Letters to the Editor

More public, media attention needed on Enbridge pipeline proposal

To the Editor,

The Enbridge Pipeline project is very much in the national and provincial news, but could use more coverage in the local media.

This is a project that is going to dominate public discourse for some time, and although the hearings up north have just started, the federal government’s game plan is already getting a tad suspect.

The public needs a hearing and decision process that is free from attacks on the citizens and organizations which are placing their views before the panel.

The Stephen Harper government appears not to be content with just stacking the deck by appointing panel members, none of whom have any credibility in the environmental arena; by welcoming many millions of fossil fuel industry lobbying dollars, much of it foreign; and by having the vociferous support of pro tanker groups such as the C.D. Howe Institute and the Fraser Institute, who also utilize foreign donations.

No, the federal government has also decided to attack any presenter on the “no”side who is a member of any group which has received any help from non-Canadian sources, however minimal.

In addition, those on the “no” side are called unpatriotic and enemies of progress.

No doubt, if history repeats itself, if and when civil disobedience takes center stage, participants will also be portrayed as terrorists,  the lazy unemployed and professional protesters. I remember this well from 1993 at the Clayoquot.

The prime minister has made it very clear what answer he wants from the panel. He will countenance no opposition, whatever the consequences, whatever the evidence.

We would be wise to pay close attention to this matter and utilize critical analysis of all the lobbyists involved, and yes, who is paying their way and why, as we will be living with the results for a long, long time.

Dave Cutts

Nanaimo

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