Salmon killers: Federal approval of Burnco Aggregate Mine in Howe Sound


Approval of Burnco gravel mine threatens wild salmon and wild salmon habitat

Yesterday’s conditional approval of the Burnco gravel mine project by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is a bitter disappointment for My Sea to Sky’s 16,000+ supporters and other residents of Howe Sound. We had hoped that the Federal Government would follow through on its election promise to respect community opinions. Apparently, “only communities grant permission” is, like several other faux-promises, “no longer operative”. Howe Sound communities certainly do not grant permission for this destructive project in McNab Creek, located in spectacular Howe Sound.

The Government failed to adequately consult with local residents, turned a deaf ear to nearly four thousand public comments, and ignored citizen-scientist knowledge of the local environment, all the while relying on proponent-supplied “science” in an environmental assessment process it has admitted is shoddy and broken. The project will obliterate one of only three critical salmon-bearing estuaries in Howe Sound, further threaten the recovery of Howe Sound’s marine life and impose a noisy, dusty gravel mill on the residents of McNab Creek – all so that Burnco can fetch its gravel from closer to Vancouver than at present.

The approval, though conditional, is utterly inconsistent with responsible environmental stewardship. It is hardly the stuff of the much-ballyhooed “real change”.

We remain hopeful that Fisheries and Oceans Canada will reject this application, as it has done twice already for this proposal.

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Eoin Finn B.Sc., Ph.D., MBA
Director of Research for My Sea to Sky

About My Sea to Sky

My Sea To Sky is a people-powered environmental organization that was founded in 2014 with the mission to inspire, educate, and organize our communities to protect Howe Sound for future generations. We are bound together by our love for this wild place we all call home, and share a vision for a just transition to a renewable-energy economy. We actively advocate against unsustainable industrial projects that threaten the recovery of Howe Sound by organizing educational events; coordinating research; building partnerships and respectful relationships; lifting up First Nations voices and culture; and facilitating public engagement with our municipal, provincial, and federal governments. We aim to inspire our community to become activists, and make it as simple as possible for people to take action at critical moments.