An Open Letter to Canadians From Some Members of the Order of Canada Who Live in British Columbia.
As members of the Order of Canada, whose motto is “They Desire a Better Country,” we believe it is our role as citizens to speak out about our government’s purchase and building of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
We are concerned about the deep divisions that have been created by the ‘economy vs. climate’ debate as it is currently framed. We want to contribute to the restoration of civil and informed discussions on issues as contentious as this one.
The recent ruling of the Federal Court of Appeal that calls for meaningful consultation with Aboriginal people provides an opportunity to further think about the pipeline decisions, and the risks to the marine populations of the Pacific Coast, including the orcas.
We agree with the Prime Minister that a healthy economy and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive. We propose that as a nation we invest in the transition to clean energy and a diversified economy as rapidly as possible. Working together, Indigenous communities, business, the labour movement, the non-profit sector, religious organizations, and government can generate long-term sustainable jobs in the field of clean energy. Re-training for those who suffer immediate job loss in this transition should become a public policy priority.
We want to support the hundreds of individual, community, municipal and First Nations practices and innovations in sustainable energy production and consumption that demonstrate taking care of our planet and of each other while creating fulfilling, life-affirming employment of which we can all be proud.
We believe it is critical to add our voices to the many Canadians, young and old, who also desire a better country. While we respect those who differ, we call on our government to cancel the pipeline expansion. In its place we need to develop a comprehensive energy transition plan that is commensurate with the crisis of climate change.
We call on the government to create an energy transition plan that respects First Nations land, resources, and economic development issues, honours Canada’s commitments to the Paris Accord and includes opportunities for dialogue among Canadians to reduce divisiveness and create a future that is just and sustainable for all.