So what’s in it for me? That’s always the question top of mind when a proposal like BURNCO’s Howe Sound Sand and Gravel project comes forward. In most cases the benefit to the proponent applying for the permits is obvious — an opportunity to do business and meet a supply demand in the market. But oftentimes residents in the proposed area are left asking themselves ‘but what’s in it for me?’
In this situation, there are inherent benefits involved in the local extraction of sand and gravel. Aggregate is a non-renewable resource upon which we have all come to depend. At this point in time there isn’t an obvious alternative product for the construction of roads and bridges, or for schools and hospitals, and ultimately the foundations for our homes. And with the high density population here in the Lower Mainland, aggregate is forever a much needed commodity. Mining it close to where its needed is key to keeping the ultimate price of the product down, and ensuring a ready supply to support the change and growth of our communities.
In fact, 10 to 15 tonnes of aggregate are consumed for every BC resident every year. That equates to 30 million tonnes of sand and gravel needed in the Lower Mainland every year, which is enough to fill BC Place stadium with gravel 10 times over.
At one million tonnes per year from this project BURNCO Rock Products, a fourth generation Canadian company, will only contribute to filling that need, not even come close to completely supplying it.
Although crucial to our quality of life, that need for gravel can be hard to relate to and appreciate as individuals.
So more direct benefits are important to mention.
As a landowner and local business to the Sunshine Coast, BURNCO Rock Products will be large contributor to the local tax base.
Once under the construction, BURNCO will hire trades locally whenever possible, and will also buy materials locally.
Then once operational, BURNCO will be hiring 12 full-time employees to work on-site. Those will be 12 well paid positions that ultimately will have a positive influence on 12 families on the Sunshine Coast, as BURNCO intends to hire those positions locally.
And in addition to those 12 positions, an operation such as the one BURNCO is proposing will require further support from other private companies and individuals injecting $13 million into the local economy each year. Barge operators to transport the product and contractors required on-site are resident to the Sunshine Coast and will benefit from this project. Furthermore, a trickle down effect already has been, and will continue to be seen by local businesses for accommodation, meals, transportation and support.
In its 100 years in business, BURNCO has earned a reputation as a good corporate citizen. BURNCO’s owners, management and employees care about the communities in which they own land and do business. That caring not only means contributing to a community as one of its citizens, volunteering to make it a better place, but also financially by providing community amenities that will benefit people in the area. BURNCO has a corporate contributions plan that will be customized to the needs of the Sunshine Coast and its neighbours.
And from an environmental perspective, BURNCO feels confident that through four years of intensive, independent environmental studies it has a very good understanding of the area and the issues. As owners of the property near McNab Creek which has long been a heavy industrial site, and now long neglected, BURNCO has and will continue to be stewards of the area. BURNCO has planted 60,000 trees through the property where it had been clear cut and abandoned. As part of the project a malfunctioning spawning channel will be reconstructed to better fit the natural surroundings, ultimately enhancing fisheries in the area. And contaminants and debris left behind by previous owners will be cleaned up and remediated.
In the end, a freshwater lake will fill the mined area, providing a place for more recreational adventures in the Howe Sound.
BC is arguably the most beautiful places to call home in the country. Inevitably it will continue to develop and change. BURNCO is a Canadian company who appreciates that. The company’s employees live, work and play here. BURNCO is committed to the communities in which it does business and has the experience and integrity needed to manage this project in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.