LETTER: MLA’s plea only divides us further

Dear Editor,

The paid advertisement by Ellis Ross (February 7, We’re All In This Together)

begins by stating, “The recent blockade of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline…is having a polarizing effect that in the end, will benefit no one.” He then places the blame for this division on “outsiders who claim to act in the best interest of aboriginal people.” These outsiders, he tells us, use foreign money from places like the Tides Foundation to “target a particular community and then divide them.”

It’s insulting and disrespectful to the Wet’suwet’en to suggest that they’re being led. They don’t need “outsiders” to tell them to protect their hereditary land. Ellis Ross doesn’t seem to see the hypocrisy of using divisive language in an article that calls out divisiveness.

Since Mr. Ross is concerned about infusions of foreign money, he should also be concerned with foreign-owned corporations controlling our resources, and their intense lobbying pressure on our government to weaken our regulations and policies that protect public safety and the environment. Canada LNG isn’t a Canadian corporation. It’s owned by Shell (British and Dutch multinational), Petronas (Malaysian state-owned), PetroChina (Chinese state-owned), Mitsubishi corporation (Japanese multinational), and Korea Gas Corporation (Korean state-owned).

I fully understand and respect Mr. Ross’s deep concern for the social and economic issues that plague many First Nations communities, and I understand his hope that LNG money can help fix these things. What won’t help is pointing fingers and slinging mud.

In the end, such accusations simply aren’t productive. We need to learn from past mistakes. Again and again, we’ve learned that development projects—like Enbridge Northern Gateway—that don’t genuinely consult in good faith, tend to die, struck down in the courts. The fact is that there is no shortcut to approval of development in the north, and if you try and ram development through by weakening legislation and making backroom deals, you inevitably fail to get the social license to proceed.

Years before he died, my husband Bruce wrote the following words. They seem more relevant now than ever:

“The case can be made that the best environmental campaigners have been industrialists who failed to understand the human landscapes they were wanting to operate on, and politicians who chose to ignore the direction of First Nations and resource law and a growing global environmental sensibility.

We need to decide, as communities and neighbors, what’s an acceptable risk. And we need to do it civilly, grounded in science and fact, instead of hyperbole and accusations.”

Because Ellis and I can at least agree on one thing: we’re all in this together.

Anne Hill

Terrace, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Class will look different at Coast Mountain College this September

The college is embracing a distributed learning model

City council considers easing food truck restriction

Food trucks limited to four hours public parking, may increase to six hours

The pros have a plan to play, what about minor hockey?

Plans are in the works, but the process is moving slowly

City of Terrace creates bylaw framework for ride-hailing

No ride-hailing announced yet for region, but may be coming soon

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

Most Read