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Posted: February 29, 2020

A clear open attack on Canadian energy

Letter to the Editor

There is a well-organized movement to #shutdowncanada. These nation-wide tremors are shockwaves from the political earthquake stemming from the recent approval of the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Project that will carry natural gas from Dawson Creek to a processing plant near Kitimat where it will be liquified and shipped to Asian markets.

This approval has not sat well with environmental groups and Indigenous activists who believe that this pipeline will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and is not in the best interest of the First Nations whose land the pipeline will run through.

The natural gas flowing to Asian markets will alleviate their reliance on coal; a good step to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that many believe is the root cause of the world’s changing climate. I will not debate either side of the “climate emergency” due to space and relevance.

Ideological, pious and political stripes aside, we ALL believe in finding cleaner, less invasive ways to fuel our lives.  We ALL look forward to a future where viable alternatives are utilized for the benefit of the planet. A shift in the Asian market from coal to natural gas is a prime example of a steppingstone in the right direction and should be embraced – yet the opposition rages on. Why?

To the First Nations part of the equation; 20 First Nations, through years of discussion and consultation have approved the pipeline and signed off on the project.  They have seen environmental concerns are minimal and the social and economic benefits to their people are massive. Ellis Ross, an Indigenous MLA from the Skeena Riding points to the fact that providing jobs and opportunities are the best means to lift Indigenous people from poverty, stop suicides and in-short vastly improve their quality of life (please Google him)!

Even armed with that indisputable fact, a few hereditary chiefs from the Wet’suwet’en Nation voiced opposition to the project (why they did is still up for debate). This lit the fuse to thousands of “protestors” to rise up in “solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en People,” despite an estimated 85% support with Wet’suwet’en people themselves.   Again – why?

If all this opposition makes sense – then let me pose this question; If 20 First Nations refused their approval and 85% of the Wet’suwet’en nation OPPOSED the project and then five hereditary chiefs demanded it’s approval – would there be groups trying to #shutdowncanada to demand the project move ahead in a bold stand of solidarity with the hereditary chiefs? If you said “no – that’s ridiculous” then you must also take a good hard look and the motivation, the organizers and the massive amount of American money behind the opposition to this project in particular project, and by extension, all Canadian resource projects.

We should also all be asking the question why the mainstream media have been pretty much silent on the overwhelming Indigenous support for these projects.

There is a clear open attack on Canadian energy. It’s time Canadians started asking why! We are the world’s leader in clean, ethical energy production and despite the seemingly good intentions of protesters, we are forced to purchase energy from countries with much lower standards. The World Needs More Canada!

Dave McGrath,

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