An elephant in the room?

When I was a kid I remember that provincial governments used to fall over themselves to bring industry and jobs to a region.

When I was a kid I remember that provincial governments used to fall over themselves to bring industry and jobs to a region.  It was a point of pride and a sure way to win the next election if you could bring prosperity to your voters.

Now it seems that the province is falling over itself to deny industry.  ‘Tough on resource industry’ is the new mantra.  The government is responding to what seems to be the voting public’s rejection of environmental harm.  I say ‘seems to be’ because it’s difficult to get an accurate picture of how the majority actually feels about the intense resource development proposed for Northern B.C.

The media does not much spend much time dwelling on the implications of shutting down industry, and it doesn’t go out of its way to find people in favour of development.  Protests in Victoria provide better photo-ops than board meetings, and the easiest quote to count on is from the environmental lobby.

Laying into Enbridge in Prince George is easier than asking what, exactly, we’re supposed to do for work in Northern B.C. if we take the position that only zero risk is acceptable.  If we decide not cut trees or mine minerals and gold because we don’t have a 100 per cent solution to sustainability issues, what replacement industries do we have in mind?

The easiest way to make sure we never have a timber supply crisis, or a sullied water, or a broken pipeline is to reject all industrial activity.  That may be a stupid idea, but it’s no less ignorant than defining opposition to environmental risk in entirely binary terms.  If we’re waiting for the solution that offers no risk with great reward, then we might as well line up for lottery tickets.

Cities and towns across the northern region are facing immanent budget crunches as aging infrastructure starts to fail.  In Burns Lake coun. Susan Schienbein expressed concern that the  federal government will not be coming through with infrastructure dollars any time soon.

The Village of Burns Lake awaits the implementation of ‘asset management’ software with will allow staff to input infrastructure variables into number crunching software that spits out what needs to be spent, and when, to stay on top of the mundane but vital things that keep a community running smoothly, like drainage, sewage, road works and the maintenance of existing public facilities.

This software should be ready for strategic planning in early spring.  To get an idea of what Burns Lake might be looking at once this management system is up an running, I’ll quote from a statement made by the City of Prince George.

‘We are not investing enough to repair and replace the city’s infrastructure,’ reads a recent Prince George city council statement.

Currently, P.G. is considering options like limiting snow removal, increasing user fees for services, and selling off public assets to find dollars to keep the city healthy.

Natural resources built Northern B.C., and categorically shutting down that revenue stream will undo the north.

 

Just Posted

Taking bids for the Burns Lake community

Potential buyers attend the 50th Annual Rotary Auction at the Rotary Club… Continue reading

Bulkley-Nechako District gets new Chairperson, Board of Directors

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) on Nov. 15 elected a new… Continue reading

B.C. boosts 2018 wildfire recovery aid by $10 million

The British Columbia government has allocated an additional $10 million in support… Continue reading

Burns Lake marks 100 years since Armistice

Burns Lake residents on Nov. 11 held a Remembrance Day ceremony at… Continue reading

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read