» Blog Archive » My Oral Statement to the Enbridge Joint Review Panel

My Oral Statement to the Enbridge Joint Review Panel, from Hugh Stimson. I like all of this; it is hard to choose a small part to quote.

I would also like to speak about national benefits. Like a lot of Canadians now I have some expe­ri­ence with the pros­perity of oil extrac­tion. My brother who couldn’t find decent work in Ontario recently moved to the Saskatchewan oil patch so he can take up an electrician’s appren­tice­ship. I got myself estab­lished in pricey Vancouver in part using money I made in a Fort McMurray work camp. There are pay­cheques and some real pride to be had there. A pipeline will to some extent make for more pay­checks, and perhaps more pride.

But let’s not kid our­selves: that’s not a real economy they have up there. Real economies are built from many kinds of work, not on one resource. Real economies are com­pat­ible with the future, not built on this assump­tion that we will just never start taking the climate very seri­ously. Real economies are where the parts work together, not one where one part screws up the climate for agri­cul­ture or ruins the view for tourism or makes the ski season a crap shoot or opens up timber stands to beetle invasion when the weather warms.

The economy we’ve been building all this time here in Canada is not one where young men go away to grow up on coke and lone­li­ness and grown men stand at pay phones in modular hallways draining down their phone cards saying “It’s okay honey, daddy will be home in just two more weeks”.