#18 Telling Victoria to frack off
October 09th, 2014
I had a near temper tantrum in the hardware store today. Some young man who was about half the size of a downtown Vancouver bus was holding forth on how short-sighted the Shawnigan Lake town council was for fighting a project which would have brought significant amounts of tax money.
Why do football-player-sized young men with university educations think some scrawny old woman will be so intimidated she won’t verbally joust with them over the sanctity of drinking water? Why do they think their size makes them instant experts in all things?
That Shawnigan Lake project would also have brought significant amounts of contaminated soil and gravel to the very banks of the lake from which the drinking water is pumped but I suppose that’s inconsequential alongside the chance for a tax buck or two. What the hell, why worry about the kids drinking contaminated water, it’s easy enough to make replacements.
Now we hear that Imperial Metals, those bizarre folks who brought us the Mount Polley disaster, have served a court injunction on Iskut elders who are blockading the road to Red Chris mine. The elders say there is too much obvious risk, that Red Chris is designed much the same as the Mount Polley debacle, and they won’t agree to the potential impacts on what might be the second largest salmon run in the province.
Gawd, it’s almost unbelievable that we’d have to have any kind of debate at all about protecting our rivers and lakes. But that’s where we’re at.
I don’t entirely blame the mining corporation or even the general mining industry. Their aim is to make as much profit as possible. That’s a given. They want the money, honey. And it isn’t their fault if those dweebs in Victoria have slashed staff and cut budgets and not done their due diligence.
The ultimate blame sits squarely on the Liberal government of Premier Puff ‘n’ Stuff, who might well be our version of Sarah Palin.
I have my fingers crossed that the recent Tsilquot’in decision will strengthen the claim of the Klabona Keepers, the elders who are willing to go to jail rather than risk the future of the Nass, Stikine, and Skeena rivers.
We know that California has been caught in a drought which is going to impact the price of vegetables in the supermarkets for the next couple of years, and we’re standing around with our thumbs up our basic fundaments allowing corporations to risk polluting rivers and lakes. Are we nuts?
There is a sort of societal malaise which is affecting and infecting large segments of the population. Do you suppose it would help clarify things politically and provincially if, instead of talking about hundreds of thousands, millions, billions of tax revenue from Liquified Natural Gas, those trying to talk us into it would talk about FRACKING? You can’t have one without the other.
Fracking will put hundreds or thousands, milions, billions of toxic waste water into the earth where it can mix with well water, underground aquifers and even leach into lakes and rivers. You want that? I have a hint for you… your goldfish will float bellyup in its tank. You’ll be able to turn on the tap at the kitchen sink and then strike a match and watch the pretty flame.
It’s not just that they’re lying about the enormous financial benefit. Lying we’re used to. We almost expect it. We know if we see a politician’s lips moving he or she is probably telling porkies. It’s what they do. But equally dangerous are the things they DON’T say. Please, when you hear the rah rah rah about LNG, think FRACKING.
It’s up to us to protect the wildlife, too. The fish are heading up the rivers. And this year is the big Adams River run. It’s on my bucket list…!! Egypt has pyramids, Europe has castles and cathedrals. We’re the lucky ones, we get salmon runs.
Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.