Environment Still an Afterthought to BC Media in Election Run-up

Environment still an afterthought to BC media in election run-up


Mike Smyth gave us a full page story of his interview with Adrian Dix in the Sunday Province without a word on the environment!

What’s with these guys at Postmedia? Are the thousands upon thousands of hits that organizations like the Wilderness Committee, and yes, the Common Sense Canadian, garner meaningless? Can it be that a handful of NDP supporters visit our websites 1000’s of times a day?

For reasons that escape me, Dix is getting a free ride in the capitalist press.

At least Fazil Mihlar, when he was editor of the Sun’s editorial pages up until recently, kept the faith with the far right, as this Fellow of the Fraser Institute flooded the op-ed pages with articles by anyone who’d kiss the ass of the fish farmers, coal miners, pipeline companies, the tanker people and so on. And we’ve long given up on star Suncolumnist Vaughn Palmer’s ability to ask a tough question of anyone or say something that even barely qualifies as controversial – but Mike was beginning to draw some blood in both major political camps.

There is, evidently, a strong aversion in the mainstream media to talk about the environment and I can only guess why. Was the Kalamazoo spill by Enbridge too complicated to deal with? And the 800+ other spills by this wretched despoiler of the outdoors?

Is the question of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline too difficult to analyze, the issues being the same as the proposed Enbridge line?

Are we having trouble dealing with dilbit, the chemical-laced bitumen that it is proposed to be piped through our mountains and valleys into tankers to ply the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest? Is it too time consuming to let readers know of the disastrous difference between bitumen spills and the stuff with which the Exxon Valdez polluted our waters and killed our fish and birds?

What about LNG? (Liquified Natural Gas) Is it beyond the abilities of the Sun and the Province to deal with the environmental issues surrounding fracking, which, by drilling first vertically, then horizontally, pumps out gas from between layers of shale? Where do the enormous volumes of water required for this process come from? After it’s laced with poisonous chemicals and the result pumped underground to crack open the shale, where does it go? Into the water table? Are there potential consequences of stability to the earth’s crust – such as this recentreport from the BC Oil and Gas Commission suggests?

What about fish farms? The Province and Sun have avoided this issue like the plague, with the notable exception of Mihlar, who seems to have given a free pass to the fish farms when they wanted the op-ed page.

What of the desecration of farmland, especially in the Delta area?

Adrian Dix has taken stands on these issues – sort of. He’s against Enbridge but silent on Kinder Morgan. If Kinder Morgan proceeds there will be unbelievable risks from tankers in Vancouver Harbour right out until the open ocean is reached.

The NDP have approved of LNG plants for the northern coast. Does this mean that they are unconcerned about the threat pipelines pose to the fauna and flora they pass through? Does this mean they have satisfied themselves that fracking poses no environmental concerns?

And with the same concerns applying to Kinder Morgan as with Enbridge, how can Mr. Dix condemn the latter while being undecided about the former?

Mr. Dix seems to be concerned about fish farms, but what would he do about them?

And what about the private power catastrophe which has ruined or will soon ruin some 75 rivers while bankrupting BC Hydro? Mr. Dix seems to be against them but what would he do about them? Hydro is presently on the hook for $50 BILLION dollars from these thieves in three piece suits.

Meanwhile, another multi-billion-dollar Hydro boondoggle and environmental calamity awaits us with the proposed Site C Dam – which wouldflood over 12,000 acres of farmland and wilderness to provide subsidized electricity to new mines and gas operations. The NDP has been on the fence at best with this massive project.

Mr. Dix seems to believe that a clean fight is on its way. Is this because he doesn’t want the Liberals to deal with the little matter of outright forgery he committed to save Glen Clark’s scalp in the Pilarinos scandal?

Politics is a blood sport in BC and will be in spite of the hypocrisy of Mr Dix.

The Common Sense Canadian, being devoted to environmental issues. will likely support the NDP in the May election but this doesn’t mean we support handling Mr. Dix or anyone else with kid gloves.

All we really ask is for an informed public, something apparently anathema to the Postmedia and David Black papers.

Get with it you guys – the environment is a huge issue and you have a duty to get it in all aspects on the table.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

2 thoughts on “Environment still an afterthought to BC media in election run-up

  1. 3 comments (Archive) add comment

    Monday, 28 January 2013 14:29 posted by Rod McNabb
    As time passes, Dix seems more and more reticent to speak out on a variety of important topics vital to BC, and you have laid out a bunch, Rafe. We do need to keep his feet to the fire, get him to speak out on real stuff, and not just hope that BCers will elect NDP by some kind of default. If he gets too cavalier, that might not happen. OUCH!

    Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:01 posted by dan
    Unless the NDP and its leader come out and begin to take a stand on some of these issues the general public will being to presume that the NDP have no position at all.

    I have come across writings that state the BC liberals are making it up on the fly. The NDP without clear statements on how they would handle certain issues give the appearance of the same mindset.

    Part politics will never change colours. What changes is the title every four years or so.

    Little, if anything, changes for the common man.

    Monday, 21 January 2013 21:16 posted by KWD
    Their silence is telling us they are beginning to realize the wall is approaching very quickly and they’ve done little to help prevent the collision.

    It’s that “OH Shit!” moment when you realize you’ve just pulled out in to the path of an oncoming semi.

Comments are closed.