Letter: BC residents

Tuesday, March 27 2018

Maybe I’m too weary from months of being on the road, or wading through seas of plastic garbage and air pollution in southeast Asia, but I have to disagree with dear Tsiporah’s recent callout of our Prime Minister about his government’s pipeline decision and his ethics.

When it comes to environmental friendliness,  I think this Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment Minister McKenna are perhaps the most compatible and competent leaders we’ve had in more than a generation. 

Never before in my activist-life have environmentally progressive governments been in power in Alberta, British Columbia and Ottawa at the same time! Collaboration and trade-offs with these friendly governments will get us much farther much faster as a nation and a planet than ideological paternalism. Our brothers and sisters in Alberta have implemented a carbon tax, have a plan to transition their power plants off coal, and have tightened up environmental regulations on the oil industry.

Monumentally, the federal government stopped the Northern Gateway pipeline to barely a peep from us! And if twinning the current pipeline route to Burnaby is stonewalled, we risk losing much political capital to a resurgent, angrier right-wing taking Alberta and Canada in the opposite direction.

Environmental issues still rank high in opinion polls, but it’s important to remember just last year, for I think the second or third year running, the top selling vehicle of all types in Canada was the Ford F-150 truck. We have a long ways to go yet.

Sitting in the privileged and lucky enviro-echo-chambers of our own design, we forget most of the world’s people are just trying to survive each day. And frankly, there are far more important and urgent environmental priorities globally and nationally we need to put our money, time and talents into than stopping a new pipeline on an existing route going to the fifth busiest port in North America and adding one extra (very closely scrutinized) ship, to the hundreds crossing the Salish Sea daily, give or take.

We need to be careful what we wish for.

~ Ken Gurr