As the B.C. Conservative Candidate for the Alberni-Pacific Rim riding, I am writing regarding the precipitous 5,000-name petition against the Raven coal mine.
Many years ago, when I worked at the Alberta WCB, a new director of claims was hired.
At that time, there was great antagonism towards anything and anyone from eastern Canada, so, instead of considering his credentials, the knee-jerk sneer was: “He’s from Ontario!” And so the defamation began.
The stories about what he supposedly said or did became so wild and the underlying attitude towards him so vicious, I eventually booked an appointment and asked him myself if they were true.
He was shocked. Long story short: the instigator, an “anti-easterner” department manager, was discovered to be the source of the rumours.
Unfortunately, some still refused to accept the “hated easterner.”
The moral of this story is this: there are many different reasons why people fear the mine. For some, it’s simply concern there may be heavy trucks on the road 24/7. Others are dismayed by tales they’ve been told. However, until the reports have been filed, reviewed and debated, no one yet knows the whole situation.
We are certainly entitled to our individual thoughts, candid opinions and to provide solid evidence, for or against, but not to engage in manipulative scare-mongering.
Please let us all try and test the investigation results, then respect other people’s concerns and consider their suggestions, before we put the Raven coal mine and its supporters in a headlock.
As Desmond Tutu advised: “Don’t raise your voice: improve your argument.”