As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Holding big oil companies accountable

Vancouver is the first Canadian city to join the “Sue Big Oil” campaign

Some people are special, like long-time resident and stampede promoter Willie Crosina who left us on July 23.

Willie always went that extra mile to be sure everything was done with grace and competence. He’s left a big hole in the community.

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July wasn’t really a joyful month. How will August play out?

The visit of Pope Francis gave us a brief rest from the usual mainstream media focus on wars, threats of wars, the everlasting COVID pandemic, climate disasters, etc. etc.

Positive stories tend to get lost amongst the gloomy ones. Sports events and entertainment stories (like Jonie Mitchell’s “come back” performance at the New Port Folk Festival) do brighten the day.

Good news for climate change worriers, Vancouver is the first Canadian city to join the “Sue Big Oil” campaign – a class action suit started by West Coast Environmental Law. The intent of the lawsuit is to hold the world’s biggest oil companies responsible for their role in causing the climate change emergency and to ensure they don’t profit while taxpayers pay the bills for the damage done by climate-caused heat waves, floods and wildfires. The hope is that other municipalities will join the lawsuit.

The idea isn’t new. In the Netherlands, Friends of the Earth won a lawsuit last year against Shell Oil that ordered the company to lower its emissions by 44 per cent by 2030. This means Shell needs to phase down its oil and gas production. In the U.S., over 20 jurisdictions have filed lawsuits asking fossil fuel polluters to pay for the damage caused by their products.

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Locally, reports that geese and ducks are acting oddly and dying at Scout Island are scary. Avian flu is the suspected cause, but not confirmed as I write this.


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OpinionWilliams Lake