Letters to the Editor

More coal trains: bad business

Letter writers take issue with support for a North Surrey project that would mean more coal trains in the south. - James MacKinnon photo
Letter writers take issue with support for a North Surrey project that would mean more coal trains in the south.
— image credit: James MacKinnon photo

Editor:

Re: Board of trade backs new coal terminal, May 28; Business groups divided on coal trains, May 30.

To read the Surrey Board of Trade CEO’s remarks on the Fraser Surrey Coal Terminal Project is shocking.

It appears Anita Huberman and her board missed most or all classes in chemistry in high school, where one learns of the damaging effects of coal dust.

A million people die every year from inhaling coal dust. How many dollars does it cost our health system?

Fifty jobs versus the well-being of generations to come?

Tourists coming to “Super Natural British Columbia,” landing from the west, fly over a huge coal terminal. Coming from Europe over the northern route, they can see another in Prince Rupert. Now we are adding two more, in the Fraser River and the Strait of Georgia?

The premier sells B.C. with the slogan, “Canada starts here.” If this and the expansion of Delta Port goes ahead, I can only say: “My Canada ends here.”

Now we read that the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce is voting against the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal: Bravo. But could the two organizations not have talked to each other?

Wolfgang Schmitz, White Rock

• • •

The proposed extension of the coal terminal in Surrey is claimed to provide 50 extra jobs in the region.

Longer, more frequent coal trains in White Rock will reduce tourism, will cause more inconvenience for anyone using the beach area and will reduce property values and development close to Marine Drive. This will certainly cause a reduction in employment that is close to, if not more than, the 50 jobs claimed for the terminal.

Not even considering the increased pollution caused by open coal carriages, increased profits received by the terminal will be paid for by the losses and the reduction in the quality of life incurred in White Rock.

I assume our MPs, MLAs, councillors, business groups, etc., as our representatives, will publicly oppose this plan.

Laurence Oliver, White Rock

• • •

While enjoying a lovely dinner out with friends at White Rock beach last week, we experienced firsthand just how detrimental the coal trains are as they pass through White Rock and South Surrey.

Besides the disruption of the increased number of trains, and the time it took for the train to go by, seeing the dust from uncovered coal passing through was appalling. Thank goodness we weren’t eating outside.

Anyone who thinks having a new coal terminal in Surrey is a good idea has not considered the impact on those businesses along White Rock and Crescent Beach.

As the weather improves and locals and tourists flock to both, it will take just one look at the filthy coal trains passing through to turn people away.

Colleen Kusack, Surrey

 

 

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