This old carpenter’s leaning green

Dear Editor,

Being a construction worker [retired] and an environmentalist makes it difficult to conclude whether you are in favour or against LNG export. A country or a province has to have some industry and cannot exist with all its workers positioned behind a computer. To quote my dad, “The economy cannot exist by all of us cutting each other’s hair.”

Kitimat was established as an industrial town and has drawn different industries to establish there, some have since moved out and the number of Alcan’s employees is now less than half of what they were 50 years ago when I lived in Kitimat. Therefore to have a number of industries in one place may well make sense.

Regarding the environment, it is true that natural gas burns cleaner than most other fuels, however the extraction and compressing creates problems; it is recognized that about one third of the gas is lost or escapes during the process and it’s anyone’s guess what happened during digging and fracking to the earth and ground water. We do know that fracking creates earthquakes and flammable water. We also know that at least 92 illegal without-permits dams are holding poisonous fracking water [according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives].

About the economy, it will create a high number of temporary jobs but we don’t know who will fill the permanent positions. Historically specialized industries tend to import people who already have the skills required and hire locals only for grunt work. Will they even be Canadian? I recall that 201 Chinese miners were brought in to work for HD Mining for five years to “teach” our experienced hard rock miners how to mine, some will be staying for 15 years.

Mr. Ellis Ross did what he was supposed to do while chief of the Haisla people and they will continue to benefit from LNG. But how about the rest of us? We do know that the many billions that Christy Clark talked about to get elected was always a pipe dream, we also know that Woodfibre, the only LNG facility that has officially declared they will go ahead, will receive $34 million per year in electricity rebate, while seniors and working poor who asked for some relief for their electric bill will be denied. The taxpayers are paying a minimum of $12 billion for the white elephant named site C so we can give millions to corporations while our rates continue to increase.

“Corporate capitalism is committed to relentless pursuit of growth, even if it ravages the planet and threatens people’s health,” [wrote Drew Hansen, Forbes Magazine].

Given that, this old carpenter must go with the environmentalist.

John Jensen

Terrace, B.C.

Letters continued on page 6