To the Editor,
I thoroughly enjoyed the vapid letter penned from Jackie Tegart in the May 2 edition. It definitely strengthened my resolve on why I didn’t vote for her party in the local and provincial elections.
I loved the partisan politics and the scare tactics that she promoted. She ticked every political box. Mentions of local job losses, national job losses, First Nations’ hardship and of course the mention that the existing pipeline is safe. It was truly a spectacle of how politicians say an awful lot, spout hyperbole but substance and facts are in an awfully short supply.
I was so enamoured by the letter that I decided to pen my own. With no party affiliation, no scare tactics and certainly no political buzzwords.
In the past 60 years the Trans Mountain Pipeline has had 82 spills. 70 per cent of the spills have occurred at their pump stations and terminals and 30 per cent have occurred along the pipeline with 21 incidents related to releases of crude oil. By Trans Mountain’s own studies, the new pipeline has 99.9 per cent chance of a spill and a 77 per cent chance of a marine terminal spill. Also, a tanker spill, which would be catastrophic and I should add that Trans Mountain refuses to accept full liability for, is estimated at a 16-98 per cent likelihood.
Over two years, throughout the whole length of the pipeline construction, temporary job growth will be 2,500 people. After the two years, the pipeline would create 50 permanent jobs. That is 50 jobs created for a pipeline that by Trans Mountain’s own admission has a 99.9 per cent chance of a spill. Fifty jobs that endanger our coastline, our rivers, our wildlife and our economy.
I take absolute exception to the statement that there is no question that this pipeline is in the National and Provincial best interest. There are huge questions. For example, from Unifor, who estimate that lost jobs and the lost economic wealth that would arise from building the pipeline far outweigh its economic benefits. Likewise, the jobs of 200,000 people who rely on the health of the natural environment just in the Lower Mainland alone, would be decimated if a tanker spill were to occur.
The scare tactic that the delay or dismissal of this pipeline sends a bad message to investors and shows that B.C. is not open for business, is just that. A scare tactic.
I am happy that I live in a province that will not be bullied, will not be pushed around by self-serving companies and politicians. I am happy that we value our province’s beauty and natural environmental diversity as highly as we value our fresh drinking water. I believe that businesses and investors flock to our province because of this and, if there are some that won’t if the pipeline is dismissed, then I for one don’t want their business anyway.
Fifty jobs are not worth permanently damaging our Beautiful British Columbia.