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CONTRIBUTION · 16th July 2014
Ingo Oevermann
Dear Editor:

I want to compliment Dave Gerein of Smithers on his constructive letter in the Interior News on June 25th; I was interested to note a parallel to part of a letter I had sent to a local development (pipeline?) proponent the night before:

1) I think we live in one of the most incredibly beautiful and bountiful provinces in Canada and I would hate to see us take the chance on having any part of it or its productive fresh and salt waters adversely impacted by a pipeline dil-bit spill or a tanker dil-bit spill (don’t forget that dil-bit does NOT float and as they’ve discovered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it is virtually impossible to clean up properly.) I don’t think we can take any possible chance of having such a spill in the northern reaches of the Fraser, the Morice/Bulkley/Skeena, or Kitimat rivers at the height of the spring salmon, or sockeye runs; the resulting damage would haunt us for generations.

2) I think it is ridiculous that we are importing oil from countries like Iraq or other middle east countries (with lousy human rights protection), and then intend to export our raw dil-bit to far east countries (where in some cases the human rights protection is just as bad.) Far better, I think, that we process the dil-bit in Alberta or Ontario refineries for use in Canada, and provide the on-going refinery jobs to our Canadian men and women. I feel exactly the same about exporting our raw logs to other countries and losing the potential
to process that wood by Canadian men and women. We need to develop the infrastructure for long term jobs in Canada rather than having other countries reap the jobs and profits.

3) .......Unlike Ottawa’s position, I think this (the dil-bit pipeline decision) is a decision that each and every one of us in B.C. only should be permitted to make.

The geography of B.C. is FAR more extreme than that of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and given the very high risk of a potential break and spill, I am totally opposed to a pipeline through the mountains and across 600+ rivers of B.C. Much of the rest of the world is highly concerned about the tar sands mining, but I don’t foresee any clawback on that development, so I think that any refinery should be built at source, or in Alberta proximity to the source, thereby providing the potential for construction, profit and refinery jobs in Canada. The end product could/ should be destined for Canadian use, until we make the necessary transition to much cleaner energy supplies, and could totally end our dependence on imported middle east oil.

We have an endless array of sustainable developments in agriculture, aquaculture, computer technology, film industry fishing and hunting, First Nations Arts, forestry, fruit, beer and wine production, mining,
manufacturing, sea food industry, service industries, skiing, eco tourism, and alternative energy (solar panels and wind power) that are available to us.

When tourist visitors bring their very valuable dollars to our beautiful province, they don’t come to see our industrial infrastructure, and I think we should enhance, and capitalize on the limitless potential of our magnificent scenery. We in B.C. are the absolute envy of much of the rest of the world, but once the beauty is gone it’s gone for good, and we will NEVER get it back.

Sincerely, Ingo Oevermann, in beautiful Smithers, B.C.