What a sad state of affairs when a plan for resource management that has been in the works for years, and has had both public input and a lot of public expenditure, is cancelled because a majority of Rocky View County (RVC) councillors are tired of working on it and gave up. Why are councils elected, if not to develop sound policies through constructive compromise?
Cancelling the long-awaited Aggregate Resource Plan, which included environmental considerations, throws residents back into a state of fear over gravel pits in their backyards. It throws me into a state of fear that the three mines proposed immediately north and west of Big Hill Springs Provincial Park will get the rubber stamp without proper environmental assessments. Not only is this tiny (65 acres), much-loved park in jeopardy from three new mines on its boundary, but another with partial approvals is proposed on the very aquifer of the unique and nationally-significant springs that are the basis of the park.
Will our council have the stamina to properly assess all the complications associated with each new gravel proposal coming before it? There is a lot at stake that a well-developed policy or plan could have helped to facilitate. Now, what will guide council when it weighs a decision on the long-term value of a park and a substantial spring versus mining a low-value, common resource that could destroy both?