Environmental Regulations and Job Creation: Believe it or not, it is possible to have both.
Remember the Greenpeace Movement which captured local attention with their barge back in the ‘90s? Protestors had made a short stop in our harbor to refuel their ship while en route to another scheduled protest along the coast. (Queue the irony.) It’s a time in which a new grassroots movement springs up for every social issue. Indeed, heartfelt voices of every protester is heard — and eventually with enough pressure public policy shifts in favor of preserving the environment. But it makes one think of impacts on our community’s job growth.
Even today we already witnessed the slow march towards environmentally green policies — notably, the recent purchase agreement with BC Hydro and the installment of 66 wind turbines. Something’s different here, though. The wind farm project created jobs. Not only that, it’s environmentally friendly, at least compared to conventional natural resources, like oil and gas. Except, natural resources is Port Hardy’s chance at greatly reducing unemployment.
Fishing, logging, mining — all of these spring to mind what was once characteristic of Port Hardy. So much so we even have our own holiday named after our industries, “Filomi Days.” When excessive regulations hinder that sense of community, what built our town, what fed our families, or gave us a roof over our heads, of course it makes us think.
Also, not to mention that the North Island has an opportunity to open another mine – not a copper mine though, like in our town’s past. But if the survey studies permit, another mine would no doubt bring another boom to our town, something we so dearly need. Of course, we would have to take the proverbial bull by the horns and commit to making it happen – despite potential pushback.
Yes, too much extraction is bad for our environment (think: our marine population right now from overfishing); but no, we don’t need to regulate every single bit of it. It’s that gentle balance between the two which brings both jobs and a clean, sustainable environment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never bad to be environmentally conscious, but at the same time who doesn’t want a thriving community full of jobs?