Tag Archives: canada

Gateway Pipeline

I’m not sure how much people outside of B.C. and Canada know about the Gateway Pipeline, but this issue has held my interest since first hearing about it in January. Basically, Enbridge Co. wants to build an oil pipeline that runs from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. From there, oil tankers will transport the oil from the port to Asia. However, the route the massive oil tankers would take adjoins the Great Bear Rainforest, a 64,000-square-kilimetre stretch of wilderness that is considered one of the most ecologically sacred on Earth. This area is home to the “spirit bear”, wolves, grizzlies, orcas, and humpback whales. And this entire ecosystem is based on salmon. If there was to be an oil spill in this area, the results would be disastrous to the Canada’s West Coast. I live along the west coast of B.C., and I feel very protective of the beautiful landscape around me. The beaches are lovely year-round, and the view from Grouse Mountain on a clear day gives you a wonderful view of the blue ocean.

However, enough public voices rose to argue again Stephen Harper and his government, and so, a three-person committee representing the National Energy Board is now travelling across Canada until the end of 2013, listening to the hundreds of people who wish to speak their opinions to this group. After they have heard everyone, the National Energy Board will make their decision and make a recommendation to the government on whether or not the pipeline should be built after all.

Stephen Harper has asked Canadians to not let “radical” foreign groups put money into charities and environmental groups in order to lengthen and stall the process. These comments have been met with shaking heads as Canadians question whether or not Harper is calling his own citizens and tourists to this beautiful province “radicals”. I found a fantastic quote in the Globe and Mail in January which gave me the idea of writing this post.

Florian Schulz is a German wildlife photographer whose work has been featured in National Geographic, and was quoted in the article “Caring for Canada’s beauty ‘beyond borders'”. He is talking about the government naming him and other environmental advocates as “radicals”. He says:

“To cherish the incredible beauty of Canada and to celebrate it-as a foreigner, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. There are certain values and ethics that I think are beyond borders.”

There are many foreigners who love Canada and the British Columbia West Coast. There are Canadians living abroad, there are animal lovers from Brazil, and there are simply tourists who fell in love with the landscape of this province. Should we really be shutting out those people who want to protect something so fragile and untouched? Why should borders matter when it comes to our planet and its resources. We are entering a time when we should all be protecting the Earth and the land we love, no matter where we are from or how far away that land is from where we live. If Harper is still worrying about borders on an issue such as this, he has a lot of catching up to do.

If that pipeline is approved, I will post pictures of my friends and I at the end of 2013, sitting in Kitimat, protesting.

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Canadian Electoral Reform

Hey guys, did you know that if we had a different system of voting in Canada, the chances are that Stephen Harper would not have gotten his Conservative majority last year? We can change that for the next election, or even just strive for more democratic elections in the future. Read this site and sign the letter! ­čÖé Like this if you did! And please pass this on.
http://www.leadnow.ca/cooperation

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Look who you voted for, Canada!

When I read this out to my dad.. a strange expression appeared on his face. And then he asked (worriedly) “really?, I didn’t know what”

Well, this is why I really wish that people would research who they vote for before they do it. Instead of just voting for the guy who “looks right” for the job, or for the party they’ve always voted for.

First, a quote:

“The Alliance Church to which Harper has belonged for decades, believes Jesus Christ will return to Earth in an apocalypse, won’t ordain women, strongly opposes abortion and divorce, condemns homosexuality as the most base of sins and believes those who aren’t born-again are ‘lost'”

And now, the article to prove it:

http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/thesearch/archive/2008/09/10/why-stephen-harper-keeps-his-evangelicalism-very-private.aspx

After all of that.. I hope you are as disappointed as I am. I thought Canadian people were different. I thought we wanted change.

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Every vote… counts?

Well… I exercised my right (ahem… privilege)┬áto vote this week. I didn’t realize how disappointing it would be. After the election results came in, I sat in front of the t.v. with a surprisingly frustrating feeling bubbling up inside of me. Why.. after careful research and consideration to all of the party’s platforms.. after taking the time to read the newspaper every single day, and to keep up with the polls and other news on the campaigns..WHY, after all of that, did my vote not count?

See..I know that as soon as I say this, everyone says takes the moment to tell me in a condescending voice that “every vote counts”. Well I am going to explain why my vote did not┬ácount.

Where I live, there are a lot of religious people. There are churches for every single thing you can think of.. and you can barely drive 5 minutes down the road without passing 8 of them. I, however, have never set foot in a church in my entire life unless it was to take pictures or receive a history lesson. So there is a slight disadvantage to where I live, because people who go to church.. tend to swing to the right when they vote. However, I had it in my head that the mass amounts of young voters that I was sure would be voting.. might cancel out this advantage a smidge. I was wrong.

I voted NDP (who came in a far second I will add), whilst the rest of my town it seems, voted conservative. So when our dear conservative MP was elected.. all the votes that had gone to the second and third place candidates (which was at leas 15,000) were, for the lack of a better expression.. THROWN IN THE GARBAGE. See, even though the NDP did end up a fair second in the national results.. it was not my vote that contributed to this. It was in places like Quebec that did this. My vote was forgotten as soon as the conservative-voting people in my riding cancelled my vote out.

And so, a conservative majority was won. However, it is amusing to see that by popular vote, Harper’s majority was only, in fact, a rough 40% minority. With the NDP winning a strong opposition I might add. It is unfortunate that our First Past the Post system in Canada can change the results so drastically.

How does it make sense.. that Harper received a majority.. when only 40% of Canada’s population wanted him as our leader. In fact, 60% of Canada wanted anyone but┬áhim. I know someone who voted Green for that exact reason.

Canada needs to change it’s system, because this is the reason our voter turnout is so low. First-time voters like me get discouraged after one go. Because it isn’t a fair representation of Canada’s opinion.

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