Elected officials should pick a side on oil

Politicians can no longer hedge their bets on pipeline.

Dear editor,

I call upon the elected officials, starting with our representative in Ottawa, John Duncan, to declare themselves by way of the Gazette – our way of communicating with each other in this remote North Vancouver location – what their stand is re the Enbridge pipeline project and the moratorium on oil tankers.

This week I have again been challenged by one of the Gazette readers and asked, “why all these letters to the local paper – are you on a sort of quest for something?”

And my answer is of course, “You bet I am!”

Our planet, the only home we have, the only home our children and grandchildren will have, is unique in the way that for millions (indeed billions) of years it has revolved in a path around the sun, in such a mathematical way which made life possible.That is not to pre-empt the way Creationists see it; there is no doubt a mathematical, logical intelligent power unseen and unknown to us with our limited capacity to comprehend.

Be this as it may, we know this planet is under great duress, and what is very worrisome is that some human beings, and unfortunately all too many, respond in the wrong way or do not care at all.

Take the Northwest Passage. When the ice breaks up and suddenly enables us to actually navigate through these forbidding, ecologically very sensitive northern waters, instead of being a wake-up call that something drastic is happening to us, we have people signing up as tourists to have a look at what was supposed to be forbidden for man to ever behold.

I pray to the Almighty that what B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist, said will not be the case. His comment shortly before he died: “Mankind will act when it is too late.”

The pipeline Enbridge has in mind, with the necessary oil tanker traffic, is a challenge for the Canadian public; it is a “do or die” matter. We must stand up and be counted and do everything in our power to unite and by an overwhelming majority give it a resounding no.

To start with, our Prime Minister has only a 39.6 per cent “majority”. Yet because of the first-past-the-post system, he can claim to have a strong mandate. But numbers and stats alone are not the criteria here. Being informed is what counts, and how many people have time to listen to the many ominous reports one hears on night time Radio International?

A movie I reviewed this last week: If A Tree Falls. Young people in Oregon had taken the action and became violent, committing crimes, which in the end undid their Liberating the Earth group and a few landed in jail for years. Not the way to go.

I challenge every elected politician to come clean on this. Let them declare their position, and the Canadian public – there is no doubt an overwhelming majority is convinced this project must never happen – will then act accordingly, come next election. It is then up to the Community Newspapers, from Coast to Coast to Coast, to do their part and allow free discussion, starting with the North Island Gazette.

Wilhelm Waldstein

Port Hardy

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