The debate between Bob Simpson and Rich Coleman reveals the profound philosophical difference dividing this province.
Coleman represents the old guard view that demonstrates little care for environment, has raped our forests, decimated our fish stocks, and set government on a collision course with First Nations. The excuse is jobs at all cost. Such a short-sighted policy is facilitated by a weak provincial environmental assessment process subject to political manipulation and a free entry mining system that tramples land owners’ rights and offends First Nations. It is facilitated by Section Two of the federal Mining Metals Effluent Regulations that allow our lakes to be destroyed by open pit mines.
The same set of policies that have destroyed our forest industry, and our forests with it, for short-term benefits are now intent on removing every last mineral, cubic foot of gas, and barrel of oil for jobs (read, our big business friends) in the shortest possible time.
As judge Christopher Grauer said when granting the Tsilhqot’in National Government an injunction to prevent Taseko Mines Ltd. from entering the Xeni Gwet’in Caretaker Area, the minerals (gold and copper) aren’t going away.
Any perceived haste to extract resources is merely at the convenience of the corporate sector or current politicians in power. If China or any other rapidly industrializing country wants resources today, it will want them even more in 10 years time.
Friends of the Nemaiah Valley