At the Nanaimo town hall last month, Justin Trudeau answered none of the concerns of the few informed citizens who were permitted to speak. He connected the Kinder Morgan project, with its implicit vision for massive new oil sands development, to Canada’s climate action imperative. How can sending 890,000 barrels per day of toxic raw materials extracted from the tar sands to Vancouver, with a 700-per cent increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea, be part of balancing the economy with the environment?
He ignored the fears of those who live in our port cities. Recent oil spills in B.C. have clearly demonstrated our spill response is anything but world-class and our port is inadequate to even cope with the present marine traffic.
In B.C., the measures of our wealth are the health of our oceans and our marine wildlife and the welfare of our people, not just financial gain. We will not be sacrificed on the altar of “national interest.” It is absolutely not in our country’s interest to put Big Oil’s desire for higher profits ahead of the needed shift to renewable energy if we are to have any chance of meeting Trudeau’s own Paris Climate Accord commitments.
There is hope. More and more British Columbians are stepping up to support the B.C. government’s position and there will be pressure from the International Panel on Climate Change conference (IPCC), which is scheduled to take place in Edmonton this month.
Meanwhile, let’s support the green mandate of Vancouver by joining with Stand.earth in Metro Vancouver on March 10 and limit the collateral damage from Premier Rachel Notley’s actions by continuing to support our B.C. wineries.