Better to rule with your head and your heart

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Marilyn Baptiste has received the prestigious Eugene Rogers Environmental Award from the Wilderness Committee.

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Marilyn Baptiste has received the prestigious Eugene Rogers Environmental Award from the Wilderness Committee for her work on behalf of the Tsilhqot’in Nation to protect Teztan Biny (Fish Lake)  and the surrounding environment from the proposed Prosperity mine. The Wilderness Committee is Canada’s largest member-based, citizen-funded wilderness preservation organization. It works “on the ground” to achieve ecologically sustainable communities.

***

It’s great news that Vancouver shipyards won the $8 billion contract from the federal government to build seven ships and an icebreaker. And hats off to the Harper government for keeping politics out of the decision making. Premier Christy Clark is excited about this, but  things were different in 2004 when it came to building three new B.C. ferries. Back then, as a member of the Campbell team, she favoured awarding that contract to a German company because the government said B.C. shipbuilders weren’t capable of doing the work. Funny the difference seven years can make.

Then there was bad news. According to the Vancouver Sun, rather than face the company in court, Ms. Clark’s government paid a whopping $30 million plus legal costs to a mining company in compensation for the loss of mining rights.

Then there are such major problems with the way B.C. Community Living delivers services that two Liberal MLAs have broken ranks to complain about it.  Will there be other shoes dropping?

***

One of my very favourite politicians, Dr. Scott Wallace, died last week. He was a Victoria area MLA from 1967 to 1977, the last six as leader of the B.C. Conservative Party. He was known for putting principles (and his were high) before politics.

He served under both Social Credit and NDP governments. When asked which he preferred, he said Socreds ruled with their heads, the NDP with their hearts, and he preferred a combination of the two.  Me too.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

 

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