By Letter to the Editor on December 3, 2019.
One of the benefits of living in Canada is the ability to air one’s thoughts publicly without serious repercussions. So it is that Ms. Skriver (Nov. 22 letter to the editor) can use these pages to enhance her views no matter her reasoning and conclusions which are, in my opinion, open to debate.
It may come as a surprise to the writer that the environment is high on the list of concerns for many Canadians. (Along with the economy, it is true.) Flawed environmental assessments have postponed pipeline expansion both here and in the U.S. Blaming Trudeau for all pipeline delays is simply inaccurate. One can understand why many states south of our border are skeptical of further expansion when witnessing, for example, the recent TC Keystone pipeline leakage in N Dakota – far more than originally indicated. Energy East was cancelled in 2017 because of Quebec and other parties objecting. Enbridge Line 3 is currently stalled in Minnesota as is their Line 5 upgrade in Michigan. These are hardly Trudeau’s fault.
Skriver takes him to task because of Bills 48 and 69 which recognize the value of protecting relative pristine waters and the land base. She does not seem to understand the importance of assessments on land and at sea. Tanker traffic is a risk; one only has to remember the Exxon Valdez and more recently the Queen of the North, the latter sinking near the proposed shipping route off the B.C. coast.
Responsible assessments are essential together with responsible development of future, albeit shorter-term projects. Trudeau realizes this – he bought a pipeline, for crying out loud. Treading a swinging tightrope is a delicate and difficult task, especially when, in the eyes of some such as the writer, he represents nothing of any consequence.
If ex-president Obama influenced the electorate as she suggested, then so be it. We also cannot dictate decisions south of our border, nor point fingers at our own for delays beyond their control.
We must work together provincially and federally, recognizing that oil extraction and subsequent transportation will occur at least for now, but do so in a manner respectful of the findings of detailed environmental reviews. The marine and land areas deserve nothing less!
John P. Nightingale