Some predictions for 2012:
• Real winter weather will come to the Cariboo sometime within the next two months.
• Mayor Kerry Cook will be “excited” about some civic event or proposal at least twice a month.
• City council will hire consultants to tell us what to do about this and that.
• City council will be on the lookout for grants to fund this and that.
• Bill Vander Zalm will find an issue to champion. Many will follow him.
• Premier Christy Clark’s government will continue to find excuses to keep the HST for as long as possible.
Government agencies will keep finding ways to empty taxpayers’ pocketbooks with increases in ICBC, hydro, medical insurance premiums and everything else they can think of.
• Taseko spokesman Brian Battison will keep insisting his company has the factual information about the impacts of the proposed New Prosperity mine, that others are misinformed. The others believe they have the facts. Ordinary people will have to figure out whose “facts” to trust.
• Along with Taseko’s proposal, the Northern Gateway pipeline and Site C will be big news stories, but sometime this year British Columbians will wake up to the impacts of the fracking process (to get natural gas) and that will be another big concern.
The proposed pipeline would see heavy oil carried from the tar sands in Alberta right across northern B.C. to Kitimat. From there the oil would go by supertanker via the inside passage to China.
No company or government can guarantee there won’t ever be mishaps. If a pipeline breaks, or a supertanker spills, British Columbians will suffer from it, not Albertans.
So why should we take the lion’s share of the risks while they take the lion’s share of the profits?
How would Alberta feel if it was the other way around?
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.