Friday, 27 January 2012

Us and Them

Given Minister Oliver's dim views of "radicals" and "billionaire socialists" impacting the length and costs of Canada's environmental review process for mega-projects, I think it's worth trying to say that it's not as black and white as he would have us believe.

As a translator and someone interested in these types of things, I know that much of the back-and-forth between the quasi-judiciary panels and proponents have to do with the proponent not having done things properly or having tried to cut corners in fowarding their proposals. Rarely have I seen public interested parties (us aboriginal radicals, for eg) trying to gum up the review process - we tend to believe in the process having been protected as in the Berger Inquiry on the Mckenzie Vally pipeline project long enough to sign much necessary land claims.

The process itself is not the issue but the threat of political- and big business lobby- interference into what is supposed to be an arms-length, independent process should have all Canadians up in arms. The process may be slow and seemingly inefficient but that is for very real and good civic and national reasons/interests outside of short-term interests; to hear political and business interests talking about the review process this way will do nothing but poison a needful process and safe-guard intended to protect the commonweal, something both tangible and intangible.

Jay

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