The following letter to The Common Sense Canadian came from the office of John Weston, Conservative MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, in response to Rafe Mair’s January 28 column. See Rafe’s further reply below.
In Rafe Mair’s article “Environmental ‘Process’ a Myth in Stephen Harper’s Canada”, published on January 28th, 2013, he makes many contentious accusations. Regrettably, he has adopted an extremist position, rejecting a Northern Pipeline in principle, no matter what the cost to the community, to jobs, to our country, or to our economy. When asked at a gathering in North Vancouver where I heard him speak, he rejected out of hand that a Northern Pipeline should be built, under any circumstance. For my part, I maintain an open mind; call for a robust environmental assessment process; and would support a pipeline only if demanding environmental safeguards are in place.
Extremists are sometimes tempted to engage in personal attack rather than to focus the debate on the principles at hand. It saddens me to observe Rafe not only adopt an extremist position, but also to yield to that temptation in his January 28th piece. Over the years, I have expressed my admiration for him, when I worked for him as BC Minister responsible for Constitutional Affairs; when he took a stand on Senate Reform, that I still endorse today; and when he performed so passionately as one of our Province’s most listened-to talk show hosts. I still admire Rafe for his knowledge and the conviction of his beliefs.
But I regret it when he undermines his own credibility and respect by reducing important arguments, about the environment and other things, to personal attack. He can still be a strong voice of influence in our Province without stooping so low.
Rafe Mair responds:
Of course I’m an extremist when it comes to preserving our environment, as I would be defending my wife and family.
John continually ignores the fact that spills from the proposed Enbridge line and consequent tanker traffic are not “if” but “when”. Even the federal Environment Department tells us that – not to mention Enbridge itself.
BEING AGAINST A PROJECT THAT IS BOUND TO SPILL, WITH HORRENDOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR MY PROVINCE, YOU’RE DAMNED TOOTING I’M AN EXTREMIST.
This applies equally to Kinder Morgan and its proposal to massively ramp up oil tanker traffic through Burrard Inlet.
What is the process Weston suggests for once sacred fish habitat? The same appalling process that contaminates the “run of river” and Gateway exercises? Why won’t Weston be honest (a matter I will return to) – and admit that in the case of Gateway and presumably Kinder Morgan the Minister and Prime Minister has said they will go ahead regardless of what the Joint Review Panel recommends. These are like “Soviet show trials” – first the decision, then the process; done deals are given a fake process to make them look good.
Now as to Weston’s “honesty”.
At this very meeting Weston made it appear he was supporting “process”. There is no other word for that – he was lying through his teeth. He wouldn’t utter a peep because it was stuck inside the Budget Bill, thus beyond the ability of the parliamentary poodles in the Conservative Party to speak against it – no matter what was in it.
This bundling of a contentious issue within the budget is a parliamentary disgrace as Weston well knows and he is a part of it. Weston voted forBill C-38 because if he did not, he would say farewell to a hoped-for cabinet post – but even more, he would have been tossed out of caucus, thus out of politics. (If anyone is in doubt, just google John Nunziata)
John Weston did not support the removal of habit protection out of any personal principle but because he put party and his own political survival ahead of protection of our sacred fish. In short, when Weston told the meeting he was supporting the bill on principle, he was LYING.
I must remind Weston that when he sought my advice as to whether or not he should run, this was the very conundrum I warned he would constantly face.
I might close by saying that I couldn’t believe Weston’s abysmal ignorance of the 7 species of salmon we have on this coast. He represents a coastal riding and he knows nothing about the very soul of our province, not to mention the staple food of many First Nations.
If Weston would like to debate this issue with me I would be delighted.
13 thoughts on “MP John Weston, Rafe Mair Debate Pipeline Risks, Environmental ‘Process’”
Weston takes one from the Fox News GOP playbook by trying to use the word ‘extremist’ to label anyone in West Vancouver with an interest in protecting the health of their children.
I’m professionally employed a parent, long time resident of West Van and I guess an ‘extremist’ because I’ve grown tired of Weston and the rest of Harper’s minions selling this country out from under us. I’ll be standing up for BC and Canada and showing John the door. In the interim, I’ll be planted firmly between these awful projects and their completion because it’s clear John lacks the moral compass and courage to do so.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 12:46 posted by Meredith
Thanks Rafe. Westin needs to go. He is a Harper con. YES MAN. They are not good for Canada or BC. How much of our tax dollar goes to his lame news letters? Who will profit from a large gravel pit in Howe Sound and did the Harper cons give money for this development? He sucks!
