For this Blog the Change for Animals event, it has gotten personal. I may have come around about this new city of mine, however, there is one area in which we will never agree: politics. More specifically, the politics around animal welfare. With rodeos being the favoured summertime entertainment and the oil sands being the province’s blood stream, it is inevitable that Alberta and I are going to clash in several intrinsic ways. No matter what the propaganda says, this is a government that puts money and economy over everything else. Forget planning for our environmental future, forget the experiences of our animals, it is all about creating jobs and putting more cash in the pockets of overpaid executives.
Sorry, I guess that wasn’t an objective statement. It is hard for me to remain neutral about an issue that has jammed itself in my cranium ever since the proposal was introduced. There is nothing about the Northern Gateway Pipeline I can support.
For starters, the threat of a gigantic disaster will always loom. The oil industry has not done much to ease my concerns in this regard. North America has seen too many spills and leaks and destructive accidents in the last decade for me to believe this pipeline is environmentally safe. On a second, more important note, have you seen the area in which the pipeline will traverse?
Frightening. How many animal habitats will be forever disrupted? How many endangered species will find their lives threatened? Creatures like the Spirit Bear and the Woodland Caribou are threatened. The invasion of construction crews will only serve to decrease their dwindling numbers.
Is it worth it? Sure, and it will make the transportation of oil much more efficient and it will create employment for a limited time. But what are the repercussions?
The town of Kitimat, British Columbia held a plebiscite this weekend to determine whether or not there is local support. Considering the pipeline will be intruding on these 8,335 human lives the most, it was only fair. Of course, the vote wasn’t binding and was more of an opinion poll than anything else. The company leading the proposal were not at all daunted by the negative result. As MP Nathan Cullen said, the backers of the pipeline believe the outcome of the vote shows the ignorance of the community members.
“This is deeply offensive to people,” said Cullen, in an article published by the Vancouver Sun. “Like they’re saying, ‘We’ve heard you and we’re going to ignore you.’”
This worries me. The rigorosity of this company to push their proposal through, no matter what the irreparable costs, no matter what the people want, frightens me. As in so many other initiatives, I feel helpless to prevent something that I know will have lasting impacts on us all.
Why should you care? This is in Canada, after all. It is a decision that will be made by the Canadian federal government. But I know you care about animals. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t. You also can’t forget that the same people backing the Northern Gateway Pipeline are pushing for the more extensive Keystone XL, which will have even larger ramifications.
What can you do? Add your name to the petition, pledge to stand with the Yinka Dene Alliance of First Nations who has joined with other First Nations to create a connected wall of opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Share your opinion, let the Government of Canada know that this matters to you, as a member of the world community.
We may not be able to stop it, but we can’t let this destruction happen without having our say.