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B.C. Votes Against Its Future

2013/05/15

I don’t live in Canada’s most westerly province, but I know that British Columbians pride themselves on their slogan, “Beautiful British Columbia”. It is a province of vast wilderness, ancient mountains, and pristine waters, although its beauty has been marred in recent years by the pine-beetle-destroyed pine trees covering vast regions of the Rocky Mountains. But the sparkling lakes and the beautiful Pacific coast remain jewels in B.C.’s crown – so far, at least. But the incumbent Liberals, lead by the unpopular Christy Clark, won a majority government in yesterday’s provincial election. Why the NDP, which went into the race with a 20-point lead, didn’t win is a surprise to many, and no doubt their loss will be dissected by the party and the media over the next while. What BCers are left with is a government committed to building dirty energy pipelines through pristine natural wilderness, and fracking the heck out of the province to make it a natural gas super-power. Oil tankers will be traveling up and down the now-pristine BC coast to transport the Alberta crud that’s been piped in. Uggh!

Longtime B.C. resident Dr Warren Bell, who helped found Canadian Physicians For The Environment, had this to say in response to yesterday’s election results:

“I think this outcome will radicalize everyone who is looking to the future of BC, the country and this planet, and knows and understands now that this is a joined struggle between those who see near-term dollars as the only standard for prosperity, and those who see sufficiency for all, and the interests of future generations, as paramount.”

The only lights on a dark day for the planet were the election of climate scientist Andrew Weaver, who became the first provincially elected Green in Canada, and Christy Clark’s loss in her own riding. Clark ran a fear-based campaign that pitted jobs against the environment, and painted the NDP as a scary alternative to the Liberal’s record of “economic stability”. Apparently voters need to be reminded to hold their breath while counting their money, as a reminder that the economy isn’t more important than the environment.

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economy-environment-quote

More links:

Voter Turnout For B.C. Election Among Lowest Ever

BC Election: Voters With Indian Status Cards Asked For Second ID

David Eby Takes Over Christy Clark’s Seat, Credits Environmental Goals And Local Focus

Andrew Weaver Makes History, Becomes First Green In Provincial Legislature

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/05/15 11:27 am

    Hard to make sense of these election results. But if my memory serves me well, Paul Gilding has already advised us to stop “waiting” for government to lead us, for they know not where to go. We the people, idle no more, are the ones who ultimately have the real power to lead by example, down the rocky-road towards a low-carbon economy. It won’t be easy, but the transition has already begun. I am trying very hard to remain optimistic despite all the dark news.

    • 2013/05/15 2:04 pm

      Thanks for the timely reminder; the forces aligned against The Shift seem formidable but as Gilding also points out, giving in to despair is the worst thing we can do.

  2. 2013/05/15 12:21 pm

    … and I thought being “liberal” meant something different … now understand there’s a difference between being “liberal” and “Liberal” … I have felt that we sometimes need a jolt and backlash of radicalized “apathetic” and “complacent” voters to take back what we truly treasure … ultimately, the future.

    • 2013/05/15 2:07 pm

      Yes, Doug, “liberal” in the BC context has nothing to do with the “radical” reputation libs get (deservedly or not) in the U.S. of A.
      There’s no doubt that a jolt in the derriere is what we’re all going to get when Mother Nature starts to call in her debts. That day is getting closer and closer, no matter what the majority of head-in-sanders think.

  3. jay permalink
    2013/05/15 6:13 pm

    Money talks. Loud. 😦

  4. 2013/05/15 6:51 pm

    For the time being. Until clean water and clean air and a stable climate are rarer than a dollar bill.

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