Write Wild

This is a follow up quote from the letter writing page mentioned in yesterday’s email from Wilderness Committee.  It is informative and expresses how I feel about further pipeline development through BC.

“WRITE WILD: STOP TAR SANDS EXPORTS

Tar sands oil tanker traffic, whether it’s through the busy Vancouver harbour or the trecherous north coast channels, is a significant threat to our beautiful BC coastline. If an oil spill occurred in these shallow, narrow and crowded waters, it could be devastating to the health of all living things and could also represent a serious economic threat. 

If BC is to be the “gateway” to the Asia Pacific region, it is our duty to be responsible gatekeepers—ensuring that our trade is ethical, fair and sustainable. Given the impact of tar sands development on First Nations communities experiencing abnormally high levels of rare forms of cancer, it’s hard to make any ethical claim that tar sands expansion should be allowed.

Some call the government of Canada’s current pipeline plans the “gateway to global warming”. Canada should not knowingly facilitate the profits flowing to big oil companies from the causes of climate change, given the severe impacts on people worldwide. Those in less developed countries, who have done the least to cause the problem, are already suffering the most as the result of rising sea levels and more severe extreme weather events. 

The main argument being used to support tar sands expansion is the perception that it is good for the economy and for jobs. As has been clearly outlined by economists like Robyn Allan and Marc Lee, the increased export of tar sands oil is actually bad for many sectors of the Canadian economy. In fact, in the long term, it’s bad for the economy of Canada overall. Recently, the OECD has warned that Canada is showing signs of “Dutch disease” (sometimes called “the resource curse”). Rather than investing heavily in resource extraction, the government of Canada should instead invest in light rail and public transit infrastructure to help Canadians get out of traffic and out of their cars, as the density of our cities continues to grow. This can help protect farm land and local food security as our population grows. Facilitating the transition to smarter transportation alternatives is actually a much better way to create good local jobs here in Canada. 

Saying “no” to tar sands exports through the west coast is the right thing to do.

Share your thoughts with the BC Premier, the Prime Minister, the Ministers of the Environment and Opposition Leaders as well as representatives of the National Energy Board. Given the recent legislation limiting public consultation on new resource projects, you may want to stress your desire for public meetings on these pipelines in your area.  

Some points to consider:

  • It is undemocratic that the number of tankers carrying crude oil for export have been allowed to increase through Burrard Inlet since 2007, without any public consultation of this new high-risk activity.
  • There should be a public process to discuss this current reality, and provide the residents of BC with an opportunity to have the final say about the export of tar sands oil through the west coast.
  • An oil spill is inevitable if we continue to allow these oil tankers to pass through these shallow, narrow and busy waters.
  • An oil spill on our coast would kill species, destroy breeding habitat, and would be a persistent source of toxins that cause diseases for many animal species for decades to come.
  • Canada should be a responsible global citizen and take action to address the climate crisis.
  • The province of BC should take back its right to hold its own environmental assessments, particularly in light of the impact of Bill C-38 and its weakening of the Canadian environmental assessment process.
  • Transportation alternatives are a better way to create good local jobs while reducing our dependence on dirty oil.”

I used these points to create a letter to be sent through their site to the powers that be and as usual pressed “send”.  The letter will not go through to the actual panel as they do not accept email, however, it should continue forward to the Premier anyway.  The following is my letter:

“I am opposed to any and all further development of pipelines across British Columbia.
The following points clearly express my concerns:

It is undemocratic that the number of tankers carrying crude oil for export have been allowed to increase through Burrard Inlet since 2007, without any public consultation of this new high-risk activity. There should be a public process to discuss this current reality, and provide the residents of BC with an opportunity to have the final say about the export of tar sands oil through the west coast. An oil spill is inevitable if we continue to allow these oil tankers to pass through these shallow, narrow and busy waters. An oil spill on our coast would kill species, destroy breeding habitat, and would be a persistent source of toxins that cause diseases for many animal species for decades to come. Canada should be a responsible global citizen and take action to address the climate crisis.
The province of BC should take back its right to hold its own environmental assessments, particularly in light of the impact of Bill C-38 and its weakening of the Canadian environmental assessment process. Transportation alternatives are a better way to create good local jobs while reducing our dependence on dirty oil.

Risks to all life forms, human included, all along the proposed sites of the pipeline, far outweigh any supposed economic benefit to Canadian citizens.”

Today’s “stone” is Day 201  write wild, save wild, think wild, be wild, live wild

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