Harper government heading down an ugly road

Government plan will undo 40 years of gains in freshwater fish conservation and protection

I’m writing in today to register my disgust at the Harper government’s plan to gut habitat protection provisions from the Fisheries Act, or in their words “modernize” it. Orwell would be proud.

This plan will actually regress 40 years of gains in freshwater fish conservation and protection. The Fisheries Act was based off of science, the respect for the life of these beautiful creatures, conservation and common sense. It was instituted to protect and preserve freshwater fish stocks from the onslaught of poorly planned industrial development and the destruction associated with it.

As stupid, irresponsible and destructive as this idea seems by itself, it makes perfect sense when you look at the whole picture in regards to how Canada is run politically. This country is no longer a limited representative democracy, but has mutated into a type of soft authoritarianism. It began under Pierre Trudeau and has been carried on since. The people in power represent a very small segment of Canadian society, in Harper’s case, the Alberta oil industry.

Authoritarians always begin by rewriting the law. They make legal what was once illegal. In this case, the destruction of fish habitat when it interferes with dangerous and destructive industrial development. Authoritarians demonize and snuff out dissent, in this case labeling anyone who opposes dangerous industrial projects as ‘radicals’ and using government resources to attack environmental groups. Authoritarians centralize power, in this case giving cabinet the power to override the National Energy Board’s decisions on energy projects or gutting the Navigable Waters Protection Act, allowing the final go ahead on industrial projects in Canada’s waterways to be decided by one person, the minister in charge.

All this so Enbridge can build a pipeline through the mountains of B.C. All this so Enbridge can destroy the thousand-plus fish-bearing streams the company’s pipeline has to cross. All this so Enbridge can get supertankers into the hazardous Douglas Channel. All this closing off of an open society so a handful of people on Bay Street, Wall Street and in the Alberta oil industry can make some money selling the dirtiest fuel on Earth to a regime known for killing young children in factories and at birth.

The institutions, laws and political process that make up an open society are used as a type of pressure valve for the populace to air legitimate grievances and concerns. It releases that energy and anger in a constructive way through dialogue and open debate. But when you begin to dismantle those mechanisms that allow people to feel like they have a say in the way that their society is run, you start down a road that has a very ugly end point.

The Harper government has started down that road with regards to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.  They can rewrite all the laws of the land, but in the absence of justice there will be violence. The people ruling us in Ottawa are ruled by people who view life through a very narrow ideological lens, and that is going to lead to tragedy in the mountains of British Columbia.

Cody Young

 

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

(File photo)
Mobile drop-in vaccination clinic coming to Oliver

All those in the Oliver area who have not yet received their first dose are eligible for the vaccine

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read