MP out of touch with electorate

Writer maintains Conservatives are not listening to public opposition to oil pipelines.

I am pleased that Colin Mayes has decided to retire, as his recent columns prove how out of touch he and his fellow Conservatives are with reality. He is “perplexed” by British Columbians’ dislike for oil pipelines, which shows he has not been listening to us.  So here’s the message once again, loud and clear: We do not want our land, water and ocean sullied by impossible-to-clean-up oil sands!

Mr. Mayes says not to worry, because we have world-class laws to protect us. Well, the best laws won’t protect us when companies cut corners on maintenance (Kalamazoo) or safety protocols (Deepwater Horizon, Lac-Mégantic). And they certainly can’t save us from human error (Exxon Valdez).

Laws need enforcement and resources to make them effective, otherwise they aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. China for instance has very tough air pollution laws, but without enforcement these laws are ignored so they have the worst smog on earth.

We have such inadequate marine response resources that we had to call in an American tug to rescue that Russian freighter last week.

I shudder to think if that had been a tanker loaded with bitumen. The Conservatives have also gutted enforcement staff at Environment and DFO, they have shut down the marine pollution monitoring program on the West Coast, slashed most other environmental researchers and muzzled the few scientists who are left, and they have systematically weakened the very laws that protect our environment.

But this all fits the Conservative head-in-the-sand, economy-at-all-cost doctrine. Ignore or deny any science which doesn’t fit their beliefs. Turn off the radar so there are no mountains or rocks to worry about as we merrily drift along blindly (to disaster?).

If there’s nobody left to monitor marine pollution or study global warming, then they aren’t happening, right? How convenient.

Well, I’ve got news for you, Mr. Mayes: the earth IS round, it IS heating up, and British Columbians don’t want our province spoiled with dirty oil!




Jim Wright



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