The B.C. government has introduced Bill 4 into the legislature. It carries negative implications for B.C. provincial parks and protected areas and the citizens of B.C. who visit them.
The bill expressly provides for industrial activity within B.C.’s parks and protected areas and furthermore allows the removal of land from those protected areas for industrial purposes. There is really nothing in this bill that provides any sort of benefit to our parks or the thousands of people who visit them every day.
This bill has the fingerprints of corporate lobbyists all over it and from the sections being added to the bill it is clear that the government wants to ease the passage of future pipelines (specifically stated in the bill) through some of these parks or protected areas.
While it is unlikely we will see any pipelines on Vancouver Island, what about other forms of industrial exploitation?
Imagine visiting Rathtrevor Park and finding an oil company there drilling test wells for oil or natural gas (fracking)? Or finding a mining company doing prospecting for coal or other minerals? Or even logging activity?
These are all very real scenarios if this bill is allowed to pass, despite what the government may say. If an activity will fit within the parameters of the bill, then it could very well happen.
Make your own judgment: www.leg.bc.ca/40th2nd/1st_read/gov04-1.htm
Provincial parks and protected areas should be inviolate. Industrial activities have no place in these areas.
If you care about your provincial parks, call your MLA (Michelle Stilwell, 250-248-2625) and the premier.
Let’s get this bill stopped.