Extensive article by Tyee Bridge in BC Business.
Excerpt: “Gravel extraction in the Chilliwack area of the river has been going on by private aggregate companies for decades. Since 2004 the operations have increased in size and number, ostensibly to protect $6-billion worth of homes, businesses and public infrastructure in the Fraser Valley from a New Orleans-style flood – like the granddaddy Fraser flood of 1894 or the one that devastated the region in 1948. While private companies are still mining the gravel, their operations are now approved and conducted under the auspices of Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC), part of the provincial Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. But a growing number of biologists, local First Nations and river hydraulics experts – as well as sport fishermen like Kwak – question the official story of flood protection and worry that the program is really a means of subsidizing a local resource industry. By framing gravel mining as an “emergency” public safety work, say critics, the government is quashing public input and ecological review – and using up limited flood-protection funds.”