With the release of the latest intergovernmental panel on climate change report on the potential threats of climate change, Christy Clark and Stephen Harper need to wake up to the following fact: there cannot be a long-term, healthy economy without a healthy environment.
Our relentless pursuit of ever harder to extract sources of fossil fuels is destroying the environment and is not leading to a long-term, healthy economy.
Why is the federal government subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, one of the most profitable industries on Earth, with our tax dollars to the tune of almost $1.5 billion a year? Oil companies want the oil in the tar sands and they will come to get it regardless of whether they are subsidized or not. Why are provincial and federal governments charging such low royalty rates (about one-fifth what Norway charges on its North Sea crude) on the extracted oil and gas?
Why is the provincial government promoting the extremely rapid development of the LNG industry? Extraction of natural gas in Northeastern B.C. using fracking is decimating the area's supply of fresh water. Clark cannot pronounce that natural gas is a "clean" fuel and miraculously it becomes one.
Ten years ago Canada was looked up to around the world as a leader in environmental legislation. Under Harper we now have the dubious distinction of being awarded Fossil of the Year for five straight years and of now being ranked dead last among 27 wealthy nations in our environmental policy.
Governments are supposed to look after the needs of the citizens of their country. They are not mandated to look after the needs of large corporations. Unfortunately, more and more often in Canada, that is what our right wing provincial and federal governments are doing at the expense of our health and the environment.
Norm Funnell, Roberts Creek
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