Re: Terrace city council’s decision not to support the Enbridge oil pipeline.
Thank goodness we still have a democracy, and as a friend has often said, “work with it or lose it.”
Lael McKeown (letter February 1) and I will be on the opposite sides of the fence over the city’s decision.
Council had a legitimate right to open up the discussion and decide on what direction is best for Terrace.
That legitimacy is based upon the fact that the majority of residents who have spoken out over the past four years have been opposed to the project.
As well, many of those who are opposed to the pipeline project along with most of those in favour have for their own reasons remained silent.
The fact is Terrace residents have contrasting visions over what the economic future for the community should be.
I say we are in an enviable position to say no to industrial development proposals for our area that threaten tourism, a clean water, salmon and a lifestyle that most Terrace residents dearly want to preserve. It is a lifestyle based upon a pollution-free Skeena River watershed, with an intact and productive salmonid fishery. It is a lifestyle that helps to keep many professional and qualified workers in our community.
Contrary to the notion that Terrace should never say no to a major project I say it is not always possible to have one’s cake and be able to eat it, too.
Industrial developers and investors will understand and work with a community with a moral fibre and a vision and will plan around it. It is called knowing where the goal posts are. Mines will be developed, timber will be harvested and the service industry and tourism will continue to hum along. New development can and will take place.
There is no need for surprises or conflict if there is a plan the community is comfortable with. If Terrace were to embrace the notion that we must not offend a potential investor, that “anything goes concept,” there will always be community tension and conflict. It is time for Terrace to have a community dialogue, to search for what will work and what is acceptable. Terrace council made the courageous right decision on February 13, to move us in that direction.