A day in the life of Prince George.
Citizen paper, front page article about Enbridge oil representative assuring us that an oil spill could actually help us as it would stimulate the economy. The river, fish, wildlife, drinking water, recreational opportunities might be destroyed but we could get jobs as oil spill responders. In the evening, an info session jointly hosted by the B.C./ federal government and B.C. Hydro with flashy displays about how great would be Site C Dam, a mega hyrdo-electric project planned for the already severely heavily impacted Peace River region, a project that entails flooding out local farmers' land and impacting the habitat of various species included the endangered Cape May and Bay-breasted warblers, Yellow Rail and Nelson's sparrow.
Later that evening was a talk by B.C. Centre for Policy Alternatives and others about current forest policies in British Columbia, policies that lead to boom and bust cycles, slashed forest protection budgets, advantages to big corporations and impediments to small enterprises including value-added in accessing forest resources, waste in the forests, few jobs per tree cut (far fewer than both Ontario and Quebec), emphasis on raw log export not value-added, loss of local long-term sustainable jobs. What is this northern BC and how do we define ourselves? What do we want the future to look like? What is our vision? How do we articulate that vision? One thing for sure, at this time in history it is imperative to support movements like the First Nations communities' Idle No More campaign which among its objectives, takes a strong stand against environmental protection cuts that favour large corporations and their profit-taking.
What do we want for the next seven generations, our children, grandchildren, their children? I'd rather my grandchild be canoeing down a river, perhaps catching a fish, drinking fresh water, hiking through healthy forests and living in a community focused on sustainability not wastefulness, rather than donning a oil-spill response uniform each morning to try to clean oil off a river's shoreline while gazing out at rundown monster-sized houses and clearcuts off in the distance. We are fortunate indeed to live in such an incredible place, and we cannot afford to be idle anymore. As a start we need to demand accountability from the politicians whose job it is to represent us and work on our behalf.