MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country John Weston launched National Health and Fitness Day in June (Mike Wakefield photo)

Rafe Takes his MP John Weston to Task on Pipelines, Tankers, Fish Habitat


Dear John Weston, MP,
A short time ago you held a meeting in Lions Bay to announce that through your sterling work and doggedness we will soon have a National Health and Fitness Day…or is it a whole week? Well done, I’m sure.
The thought may occur to some that this is a little dollop given to backbenchers to see that they are busy little bees and not doing the devil’s work like raising real issues that concern an MP’s constituents and home province.
I invite you to answer a few questions on the minds of, dare I say, most British Columbians who want you to listen to them, then take a public stand. I certainly understand, as I’m sure most people do, the need for party solidarity under our system. This must, however, surely take a back seat to forthright and courageous deeds when the very essence of your constituency and province are at issue as they are in BC today. The Harper government, with steady support of the Victoria Liberals, have implemented policies that will destroy us.
Do you know that Enbridge, which wishes to construct a 1,100 km twin pipeline through our northern wilderness, averages a spill a week? That they’ve had hundreds of spills over the past decade?
Do you know that the pipeline traverses the Rockies, then the Coast Range, thence through one of the most important and beautiful wilderness areas in the world?
Do you know that bitumen, the substance being transported, is different than conventional crude oil in that it is virtually impossible to clean up and that it has a “shelf life” of 100 years? That its viscosity means it clings to everything it touches? Have you studied the Enbridge spill into the Kalamazoo River, a location easy to access, and seen that two years later what the company described as ”not a major spill” has not been cleaned up yet and likely never will?
Have you done your thinking and reasoned that pipelines in this region would produce spill after spill in terrain that even a helicopter would have trouble getting to?
Have you examined the tanker traffic issue carefully or, indeed, at all? Do you not accept the fact that despite all efforts, there will be a spill? That bitumen, unlike regular crude, sinks like a stone? That where ordinary crude can be surrounded by rafts, closed in then scooped up, that bitumen sinks and, thus, for all intents and purposes, can not be recovered?
Have you ever been to Douglas Channel and assessed the challenge to a tanker? Do you not know that double hulling, while helpful, scarcely solves the question of human error, nor does it remove the certainty of a spill which will make the Exxon Valdez look like a non-event? That in recent years there have been four major accidents with double hulled tankers on within the last year and that these were collisions with other ships?
Do you not realize that the Kinder Morgan line poses a huge threat to the Port of Vancouver and entire south coast, much of which you represent?
John, your government has just approved, through the notorious Bill 38, of the rape of fish habitat. Because you voted for it you must have approved this monstrous act. That, for example, salmon spawning rivers are now all but unprotected? Do you not understand The Pacific salmon and their habits? Did you know, for example, that Coho spawn in creeks and ditches, and that Municipalities often approve development in the area because they’re told the creek or ditch has no fish values?
One day you should go down to the Musqueam Nation and look at Musqueam Creek, where I fished when I was a boy, and see that thanks to the Band it still has a Coho run. It’s a tiny creek, yet is very important as are other small streams throughout the province.
I close with this question: didn’t we send you to Ottawa to represent us and work on our behalf? Don’t we have the right to expect you to fight our battles in public, not tamely accept huge and permanent damage to your province? Why do we need you – to look after late pension cheques and send birthday cards to elderly constituents? 
In reality, you clearly put your duty to your leader and your party ahead of your obligations to fight our battles and you might just as well be a fencepost with hair.
John, you support fish farms, support the BC government’s raping our rivers (indeed you’ve given grants to these bastards), you support legislation to all but eliminate federal protection of fish habitat, you approve of the environmental desecration of our salmon spawning grounds, pay no attention to the sure carnage which will, as night follows day, destroy our God-granted environment if pipelines and tanker traffic are approved.
Come to think of it, John, just what the hell have you done for our constituency? More importantly, what have you and your fellow Tory lickspittles done to save our province from being environmentally trashed by your corporate friends?
I’m reminded of Oliver Cromwell’s words to the Rump parliament: “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately…Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”


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

17 thoughts on “Rafe Takes his MP John Weston to Task on Pipelines, Tankers, Fish Habitat

  1. Yes Rafe your right, you can do it but not in my fishing area. Do you not think that profits from our oil and gas findings will also be used to help enhance our streams and oceans, it will also put a lot of people to work so tahat will be able to go fishing like ex Politcians and radio announcers, have you been a nicve man Rafe.

