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CONTRIBUTION · 22nd July 2010
Mark Clements
Dear Editor

No one was surprised that the Federal Environmental Review Panel gave an unfavorable review to Taseko’s proposal for an open-pit mine near Williams Lake. The Provincial Environmental Review came to the same conclusion, however; they approved Taseko’s submission, stating that the large tax revenue outweighed any environmental losses.

In other words, as long as controversial projects are not in Victoria’s political back yard, and they generate large tax wealth, then the business plans are just fine.

At the moment, I can not think of any large scale industrial operations, planned for Northern British Columbia, that does not effect the environment in a profound negative way.

Premier Campbell’s highly touted Cite C Project will not pass its independent environmental review, due to the loss of land and the discharge of carbon emissions that increases global warming. Campbell’s Cite C announcement was 20 years too late.

Enbridge‘s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project sounds reasonable, by creating hundreds of jobs at the building stage and possibly opening up the Central Interior to further oil and gas developments.

However; one can fully understand Haida Gwaii’s and Kitimat’s deep concerns of 220 oil tankers a year, shipping infamous tar sand oil through the Douglas Channel‘s pristine beloved waters. One mistake and you will not only create a BP spill like nightmare, but have the very likelihood of severe civil unrest.

The huge hydroelectric dam proposal on one of B.C.’s largest river, the Klinaklini River, needs to be declined immediately. High environmental risk in the sensitive Great Bear Conservancy is simply a bad idea. Moreover; there are many private dams slated for BC Hydro's long term renewable energy plans that demand a close scrutiny.

Northern Shale natural gas land sales have generated billions of tax dollars, but Victoria has ignored shale gas mining‘s harmful impact to the landscape and local water supplies.

Meanwhile; Premier Campbell continues to spend millions of tax dollars for Vancouver. A 300 million dollar new art museum, a 500 million dollar new roof for B.C Place, and millions of dollars on rapid trans lines to UBC and to Port Moody are a few of the highlights.

Are there any environmental safe ideas for the North? A green technology college for Prince George sounds like the appropriate start, since the city is on the forefront of globe warming with its beetle epidemic.

In today's unstable fragile world, we are all environmentalists.

Mark Clements