Anti-estuary rezoning advocate makes ‘wild accusation’

Nowhere is “heavy industry” or “smelting” mentioned in proposed CVRD Bylaw 4264.

Anti-estuary rezoning advocate makes ‘wild accusation’

Brenda Bernhardt says “you don’t need to be a doctor” to know the health of our planet is failing (“Don’t need industry in sensitive ecological habitat”, Citizen, March 13), but then signs her letter with the prefix “Dr.” as if that bolsters her credibility.

A better way for the retired veterinarian to bolster her credibility would be to avoid her wild accusation that the CVRD wants to allow “heavy industry, including smelting” on Cowichan Bay.

Nowhere is “heavy industry” or “smelting” mentioned in proposed CVRD Bylaw 4264. Instead, “Marine Manufacturing” is listed as an allowed use and is defined as the “manufacture, fabrication, repair or assembly of wharves, docks, bridges, boats, barges or other structures or vessels used in the marine environment.”

You don’t have to be a doctor or even a retired veterinarian to understand this isn’t smelting. After all, the Oxford dictionary says “smelting” involves “extracting ore by a process involving heating and melting.” I’ve worked on the Cowichan Terminal for 11 years and haven’t seen any sign of a smelter.

What I do see every day is the assembly of docks, wharves, walkways and bridges. When the 60 skilled workers employed by Pacific Industrial & Marine aren’t making these vital components for our coastal communities on Vancouver Island, they’ve been removing derelict boats from the estuary, assisting distressed mariners and rescuing wildlife.

The proposed zoning amendment would simply confirm this important work can continue.

The Cowichan Terminal is also home to a regional office of Western Stevedoring (where I work) and Falt Towing, which has been a local business for 50 years. Altogether, the Cowichan Terminal is home to 80 family-supporting jobs.

All of us are committed to protecting the environment while working to support our families. It’s what we do…every day!

Denise Reich

Western Stevedoring

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