I worked in northern BC for ESSO and Granduc Mines and was grateful that the generous salary that paid for my university and my trips to Acapulco at spring break. These mining companies built good homes, rec centers, schools and a hospital; they even funded a museum. (My town looked just like Deadwood's set, minus the Gem Salon, but with a more sedate hotel.)
The nature in Northern BC is immense, stretching forever with few humans living there. The mine road, town and mine itself took up little space and now, if you look at Google Earth for Stewart, you will see nature has taken back much of this development. That reversal back to overgrown forest took my lifetime.
So it was crazy to me when people in Toronto would tell me they were against ESSO and Granduc as they were exploiting the land and the people. I could not understand why they would belittle my father's living, mining for the very minerals in their phones and computers. Their words about pollution and strip mining just did not match my reality where I did not see that story line beloved by Greens.
Maybe they were watching too much TV, I do not know.
I do know that at a speech by Enbridge's CEO, a smart man stood up and voiced concern about the wilderness of BC. He had been fishing there and was concerned an oil spill would affect the people's only livelihood. I shook my head because just a few decades ago, the area had employment opportunities for aboriginal people in Granduc. Then the BC government listened to the environmental movements and shut down any mining development, leaving many men of my father's generation to rot away late in their careers.
We need to speak up for politicians like Joe Oliver who have the guts to point out these activists, their sourcing of money (US), the hypocrisy of these Hollywood stars like Cameron who has massive homes and uses energy like a gushing water pipe to make his movies and let us not even add in the energy used by audiences to watch these films. If Darryl Hannah does not like development, go live in Zambia or Zimbabwe.
In the Financial Post article, there were many comments that agreed with Joe |Oliver and I liked this one:
You can not convince these environmentalist, city dwellers that the Gateway Pipeline is a benefit to Canadians. They are not interested in where we sell our oil, if we create jobs or grow the economy. They do not care if we become a less competitive country with a lower standard of living. They do not care about the significant advances in technology that monitors and prevents spills and other problems with pipeline transportation, the safest mode of oil delivery today. But they fear environmental damage from a pipeline based on partial or unsubstantiated information they have been fed by various sources.How do you reason with people who won't listen or learn?