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Posted: November 21, 2020

The status quo is not working

Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr. Morrison, MP Kootenay-Columbia; thanks for the recent newsletter that you sent out with clips from the various Shadow Ministers of the official opposition party (Conservative Party of Canada).

As with any political party looking to make a bold statement that will make them stand out from the others and address the concerns of most Canadians, I was looking for a message of change that reflects the Hon. Erin O’Toole’s message “But Canadians haven’t always seen themselves in our party.  I’m going to change that.”  I looked for a message that inspired hope for a better future – a future that mitigates pollution, while shifting our economy toward a more sustainable one.

However, Shadow Minister of Finance, the Hon. Pierre Poilievre’s statement on the Conservatives path forward was concerning: “the government must immediately approve $20B of privately-funded natural resources projects up for federal environmental approval, and signal to the market that others will get prompt approval as well.  We cannot afford to leave trillions of dollars of resource wealth buried beneath the dirt while we go bankrupt.”

This sounds exactly like the plans of the past and present, with the suggestion of avoiding environmental oversight and not addressing the resulting negative impacts on our health, or the increasing health care costs.

Poor air quality affects human health, the environment and the economy as pointed out in:  Government of Canada 2017-06-22.

This is an American reference with an excerpt from the World Resources Institute publication, March 6, 2017:  “New EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt recently said, “I believe that we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs, and pro-environment. We don’t have to choose between the two. The negative economic impacts of environmental damage are becoming clearer. Risky Business, a project founded by Mike Bloomberg, Hank Paulson and Tom Steyer, has mapped the potential costs of climate change, finding that states like Missouri and Illinois risk up to a 70% decline in average annual crop yields by the end of the century due to rising temperatures. Billions of dollars of property in states like Florida and California will likely be underwater by midcentury. And it is not just climate change that poses a cost to our economy and our communities. Nationwide, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to be equivalent to four per cent of GDP each year.”

Environmental disasters caused by the changing climate are putting our homes, health, food systems, water and air at risk.  Many credible articles and research indicate that we can have a healthy environment and a thriving economy.

If, as you state, I can “Rest assured, we are continuing to fight for you,” then I hope you will find a path forward within your party to do just that.  The status quo is not working.

Once again, thanks for staying in contact with your constituents through Zoom calls and physically distanced in-person meetings.  It’s very much appreciated.

Sharon Cross,

Cranbrook


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