OPINION: Issues galore

Summer isn’t officially over but there is a hint of fall in the air and with school days just around the corner, it might as well be.

Summer isn’t officially over but there is a hint of fall in the air and with school days just around the corner, it might as well be.

This summer has been busy especially in Williams Lake with numerous successful gatherings and events and no disasters.

For most of us, the living has been easy, we’ve had it good. The biggest topic of conversations has been the weather.

Maybe that’s why we aren’t paying much attention to what is happening elsewhere in the province.

For instance, the Peace River has had fires and floods and according to the United Way, the number of people using the Fort. St. John food bank has doubled since last year.

The once booming hub of B.C.’s gas fields has been whacked by falling energy prices. Thousands of workers lost their jobs and now their EI has run out.

(How, you may ask, does this jobless situation exist with the Site C dam construction in the area.)

There are numerous environmental issues winging around, like the large areas of green seas on B.C.’s southern coast.

Experts haven’t figured out yet what’s causing the colour change but so far it seems harmless.

Other issues aren’t harmless, like reports that salmon farms are responsible for many wild salmon deaths. When all else fails, there is always climate change to debate.

On the local scene, some problems will be front and centre again. Atlantic Power’s plan to burn railway ties is one issue. The outcome of the Softwood Lumber agreement is worrisome, although it hasn’t been getting much public attention.

Regarding the possible downturn in the local forest industry, the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition was supposed to have created diverse job opportunities to replace any loss of forestry jobs.

What happened to those plans?

Speaking of the softwood agreement, where do companies like Canfor, International Forest Products and West Fraser, who have operations both here and in the U.S., stand on this issue?

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


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