Letter: BC parks open for resource exploration

Leaked documents show that the BC government is already considering redrawing the boundaries of 30 parks to accommodate…pipelines.

To the editor:

A law was just passed that gives oil, gas and mining companies the power to open up B.C.’s provincial parks for industrial activity. Resource companies will now be able to drill exploratory wells, build roads and dig giant test pits, all in the name of pipeline and transmission line “research.”

Unless we act now to repeal this law, some of the most beautiful parks in Canada could be opened up to industrial development. This could set a dangerous national precedent as oil, gas and mining companies scramble to extract as many fossil fuel resources as possible from deep below the soil. But if we add our voices to the thousands of letters that the BC Ministry of Environment has already received, they will be forced to respond.

Take action now to keep ‘big oil’ out of our parks.

Our provincial parks are legally held in trust for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public. But now, some of our most pristine and beloved landscapes in the country are in real danger. Leaked documents show that the BC government is already considering redrawing the boundaries of 30 parks to accommodate destructive new gas and oil pipelines. And now the new Parks Amendment Act could open up these beautiful landscapes for industrial activity—including exploratory wells 75 metres deep and sample pits 250 metres deep. Many park advocates worry that it will also pave the way for large-scale oil and gas extraction.

This is another attempt by the extractive industry to expand its influence over our public institutions. Last year, ‘big oil’ companies were invited to re-write our environmental laws. And earlier this month, we found out they are going to have a say about what our kids learn in school. But we are fighting back against the petrostate. We will soon deliver 25,000 signatures to Alberta Education to tell them to get ‘big oil’ out of classrooms. And we have plans to take action with groups like CPAWS-BC to stop the dangerous precedent of allowing pipelines and other industrial activities in provincial parkland—if one province allows it, it may lead to other provinces following suit.

Take action now to keep Canada’s crowning jewels protected for the use and enjoyment of all Canadians.

More information:

BC’s Parks Act in Peril?, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Feb. 14, 2014

Bill 4 Passes: B.C. Parks Now Officially Open…To Pipelines and Drilling, DeSmog Canada, Mar. 25, 2014

Rick Tarling

Kelowna Capital News