Breaking News
Disputing Weston’s claims

Disputing Weston’s claims

A number of claims made by Mr. Weston in last week’s letter seem rather du- bious. Especially odd is his claim to have “consistently advocated for a sustainable approach to the environ- ment and fisheries,” a claim that contrasts sharply with the following media report from 2013:

“More than $100 mil- lion in cuts are underway at the federal department in charge of protecting Canada’s water and oceans, despite recommendations from top bureaucrats that it needs to increase spending for both environmental and economic reasons.

According to internal fed- eral briefing notes obtained by Postmedia News, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is eliminating about 500 jobs at the De- partment of Fisheries and Oceans related to Coast Guard services, patrols to stop illegal fishing activi- ties as well as scientific re- search to promote conser- vation, protect endangered species, and prevent in- dustrial water pollution.” I don’t recall Mr. Weston advocating against this un- sustainable approach.

Mr. Weston flogs the re- jection of the Taseko Mine Project as a shining example of his government’s environ- mental responsibility. The

notion that a Harper gov- ernment would make any important decisions based – as Mr. Weston claims – on rigourous science-based evi- dence is, of course, belied by its record in this regard. The rejection of this project was, more than likely, motivated primarily by the anticipated backlash from First Nations, with the Tsilhqot’in Nation- al Government threatening to seek millions of dollars in compensation for the poi- soning of Fish Lake.

Mr. Weston claims that his government has “recent- lytakenstepstodevelopa world-class marine tanker safety system…”. Since he has a history of making ex- aggerated claims, I assumed this to be another one. But it seems his government ac- tually has taken such steps, steps that look good on pa- per. The reality is that the fossil fuel industry has yet to demonstrate that it’s pos- sible to effect an adequate cleanup, regardless of what regulations may be govern- ing those efforts. For a real- ity check on Mr. Weston’s claim, I encourage readers to check out the Wikipedia entry on the Exxon Valdez spill. Especially noteworthy is the fact that, “as of 2010 there were an estimated 23,000 US gallons (87 m 3) of Valdez crude oil still in Alaska’s sand and soil, breaking down at a rate esti- mated at less than 4 per cent peryear.”
George Kosinski

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top