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Times Colonist: Aggregate hauler downsizes, but isn’t closing: owner

Marty BlockMarty Block, the owner of South Island Aggregates, says the company is being hurt by protests. Photograph By BRUCE STOTESBURY, Times Colonist Victoria Times Colonist 
April 24, 2014 08:52 PM 

DUNCAN — The owner of South Island Aggregates says rumours that the Shawnigan Lake company is closing are not true.

Marty Block said Thursday that his company, which is hauling contaminated soil from Victoria to its Stebbings Road site, is still going strong.

SIA was involved this week in an Environmental Appeal Board hearing into an application to haul more material to its Shawnigan site, when a story started to circulate about the company going out of business and selling its equipment.

"Absolutely not," Block said. "It's unfortunate that we've actually had to go through some layoffs of our key people, but it's just a matter of economics . ... It's just very, very slow up there right now."

The trucking of so-called dirty-dirt into the Shawnigan Lake watershed has upset local residents, who have rallied at the legislature and held protests near the company's site.

Block admitted the anger is being felt at South Island Aggregates.

"There are contractors that don't want their trucks picketed. They don't want to be in the news. And it's really, really hurting us. So, like any prudent business, we had to downsize a bit. We're definitely not closed.

"We've gone down to a skeleton crew and we're just going to hunker down, if you will, and get through this appeal and then we'll see where the wind takes us."

The company is selling off some equipment, Block said.

"We are taking some stuff to the auction. We have a lot of gear. But, we're also keeping a lot of gear. We are still going to have 10 employees. We're not going anywhere."

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