LETTER: Property isn’t an ‘abandoned peat-mining plant’

The Editor,

Re: ‘Gumboots’ tour of proposed North Delta development, the Now, Sept. 18.

Since the beginning of my former career with DFO and Environment Canada, I have been involved with a vast number of environmental issues that have been covered by the press and TV. And I have often been interviewed, including about Burns Bog, though much less so lately. Never in my recollection have reporters ever gotten any story I’ve known about completely right.

The fabulous and excruciatingly beautiful natural and mainly pristine Cathedral Grove area of Burns Bog, which MK Delta wants to destroy for profit, is not an "abandoned peatmining plant." That’s next door on government property, and a part of the ecological conservancy, which is dearly in need of restoration.

The Cathedral Grove swamp forest, over deep peat, is a delightful area of Burns Bog made possible because Cougar Creek ran through here until Delta diverted it north in about 1970. Later, the peat plant was dismantled to thwart Burns Bog Conservation Society plans to covert it into a bog education and commercial centre.

If you compare maps of the ecological conservancy and Google Earth, you’ll see that the entire plant site is in government hands. Some rail lines went between the plant and

where Highway 91 now is, so there was some disturbance in this small area, but in this small area only.

If it is ignorance that keeps you from reporting the facts, you need to learn. If it is deliberate disingenuity in support of a development project, say so and don’t present it as impartial "news." If it is a matter of using the rank or stature of your sources as the measure of their validity – me having none – it is the most certain way to ensure that what you print is untrue. Yank your heads out of the sand, before it engulfs this gem.

Don Demille

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