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 12:23 posted by Enviromental defender
Hmmm. An econo-terrorist response from a politico-terrorist about environmental extremism. Please stick to your expertise and go back to plundering our freedoms and economic futures Canada. Please don’t pretend to know anything about the environment. Thank you.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:58 posted by dan
You know Weston; instead of hurling insults such as labeling people extremist why not question your leader as to why he has developed a one sided, one issue, Canadian economy, singly dependent only upon the sale of tar sands?
No economist, with actual smarts, would put all of the investment into one place. No economist would sell our future energy needs to another country.
Mr. Weston if you had ten million dollars would you spend the capital or invest and live on the interest?
Harper is spending our capital by way of selling out our resources. And you go along with this?
Mr Weston, every life system on Earth is in decline.
Every life supporting system on Earth is in decline.
These two things make up our biosphere.
Without these two things will you be around to write any letters of response?
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:43 posted by David Walker
Hmmm – Weston uses the word “Extreme” 3 times in his diatribe… isn’t that just a bit extreme? I see that Harper’s lap-dogs have not learned anything, still intent on labeling any one who does not agree as “extreme” or as earlier “Eco-Terrorists”
So Mr Weston how does the bandying about of labels and personal attacks foster “open-mindedness” and discussion?
Monday, 11 February 2013 19:30 posted by the salamander
.. aye .. ! You’re all heart n soul Rafe ..
but you might profit n deserve sum copy editing .. er .. uh
sum good old fashioned Canadian views n perspectives
a lot identical n aligned to yours..
Ulp .. uh … me or us giving you advice…. bad idea
Crazy idea with about a zillions of smarter caring n alert Canadians like you lined up way in front of us/me
Monday, 11 February 2013 16:59 posted by the salamander
The polarizing and unjustified use of ‘extremist’ must be turned carefully in the correct direction..
Just as the term ‘eco-terrorist’ must also be correctly turned & justly applied to those deserving malignant un-Canadians in The Harper Government, provincial governments, the related Ministers and unelected aides, geeks, petro lobbyists, spokespersons, lawyers, robowanks, media minders, MP’s, shadow MP’s, poli-sci cranks, trolls & Reform think tankers, push n pullers, muzzlers of science and marine biologists.
All you other bullies that not only buy the spew.. but are the deeply disturbed mutt mules that want to hump it for sanctimonious political thugs and deceitful quacks hoping to be first in line for The Rapture or some other traveling medicine show.. or Senate appointment.
Attacking our environment, and native creatures.. whether on land, sea or water.. or the safety or voices or democratic votes of our citizens gains you immediate entry into the Hall of Shame. Do not pass GO ..
Harper, Novak, Oliver, Clark, Kent, Flanagan, Ashfield, Redford, Manning, Shea, Baird, Levant, Hamilton, Clement, Flaherty, Van Loan, Mackay and all unelected droogs.. step forward please
Monday, 11 February 2013 16:19 posted by ron wilton
Once again we have a con mp reversing the flow.
Instead of properly representing his constituents to Ottawa, he drinks the koolaid and tells his constituents what Ottawa expects of them.
The message the young and naive Weston should be taking back to herr harper is that regardless of the NEB decision, and regardless of herr harper’s overruling that decision, there wil simply be no enbridge pipeline across BC.
If harper and his sycophantic emissaries want a battle, we are ready, we are willing and we are more than able to deal with any adversity they may contemplate sending our way.
We are not haggling over price, so young Weston can let his other employer know that BC is not to be confused with the rest of harper’s whores.
Monday, 11 February 2013 14:52 posted by Kevin Wright
A very weak letter by a very weak and delusional MP. Did he not know that the response would be nothing short of a kick to the groin? Weston is very small prey for Rafe and I would certainly be excited to witness a debate.
Monday, 11 February 2013 14:29 posted by erik
Way to go Rafe. No matter how much those Ottawa based folks and their go-along-to get-along friends talk-talk there is only one test that matters which they will never overcome.
A Northen Gateway pipeline and supporting tanker operation is absolutly uninsurable in the open market. Because of this condition of uninsurable risk the political establishment has been recruited by the oil and gas sector to sell this hordendous risk to an unsuspecting public using weasle words commonly deployed by hucksters and scammers.
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