Pipeline politics

I was going to vote for the NDP, but now, I'm not so sure...

Congratulations to The Parksville Qualicum Beach NEWS on being judged B.C.’s best newspaper in your circulation category. The large ad in the April 25 edition gave deserved credit to all the staff and to those who deliver the paper.

Surely, somewhere on that page you could also have acknowledged the amateur scribblers who fill your letters pages every week — without the readers’ comments any newspaper is incomplete, in my humble opinion.

Which brings me to the imminent provincial election. Until recently, I was pretty certain on whom I would be casting my vote for, as I feel that the B.C. Liberal Party have had their kick at the can. Ten years of the leadership style of Gordon Campbell, then two more of Christy Clark, have left many feeling frustrated. I believe it’s time for a change of government, I planned to vote NDP.

That was until Friday when I listened to the leaders’ debate on CKNW Radio and Adrian Dix said that he would unequivocally oppose any expansion of the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline from Alberta to the Burnaby refinery.

The yet-to-be-finalized expansion plan would result in tankers loading about once a day, up from the present situation of a tanker loading about once a week. That’s a major problem for Dix , as he stated that he will ensure that Vancouver never becomes a tanker port.

Being a retired shipmaster with many years of world-wide experience on a variety of vessels, including tankers, and having a healthy respect for the trade union movement, I find this to be the absolute wrong-headed approach.

Vancouver is Canada’s port, and as such exports Canada’s lucrative resources — of which oil happens to be one. There will be so many missed opportunities of high-paying union jobs in the construction of the pipelines, the tank-farms, the loading facilities and then all the ancillary positions like tugboat crews, etc.

By Dix nixing Kinder Morgan’s expansion plans he has definitely lost my support, and for the first time in my life I’ll be putting my “X” for a Tory candidate. I realize that the chances of the B.C. Conservatives winning seats are somewhat minimal and Dix may well be B.C.’s next premier, but he will do so without my vote.

Bernie Smith





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