Narrow rhetoric pits jobs against environment

Now that the Federal Court of Appeal has cancelled the current approvals for the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline project, the oil and gas industry is raising alarm bells that it signals Canada is discouraging business. It’s a specious argument.

Sure, on the surface commerce, trade, and jobs are desired. However, not at any cost.

The Court said the National Energy Board did not demonstrate due diligence on factoring all the costs (social and environmental, not just material) of the project.

Canada is indeed open for business if that business is well-planned; if it has a vision that includes how to turn a profit for the company as well as the impacts on the society in which it is embedded.

Can we please stop the narrow rhetoric that pits jobs against environment. There is a simple, though not easy solution. Apply the current massive subsidies that the oil industry enjoys ($3.3 billion a year) toward green and sustainable energy. The entrepreneurs are already there.

Canada already employs more people in the alternative energy sector than Alberta does in the tar sands. What is lacking is the political will to expand that and create even more and diverse jobs.

For some reason Trudeau is locked into his taxpayer-funded plan to buy an aging, leaky pipeline that Kinder Morgan couldn’t wait to unload.

Clearly, what is lacking is wisdom and the political vision.

Marilyn Sundeen

Sooke