Hypocrisy! Virtually all of us know what it means, most of us abhor it, and yet we see it on the political scene and, even more direly, in the actions of our governments, on a far too regular basis.
The most recent example we are trying to deal with is Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to spend almost five billion of our dollars on what amounts to a promise of a pipeline that would facilitate an increase in Canada’s green house gas emissions. The deception comes when this decision is compared to the federal governments claim it will limit national GHG emissions, that pipelines are a private sector responsibility, and that hearings by the National Energy Board into the validity and necessity of another pipeline were objective, fair, and technically sound; and consequently should stand on their own merits. I find this take-over deal domineering, and destructive. But something else bothers me just as much; that is the prevailing federal ideology that spending more taxpayers money on the oil and gas and pipeline industry is fundamentally essential to the best interests of Canadians.
Contrast this with the secrecy surrounding and, as far as we know yet, failure of the same Trudeau government to establish a National Park in the South Okanagan that would truly be in the best interest of all Canadians. A National Park managed on the principles of ecological integrity and landscape and biodiversity conservation by a professional public service accountable to Canadians would reduce green house gas emissions below levels presently emanating from agricultural and industrial use of the area.
Why are Canadians not involved in public hearings about this “national interest” issue? An economic perspective independent of Trudeau or Kinder Morgan estimates taxpayers will cough up nearer to $20 billion for this pipeline intervention, yet only $100, perhaps $200 million would buy out all the ranching operations in the proposed Okanagan Park area, pay out the Native Bands that keep holding Canadians aspirations for National Parks hostage.
Evironment Minister Mckenna proclaimed less than a month ago National parks would be emphasizing ecological integrity in management. This is a stark contrast with rumors about grazing, “traditional” off road vehicle use by native and white livestock operators, quite possibly native Indian wildlife “harvesting”, and race based religious cultural “management” of what Canadians thought would be a authentic National Park.
We’re dealing with a federal government that only trusts Canadians and other levels of government when it thinks it can engineer the outcome.
I suspect most Canadians would willingly choose spending our money on a park before a pipeline!
Dr. Brian L. Horejsi, Penticton