It's one thing to seek to learn from a disaster and it's another thing to incite emotional responses to promote hasty, unwise public policy actions. Despite the fact that virtually nothing was known about the cause of the Mount Polley leak, only two days after the spill, the David Suzuki Foundation had set up an automatic petition portal on their website calling on the province to institute a moratorium on new mine approvals, a suggestion that would imperil a substantial part of B.C.'s economy.
Fortune's actions pose risks for not only their project, but also for development elsewhere in our territory. If our values and rights aren't protected and respected in critical areas such as the Sacred Headwaters, we will view the risks of development as far outweighing the benefits. Conflict could become the norm, not the exception.
Lummi territory just south of the Canadian border is under threat of a proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington. Known to its original inhabitants as Xwe'chi'eXen, the spot is located 17 miles south of the Canadian border. The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal would be the largest of its kind on the American west coast, transporting such dry bulk commodities as grain, potash and coal to Asian markets. The Tsleil-Waututh nation of North Vancouver is embroiled in a battle to keep Enbridge and Kinder Morgan out of its traditional territory. Both are fighting destructive resource development on their lands. Both are water nations, and their collective well-being depends upon the health of the Salish sea.