We should not have to choose between economy and the environment

By: Stewart Muir, Executive Director, Resource Works

From the Resource Works Weekly Update - Feb 10th

It’s true nobody out is there is against everything. But every single resource project has someone against it. The cumulative effect I have called the anti-everything movement. It is having a corrosive effect on our ability to plan for a future in which tuition fees are kept in check, people can afford their health care, and there are jobs at home so our kids don’t have go off to other provinces with the grandkids in tow.

Yesterday I counted 25 lobby groups that, often with millions of dollars from foreign sources, are taking positions on environmental issues. In almost all cases, the issues in question are, at some level, legitimate ones that everybody should be concerned about. 

It is the proposed remedies for these problems that should give reasonable people cause for concern.

Too often, we are being asked to sign on to positions without properly understanding what is  implied by them. And also what vision is being proposed for a realistic economy that will create jobs and prosperity in future. If all a group has thought about is how to say “No”, they cannot hope to succeed in bringing on board the silent majority.

As a general rule, the alarmist messages emanate from groups that have more going on below the surface than they are usually willing to be up-front about. This is in sharp contrast to the many conservation groups that flourish in BC and play vital stewardship roles in biodiversity and habitat.

Even First Nations seeking to stay on their land and achieve economic self-reliance can be an obstacle to the anti-everything agenda.

Groups offering a panacea for everything too often are bereft of realistic solutions to the challenges that really do exist.

We should not have to choose between the environment and the economy like the anti-everything movement demands.


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