Opinion

Harper's not a 'no' man

Dear Sir:

Prime Minister Harper’s approval of the construction of the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil and condensate pipelines subject to meeting the National Energy Board’s (NEB) 209 conditions left a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Our Prime Minister, contrary to his constant reference to the so-called science-based study and report by the independent NEB (which in reality is a quasi government department that takes its marching orders from the federal government) emasculated the Fisheries Act and the Habitat Section of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, preventing it from carrying out its due diligence in concert with NEB to protect fish and fish habitat on behalf of the public and First Nations.

The DFO Habitat Section at the local level was the eyes and ears as the protector of the fisheries. The federal government has a statutory responsibility to all Canadians to manage and protect our country’s fisheries resource. A carefully planned orchestration by the PM through the amendments to the Fisheries Act and the excuse that balancing the budget takes priority, removed salmon and other fish as much as possible from the picture to minimize their influence upon the NEB conditions.

How can our Prime Minister approve the project knowing that an oil spill along one of our fast flowing mountainous rivers would be impossible to clean up? It is not possible for people or equipment to be able to access canyon areas or for that matter to even begin a cleanup at an accessible location.

The voodoo science behind the NEB position cannot be the reason our Prime Minister decided to support the project. Rather it is a gamble on his part that there will never be an oil spill and regardless of possible future consequences it is not in his DNA to say “no” to the petroleum industry.

Jim Culp, Terrace, B.C.

 

 

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