Letter: We are all paying for climate change

Editor: Re: Who is paying the bills for pipeline protest? (the Times, Dec. 20)

The letter writer positions the questions about who is financing and paying for recent protests of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline proposal?

Well, the answer is simple: we are all paying for the devastating impacts of climate change and oil and gas resource exploitation in Canada.

A protest is the only thing that seems to garner any attention to an otherwise apathetic and distracted consumer populace. So I ask, what is the problem with a protest?

On climate change: According to the Greenpeace Canada website, the Kinder Morgan project would unlock the climate impacts of 2,700,000 million cars every year. It’s more than four times B.C.’s entire carbon cuts to date in one project.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline is opposed by dozens of Indigenous groups, including all of the First Nations in the Lower Mainland of B.C., who are worried about the risks of oil spills, threats to their economy, and the loss of traditional culture.

This also includes the Kwantlen and Katzie First Nations whose unceded lands are right here in Langley and who also have constitutional rights to say no to this project.

Protecting the Pacific Ocean and Fraser River: an increase of 400 mega tankers through Lower Mainland waterways that are the lifeblood of all wild salmon species, which are already at risk from overfishing by industrial fishing, open net farm fishing, and a volatile climate change, would have enormous impacts on orcas, bears, eagles, hawks, ospreys, and humans who rely in this food source if such a spill were to take place.

Protect good jobs: 98,000 jobs in Vancouver and 320,000 jobs in B.C. depend on a healthy coast.

Forty three per cent of these would be jeopardized by a major spill. These stats far outweigh the so-called 15,000 jobs purported by the deposed BC Liberal Party, and in an economy as booming and robust as British Columbia’s, what is your worry about those jobs not carrying over into other robust and sturdy industries like construction and real estate? It’s a free market isn’t it? Those workers surely have backup plans on how they find good paying work. I thought B.C. and the Lower Mainland has some of the most highly educated and sought after workforces in the world. One project not going ahead any further will not dampen the economy — mark my words.

The last I heard, Langley real estate prices were booming and so is the local economy. So it is no surprise that people who protest this pipeline can afford to go buy professional design services to create really nice banners. Its nice to see artists getting paid for their work. It’s a beautiful sight.

Brandon Gabriel

Kwantlen First Nation

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