NDP MP Gord Johns fumes over pipeline

“It is a heated issue and it is an emotional issue for people in our Coastal communities.”

NDP MP for Courtenay-Alberni Gord Johns lambasted Justin Trudeau’s Liberals for approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion during the House of Commons’ Dec. 1 question period.

Gord Johns got heated last week and delivered an impassioned verbal shellacking to Canada’s federal government.

During the House of Commons’ Dec. 1 question period, the NDP Member of Parliament for Courtenay-Alberni lambasted Justin Trudeau’s Liberals for approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion on Nov. 29 without going through the new environmental assessment process Trudeau had promised during 2015’s federal election campaign.

“The Prime Minister says he’s a grandson of British Columbia, so maybe he can understand our economy is tied to our ocean. Our culture is rooted to the sea. The health of the Coast is the health of our environment and is the health of our communities,” said a visibly emotional Johns.

“After promising to put the Kinder Morgan Pipeline through a new assessment process, why is this government now putting at risk everything we hold so dear. Why are they betraying Vancouver Islanders?”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Kim Rudd responded the “NDP should stand with Canadians trying to get back to work” by supporting the expansion.

“These projects will create thousands of good-paying middle-class jobs,” she said. “There isn’t a country in the world that would find 200 billion barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there are markets for it. Our decisions on major projects reflect a balanced approach that will create prosperity while we seek protecting the environment we cherish.”

After the House session, John’s told the Westerly the anger he displayed is shared by his constituents.

“It is a heated issue and it is an emotional issue for people in our Coastal communities,” he said.

“We’ve got a responsibility to our ancestors, to our children and to the future to defend and protect our delicate ecosystems…It’s easy to be passionate when I think about the people from home and the work that’s been put into protecting what we have so we can enjoy it today.”

He said West Coasters fought hard to save their surroundings from being logged during 1993’s Clayoquot Summer protests and their fight led to an economic boom that linked the environment with the economy.

“We were told we had to log 90 per cent of Meares Island and log the majority of Clayoquot Sound for jobs,” he said. “Had we done that, we would not see the economy that we have today. Instead, we’ve got a tourism industry that accounts for over $100 million in terms of GDP for the region.”

He hopes to see West Coasters defend their environment again and fight for their marine economy.

“What we’ve learned from lessons past is that when large corporations try to navigate through processes that don’t achieve social license, people rise up,” he said.

“In 1993, we learned what can happen when government underestimates the will of coastal British Columbians without achieving social license and the government might be reminded in Ottawa about what happens when you don’t achieve social license and you approve projects that might impact the ecosystems, marine economy and the way of life for coastal British Columbians.”

Johns urges any locals disappointed by Trudeau’s announcement to make themselves heard.

“We can’t take these decisions lightly and they require a process people can trust. The Prime Minster promised to deliver that process; he never did. He failed to do that and he betrayed British Columbians,” he said.

“It’s our duty to make sure that [Trudeau] understands that we are deeply disappointed…I think it’s important that Ottawa starts to listen to British Columbians and a decision like this shows how disconnected they are.”

 

Just Posted

Trapped humpback whale freed from salmon farm near Tofino

“All of these problems could be solved by the farms moving onto land and getting out of the ocean.”

Ucluelet police searching for missing man

Ucluelet police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 29-year-old.

VIDEO: Santa visits Tofino

The event included a hearty breakfast, highland dancing and a Purple Dragon demonstration.

Strong winds expected to hit north, west Vancouver Island: Environment Canada

Environment Canada said southeast winds will reach speeds of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

B.C. man linked to human remains probe to stand trial on unrelated assault case

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

One of Tori Stafford’s killers transferred to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Most Read