The recent letters by both John Morton of Bella Coola and Reg Norberg of Williams Lake caused me to reflect on the same subject, that is a pipe line through the Bella Coola Valley.
Some 35 or more years ago I wrote a letter to the Tribune regarding this very subject.
Someone at that time, government or otherwise, had proposed a pipeline through the Bella Coola valley.
My position in my letter to the Tribune was based on the fact that, when it comes to things like, pipe lines, railroads, power lines, even highways, if we the people want to stop such development we have few tools at our disposal.
If the government wants something to be done, it will be done. In my letter of that past date, I took the position, why not be proactive, why not establish local standards, why not have local written laws to say if a government approved project is to be constructed, the construction must follow our own local, written into provincial law, standards of construction.
These standards of construction would ensure that all the concerns of the locals in any given area would be the final arbiters in how construction and protection of the local environment would take place.
One can only wonder how a country can meet its obligations, or even have been originally developed in the first place, if we the people refuse to allow every necessary economic development because we don’t want it in our personal back yards.
I fault environmentalists and I include First Nations, with an ever- growing negative attitude toward all economic development. In my opinion environmentalists should spend more time and money developing intelligent rules and engineering standards of how things can be done, instead of objecting to almost every development.
While we can blame the mining company and the government for the Mount Polly tailings pond failure, I argue the tailings pond failure would not have happened had past environmentalists insisted, based on good sound engineering and world history, on how such structures are to be constructed.
It is time for all involved, whether it be a pipe line, a power line, a railroad, a highway development, or even a tailings pond, to quit arguing about why something should not be done, and spend more time in intelligently instructing developers in how we the people want such projects done.