On August 9, 2023, Eric and John had a virtual meeting with Ross McElroy concerning the application by Malahat Nation for an extension and amendment to its foreshore lease at Bamberton. Ross is Director, Authorizations, West Coast Region, Ministry of Forests. He, or a new person who will report to him, will probably be the decision-maker.
Our discussion focussed several requests, including asking for:
- documents referenced in the EAO’s final report, such as information pertaining to the status of the ocean within the lease area
- a public website where relevant documents could be accessed
- an environmental monitoring committee
- a lease term substantially shorter than 30 years
- a requirement in the lease to comply with the Dust Mitigation and Monitoring Plan – Bamberton Water Lease
- a requirement in the lease to limit the frequency of barge traffic to the level that the proponent said would occur
- a requirement for a qualified professional to monitor and report on any shipments of contaminated soil
- measures to protect the sea pen/sea whip community at the northern end of the present lease area
- a prohibition on ship-breaking
- a significant bond sufficient to clean up and remediate any reasonably anticipated spill.
While we appreciated Ross’s willingness to meet with us, we were disappointed that he felt he was not able to agree to any of our requests, except for a prohibition on shipbreaking, which he said he would have no problem including. With respect to the size of the bond, apparently this is governed by a government policy.