EDITORIAL: Strait of Georgia will be the top newsmaker in 2014

The body of water off Parksville Qualicum Beach is the focus of many ongoing stories

We expect the Strait of Georgia will be the top newsmaker of 2014, both locally and throughout the province.

One could argue the health and welfare of our ocean should be the top news item every year, but there are actions and discussion expected this year that will bring particular attention to the waters off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island.

The big picture is highlighted by Kinder Morgan’s application filed only a few weeks ago to triple the flow of oil through its Trans Mountain Pipeline from Edmonton to the B.C. coast. Estimates suggest this could mean a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic around our Island. The separate Enbridge Northern Gateway Project was given the thumbs up (albeit with 209 required conditions) by the federal joint review panel, also last month, for major expansion of Kitimat’s terminal to handle more oil.

We have stated here previously we find it difficult to believe we, as a human race, have not better developed energy alternatives to oil. However, we remain dependent on it, both for products in our everyday life and for many thousands of high-paying jobs. That is to say the notion of stopping oilsands production, pipelines and tanker traffic is not realistic until reliable, safer, affordable alternatives are widely available.

Closer to home, Parksville’s plans for the Englishman River’s water will undoubtedly have an impact on the waters off our coast. Meanwhile, 2014 is a critical year for Qualicum Beach to set up the future of its waterfront, and the town has committed money and brought in a highly-respected company (SNC Lavalin) to work on matters related to erosion and future use of the beach.

Travelling further up Island, seaweed harvesting off Bowser and Deep Bay will continue to be a hotly-contested issue, and who knows if the Raven Coal project will resurface, a plan some say would be devastating to the local shellfish industry.

Yes, the waters off our coast from Nanoose Bay to Deep Bay will get a lot of attention this year, and rightly so.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Oceanside RCMP on the hunt for reported Rathtrevor flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

A fledgling white raven was spotted near the end of Winchester Road in Coombs. (Mike Yip photo)
Legend continues as iconic white raven spotted once again in Coombs

Sightings rare everywhere in world except for central Vancouver Island location

Checking through social media feeds can be an interesting exercise. (Black Press Media file photo)
WOLF: Mr. Rogers would be proud of this friendly day in the neighbourhood

COLUMN: Residents quick to offer assistance for person coming off surgery

The boardwalk at the Parksville Community Park is frequented by walkers, runners and even hoverboard users. (Michael Briones photo)
Challenge offers Parksville area residents a chance to become a Legend of the Boardwalk

ORCA member encourages people to take part in fun activity

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10 million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek logging blockade near Port Renfrew

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

Kayak the humpback whale was found dead on a Haida Gwaii beach on Saturday, May 15, 2021. (Marine Education and Research Society)
Kayak the humpback whale found dead on Haida Gwaii beach

Whale was estimated to be only 18 years old

Then-finance minister Kevin Falcon presents his last B.C. budget, Feb. 21, 2012. The province was emerging from the 2009-10 recession and repaying federal incentive to cancel the harmonized sales tax. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Political veteran Kevin Falcon set for second run at B.C. Liberal leadership

Vancouver MLA Michael Lee announces on the same day

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Most Read