FVRD Chair Gaetz’s June 15th Media release regarding the Aggregate Pilot Project is clearly intended to do damage control for an ill-conceived meeting planned for June 26th which has gone sour and viral with the public.
Inquiries to the FVRD staff for a position paper resulted in a referral to series of documents on the FVRD web site. No clear agenda or position paper appear to be available to the public for a meeting to be conducted as a “formal public hearing”. The public is condescendingly invited to a “sharing of information”.
The Aggregate Pilot Project (APP) was initiated to respond to “persistent and intense conflicts surrounding aggregate operations” in the district. What resulted was a secretive series of meetings the Aggregate Producers Association, local governments, and Ministry of Energy & Mines. The resulting report included lots of benefits for the industry and few for the public. The public was excluded at every step.
At the October 2010 public airing of the APP, there was an almost unanimous rejection of most of the recommendations. The only support came from one or two aggregate suppliers.
A citizens group provided an alternate set of guidelines to reduce conflict, involve the public in a meaningful way, and still provide for an adequate aggregate supply. This was rejected by the FVRD but with strong internal opposition.
If Chair Gaetz is serious with her statement that the “Board will not be making any decisions respecting the APP or related bylaws” and the meeting is indeed to hear “views on this initiative” then the FVRD should release an agenda and brief clarifying what “this initiative” actually is. One would also expect that the board would have integrated the dozens of suggestions already presented to them by citizens after the October 2010 meeting.