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Group offering options to open pit coal mining

Community Featured

WESTVILLE — A group of citizens opposed to open pit coal exploration and mining has offered an alternative way to remediate the land.

Cowan Street resident Clarrie MacKinnon, a member of the concerned citizens committee, told town council recently that his group plans to invite an official from the Ecology Action Centre to council’s next meeting on September 28 to discuss the matter.

The group is comprised mainly of residents who do not want coal mining in an area near Cowan Street.

“We want to make a presentation on how that land can be made safe,” he said.

Council denied MacKinnon’s request for a special meeting for the presentation and that it would accommodate it during the regular meeting.

The presentation will coincide with a sharing of a plan for the previously planned Diamond Street Trail that was abandoned over uncertainty over how safe the proposed route for it would be.

Town resident Maxine Mann said the town needs to realize society is transferring to a post-industrial age and consider its options for employment and economic development in the technical age.

“That’s our future,” she said.

Fellow resident Linda White noted how Glasgow, Scotland has been transformed since its coal mines were closed. She said the impact of coal mining will remain long after it is completed.

“Westville’s most valuable assets are its residents, not coal,” she said.

Beverley Chennell asked why those who support coal mining do not attend council meetings.

Deputy Mayor Lennie White reiterated that council members will not comment on the coal mining issue until new CAO Linda Brown arrives. She was to begin her duties on September 9.