Why Boycott "Bare" Mountain?

Would you support a corporation that destroys the environment and tramples on people's rights – in your own backyard?

Developers for Bear Mountain Resort and the Bear Mountain Interchange have desecrated two First Nations caves near Victoria, BC. They demolished irreplaceable karst formations hundreds of thousands of years old for the sake of profit and convenience. The City of Langford promised the Langford Lake Cave would be protected. Instead, it has been mutilated.

Construction is killing vulnerable species and rare ecosystems. Bulldozers and excavators have trashed the watercourses. Mud and silt are suffocating red-legged frogs and pacific tree frogs in Spencer's Pond and Florence Lake. Garry Oak and arbutus ecosystems are reduced to rubble. Orange sludge is polluting watercourses downstream from Bare Mountain.

The project - and its funding - was not approved by voters in Langford. The city has aggressively promoted the expensive and short-sighted Bear Mountain Interchange and continues to pursue funding on behalf of developers in spite of over 2200 petitioners demanding an open vote and full disclosure of financial estimates and repayment terms.

The province collaborated in Bear Mountain's land grab. Crown forest land ended up in the hands of Bear Mountain Resort and Len Barrie's consortium after it was flipped twice in 2001 for just over a million dollars. The end result is trashed ecosystems and billions of dollars pocketed by developers while the province looks the other way.

Is this ethical business practice? Is this sustainable development?

Why would anyone do business with "Bare" Mountain Resort?

Get more info at the Boycott Bare Mountain blog.

"Mischief" Delays Blasting
April 10, 2008 - Blasting near the Langford Lake Cave was scheduled to start this morning at 9 am, but instead workers at the controversial interchange project got some time off.

A small crowd rallied on the Trans-Canada Highway while seven people and a dog occupied the Bear Mountain Interchange site for most of the morning. The action forced contractors to postpone blasting for an hour and a half while police negotiated with trespassing neighbours and local environmentalists. West Shore RCMP arrested one man for “mischief” and released him without charge. The rest were threatened with arrest and escorted out of the area, and around 11 am, the first explosions rocked the bluffs on the north side of the highway, 200 meters north of Langford Lake Cave.

Today’s delay likely cost the project thousands of dollars in extra wages for the blasting crew and security personnel. A recent news report quoted Langford Mayor Stew Young as saying that even though the municipality hasn’t set up the funding for the interchange, developers had kicked in around $200,000. That’s why the work is going forward without financing. It remains to be seen how much work they can do for $200,000, especially if people keep interfering.

It also makes us wonder – if the developers are so flush with cash, why don’t they fund the project themselves? Why is Langford acting as the bagman and making taxpayers liable for this colossal mistake?

The Canadian legal system contains little or no protection for endangered species and First Nations heritage. Sites used for spiritual practice for generations, like the Langford Lake Cave, are routinely bulldozed and blacktopped. In British Columbia, an individual or group needs to prove legal standing in order to take a rogue developer – or a rogue municipality – to court. We have not ruled out a last-minute miracle to save the cave and wetlands, and stop the destruction.

The environmental damage has left a huge scar on the landscape and much worse is planned. Even if Langford and Bear Mountain “win” this battle, they will lose in the long run. Tree-huggers have long memories, and folks in Langford never forget. The developers and the City Council will be saddled with this concrete monstrosity forever. Their legacy is an albatross that will hang around Len Barrie and Stew Young’s neck for the rest of their lives. If it’s completed, the Bear Mountain Interchange will stand as a hideous monument to ego, ignorance, and greed. Len and Stew will eventually get what they deserve – in hell, if not sooner.

It is our job to witness, grieve, and organize so this devastation can never happen again!

Thank you to all the brave and heartbroken souls dedicated to this cause.