Choose your next MLA – Bill Bennett’s answer to the question of the week

Liberal candidate Bill Bennett answers this week's question.

  • Apr. 11, 2013 3:00 p.m.
Bill Bennett.

Bill Bennett.

Are you for or against a stall on mine expansions in the Elk Valley while more testing is carried out on selenium levels in the Elk River?

I oppose any delay to Teck Coal mine expansions. The key to managing selenium is for Teck Coal to employ people and make a profit, so they can afford to pay the billions it will take. The expansions of Line Creek and Fording River Mines will extend mine life, protect hundreds of good jobs and keep Teck operating. I will fight hard for that.

I support a balanced approach that protects family-supporting jobs, while establishing a science-based, valley-wide plan that will manage selenium levels down over a reasonable period of time. This is not an “either/or” situation. We can have good jobs and still manage selenium but it cannot happen quickly. Teck Coal is prepared to deal with selenium. They will do the right thing if given adequate time by whichever political party is in government.

Montana Senator Max Baucus and BC environmentalists are lobbying against coal mining, just as they are trying to force a Flathead Valley federal park on us. The NDP have never liked mining. The NDP leader recently said he wouldn’t want his children working in the mining industry. On May 14th, the people of the Elk Valley will be voting for their jobs.