Re: Old man take a look at your facts, (B.C. Views, Jan. 22)
In his haste to discredit anyone taking the cause of the environment, Tom Fletcher omits a few facts himself. Or maybe it’s just ignorance.
The “old man” came to Canada with only one main purpose: to help and support the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in its fight against oilsands development.
Ottawa practically forced the First Nations people to go to court by approving Shell Canada’s Jackpine oilsands mine expansion plan, despite the environment minister’s view that the expansion is “likely to cause significant and irreversible adverse environmental effects.” This was the environment minister talking, and not a mad environmentalist.
Moreover, the federal decision for the expansion came as the government was still supposed to be in talks with the First Nation about how the project’s effects could be mitigated.
Going to court is not cheap, and Neil Young wanted to raise $75,000. He ended up raising more than half a million.
The landscape in northern Alberta is not nice, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are not nice either, and their levels in the northern environment are increasing.
Last year, a team by Environment Canada and Queen’s University reported that the levels are 23 times higher than in 1960. No wonder the Chipewyan are so worried.