Recent events could be eye openers

Columnist Diana French talks about recent events, BC Hydro, the train disaster in Quebec, and possible wildfires.

No one wants to hear unpleasant news in the summertime, but, drat it,  not thinking or talking about bad news doesn’t make it go away.

Like BC Hydro. Our prize Crown Corporation is not only in debt, a recent audit found the corporation is poorly prepared for any kind of catastrophe, like an earthquake.

Premier Clark can solve the debt problem by selling BC Hydro, perhaps to a U.S., Chinese or even a Malaysian company, but what about catastrophes? Some recent events could be a heads-up.

For instance, no one knows yet what dangers might be lurking in radioactive material released from the Japanese nuclear plant damaged by the earthquake/tsunami two years ago. Fires, floods and tornadoes are getting to be regular occurrences and no one seems to be ready for them. We don’t hear too much about it in Canada, but in some countries (including the U.S.) drought is resulting in lower food harvests, wells are drying up and water tables are falling.

What nature isn’t doing to us, we do to ourselves. Like the runaway train disaster in Quebec; oil spills anywhere and everywhere; and the latest, a petrochemical “sheen” on the Athabasca River apparently coming from the tar sands. In B.C. we have concerns about fracking for gas and the possible negative impacts of industry on our watersheds and ecosystems.

Williams Lake should be safe from floods and tornadoes, but there is always fire, and the city has both highway traffic and trains running through it. I believe we have emergency plans. Let’s hope they’re up to date.

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I  watch British TV comedy and mystery shows.  GD#5 watches one British TV show, Dr. Who. It’s about a time-travelling alien “good guy. ” It’s the longest running (first appeared 1963) sci-fi series in the world and has won dozens of awards. Neither of us has acquired an English accent yet.

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