Editor, The Times:
CBC Radio recently featured comments from people representing a group of Alberta municipalities supporting the Enbridge pipeline project, including the mayors of Whitecourt and Edson.
Anyone familiar with these regions can little wonder that they support any oil/gas undertaking as they have all been suckling at the corporate teat for so long that they seem incapable of thinking, other than their own short term prosperity. Family farming has pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird thanks to corporate agribusiness in what was once the ‘bread basket’ of the nation.
Now corporate power focuses on the raping and pillaging of Alberta’s oil and gas reserves in the most profit expedient fashion with blatant disregard to environmental or health concerns. No single business has had as much destructive impact as the oil and gas industry.
These corporations reward the workers with overly generous salaries in an otherwise weak economic climate. The threat of losing this income makes them co-conspirators in the corporate plan and ‘public’ allies in the fight to push through the profit driven agenda.
The promise of acquiring it likewise attracts support from the economically depressed areas of the proposed route, many of which lie within the domain of B.C.’s First Nations.
Working Canadians can’t be blamed for wanting to look after their families and the oil and gas industry knows they will always have an abundance of loyal, willing workers from areas of poor economy.
However, the short term financial gain to these people will be exhausted and long gone while the environmental degradation will last generations, especially if there is a break and spill in the pipeline. It is estimated that the pipeline will have to cross over 700 pristine watercourses, tunnel through mountains, virginal forests and numerous fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats.
This is not a footpath. The heavy equipment, mobile camps, supply roads, etc. will carve a swath through some of B.C.’s most unspoiled regions including the Great Bear Rainforest. Damage here will be unthinkable or at least it should be!
Our short-term prosperity is not worth the price of losing our unspoiled natural wonders for future generations.
Let’s face it, oil and gas are finite fossil fuels, the supply of which is rapidly dwindling.
We should be insisting our governments cease this ‘business-as-usual’ irresponsible attitude to oil and gas and focus instead on serious development of real alternative energy sources. Our governments true position on oil and gas was revealed when they made an embarrassment of Canada by abandoning the recent talks on the reduction of green house emissions.
A brief look at the breakdown on energy funding reveals that the majority of the energy budget goes to oil and gas development with barely a pittance allocated to sustainable, safe, clean energy technology.
It would appear yet again that it is the multi-national corporations who dictate policy in Canada!