  2. The latest slap in the face to us constituents is John Weston’s vote against Bill C-398! I have sent John emails expressing my sadness that he chose to vote against a humanitarian bill that would provide generic drugs to the poorest of the poor. Just pathetic representation on behalf of approximately 80000 constituents in Weston’s riding.

    Raif, you expressed my thoughts perfectly when you asked John Weston the question: “didn’t we send you to Ottawa to represent us and work on our behalf? Don’t we have the right to expect you to fight our battles in public, not tamely accept huge and permanent damage to your province? Why do we need you ..?” PS – Check out JW’s Facebook page … he has a cute (and useless) statement proclaiming: “shrinking the distance between you and Ottawa” … NOT! Shame on John Weston – he gets a failing grade as my MP.

  3. No one says it better than you, yet again, Rafe. It is the summer and people are perhaps taking a break from political focus, but they have not gone away. They are talking and when they come to finally getting mobile, the message will be clear and final. Leave our B.C. Coast and wilderness alone. Leave office and don’t come back.

  4. Raif; Well said, if forcefully expressed! Here, on Canada’s east coast, we are facing similar challenges re fish farming and oil extraction. We all must pressure our politicians — who, after all, are too often in the pocket of agri/aqua and corporate farming, and certainly of the big oil corps — to reflect, speak and ACT.

    Carol Harris (formerly of Esquimalt) and now of NS and NL

  5. well said. loved the letter. if you don’t mind I’ll be sending it on to my m.p. pointing out I want the same questions answered.

    Harper & his harpets either don’t get it, don’t care, don’t believe it. I don’t know which, I just wish they would go away before there is nothing left of our beautiful country.

    I think, regardless of what the citizens want & say, harper isn’t going to change his agenda. The best we can hope for is he is slowed down & he is turfed from office in 4 yrs, if we survive that long.

    What harper is doing to our enviornment is a crime. when people start to die because of his practices I hope we can charge him with murder.

  6. You make it very clear, Rafe. I just wish more people in this country would read your words and take them to heart! Keep on telling it like it is.

  7. I listened to a man talking at a dog park in Victoria last week.

    He was hired by a company in Alberta and was spreading bales of hay over an oil pipeline leak.

    He thought it was to soak up the oil, but the boss said no, it was to camouflage the leak from airplane sightings!

    What next?

  8. It would appear that the Harper Conservative Government is full of religious fanatics, that many within it don’t: value science, believe in evolution or protection of the environment. Marci McDonald’s book “The Armageddon Factor” describes this well. I agree with Rafe when he says to Harper’s crew, “In the name of God, go”. While not religious in any way, I have been praying that Harper’s government would just rapture and the sooner the better.

  9. And what about the lonesome loser my MP david I’ll lie every day Wilks?

    He was mayor of Sparwood BC no chiding have you seen how dirty that town is? It is an industrial wasteland.

    AND THE SELENIUM; From the coal mines, coal goes to china we get the poison?

    That is Harper?

    We can not eat the fish because of the selenium that poisons our Elk river

    Toxic crap Mr Wilks says is healthy for the environment and the environmental SCIENTISTS Stephen fired say no way is it safe?

    Who do you believe?

  10. Thank you Rafe for telling it like it is. A former politician you know the system well and can speak with authority as to how broken it is.

    It is up to all of us to contact our Conservative MP’s and tell them to get a backbone. Our Delta/Richmond MP says and does nothing. Her willful silence and lockstep approval for all things Harper is totally out of step with her constituents. We all need to make sure our voices are heard and let them know there will be a price to pay.

    Delta elected an Independent MLA and we can do the same for our MP.

  11. You can’t tell a socio-path they are wrong because they have no moral conscience. Be assured our blessed leader is a full blown SOCIO-PATH

  12. Dear Rafe, Thankyou for your continued fight for all of us. I do hope someone will finally wake up and listen.

  13. Raif you’re absolutely correct. If I were called a lickspittle I would be embarassed enough to change my ways, but this cast of characters/cowards actually think it’s a complement. Otherwise they would react if they had a backbone. Keep the pressure on.

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