In a late 2011 CBC Radio interview on the study of the oil and gas industry of northeastern B.C., provincial health minister Mike de Jong referred to the “benefits” of the industry to the province.
The benefits are short-term jobs and limited tax revenue in the rush for profit. Long-term damage to water, land, and air by the hydrocarbon industry is ignored.
That industry is not solely responsible; consumers who refuse to act on the already large body of evidence of damage are also to blame. To compare the upcoming study of B.C.’s oil and gas industry with the “Stop the Violence” campaign by B.C. physicians, judges, and police chiefs to legalize and regulate marijuana reveals the nature of our country at the moment. Prime Minister Harper has categorically refused to even consider the evidence.
The Prime Minister also serves the oil and gas industry.
British Columbia no longer determines its political direction. If we are to recover that, we need public, not corporate development of oil and gas, driven not by negligent consumer demand and short-term profit but by environmental and justice issues. Further, we need to reject Harper’s ideological refusal of the “Stop the Violence” campaign and to implement its recommendations immediately.
Failure to do either will show the extent to which BC has lost control of its future.
Dr. David Heinimann