard from.
No protests or concerns about their kids.
Tolko, CN and Pinnacle Pellet decided that spending tens of millions of dollars on upgrading the rail lines, getting a market for an environmentally friendly product and investing time and effort to do it right would be a good idea to help the economy.
The protesters, although concerned about what might happen, forget that children also need their fathers with local jobs, instead of having to go to northern B.C. or the Prairies for a job.
The council meeting I attended was packed with folks who appeared well-heeled in that they either had a job or didn’t need one, so their perspective is skewed.
One woman concerned about her property value fails to realize that if these families are without work, they will leave along with their children and, surprise, the school population may drop. If enough leave, they will not have to worry as the school will close.
This type of activity doesn’t increase property value, only increases taxes.
The companies, while they can’t guarantee against all of the disaster scenarios the protesters dream up, they are committed to being good corporate citizens which care about the community. I support their efforts to bring a strong, environmentally friendly industry to Lavington.