Sitting in the Sea to Sky corridor, surrounded by the Coast Mountains and temperate rainforests, it is easy to assume our great Canadian wilderness and clear, cool mountain streams are unassailable.
But something wicked this way comes.
It is an ideology more than an actual villain out to sully the waters and pave roads through the forests. It exists in so many facets of political life, yet we aren’t afforded the luxury of being informed about it.
This menace corrupts the core of one of things that make us Canadian: protecting our natural environment – whether that be forests, lakes, rivers, streams or any number of species that find their habitats encroached upon.
Since when did protecting these areas become at the cost of the economy? This ultimatum of jobs or the environment seems laughable to anyone with a modicum of common sense.
Take the changes to the Fisheries Act passed by the Harper Government and a move to eliminate habitat protection provisions, all in the name of commercial and recreational interests.
While MP John Weston’s endeavour to consult stakeholders on this legislation is commendable, those who attended Tuesday’s meeting in Squamish (see story on page 13) were correct in their protestation that it puts the cart before the horse.
The legislation is passed and to ask for input afterwards is an exercise in futility. We are relieved to know, however, that corridor citizens with distinction on this topic like John Fraser and Otto Langer will continue to stick their noses in this government’s efforts.
It all comes down to the public interest versus the private ones and this government has shown time and time again on which side of that coin their policies land.
Fisheries Act regulations and the Environmental Assessment Act changes bundled up in the omnibus budget are an assault on what makes us Canadian – our wild places – in the interest of big business.
Parks Canada, established to protect the ecological integrity of our national parks, isn’t even safe from this ever-encroaching ideological pervasiveness oozing into bureaucratic systems.
Parks has increasingly changed its PMO-approved messages to stray away from ecological integrity towards visitor experience and balancing the needs of private businesses.
B.C. position on pipeline clever
Nothing says big-business interests more than the collective oil patch that fuels the economy of the province of Alberta.
This industrial powerhouse is used to getting what it wants on home turf but must be reeling at B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s position on the Enbridge pipeline – to our delight.
Clark’s insistence that B.C. receive more money for the risks to have a pipeline pumping bitumen from the tar sands through the province and tankers up and down its coast is politically clever. The addition of demands for better environmental protections is the cherry on top.
She could have just said no. Saying maybe on condition you get something you know your neighbour won’t hand over is a just a different way doing that.