Opposition comes mainly from B.C.

John Kidder takes exception to Tom Fletcher's argument that opposition comes from south of the border.

Dear Editor

re:  “B.C. Views – U.S. ‘environmentalists’ ”, Jan. 31

Tom Fletcher, astonishingly, believes the absurd argument made by the Conservative government that the opposition to the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline comes mainly from “foreign-funded environmental groups” and “professional protesters”.

The main voice of opposition in BC, and the voice that will eventually win, is the united opposition of all the First Nations of the province, along with many in Alberta. “Foreign-funded”? Right behind them are all those who support the ban on tanker traffic on the Coast – that’s been in place since 1970, forty-one years, well before the rise of “professional protesters”. But perhaps Mr. Fletcher doesn’t read the newspapers he reports to, so he couldn’t be expected to know this.

The tar sands do have immense value, which will only get greater with time. And current extraction methods do do immense damage, which, as technology improves, will only be reduced. A rational approach to development of this critical resource is to leave the stuff in the ground until we can figure out how to extract it with minimal environmental effect, upgrade it on site so we gain some economic benefit, and then pipe it to eastern Canada to reduce our dependence on imports.

Aside from the environmental risks, it is just lousy public policy to put short-term economic benefits, almost all of which will flow to foreign corporations like Sinotec, ahead of the long-term interest of this nation.

I am an unfunded Canadian individual and an amateur protester. I’m going to do all I can to stop the pipeline.

John Kidder

Ashcroft