Bitumen should be left in the ground

Dear editor,

The tar sands fiasco is just about one of the worst things to ever happen in Canada. Provinces have been able to rest on their laurels as their unemployed headed for Fort McMurray, so that the MLAs didn’t really have to come up with employment ideas and policies that would’ve kept these workers at home with their families.

It’s slowed the progress of alternative energy development by essentially putting all our energy eggs in one basket, an extremely risky investment as any financial adviser would tell you.

It’s harmed families where many of the oil patch workers have returned home addicted to either drugs or alcohol, or both.

It’s ruined marriages, helped to increase the anxiety of children whose parents have gone absent for months at a time, and led to instances of violence and abuse either in their home environments or in the camps.

It’s also resulted in the untimely deaths of some workers.

And now, more recently with the talk of pipelines, it’s pitted provinces against one another.  And needless to say, it’s totally screwed up the political arena in this country, also pitting politician against politician (although that happens all the time anyway).

It’s had a disastrous effect on aboriginals and others affected by the tar sands development.

It’s contributed more than its fair share to greenhouse gases, polluted rivers and streams, and is now threatening B.C.’s coastal waters.

Finally, development of the tar sands has led to the slow but inexorable takeover of Canada’s resource sector by foreign interests, including China and the U.S., to name a few.

In short, the tar sands have proven to be a disaster for Canada, which I believe would’ve been far better off and further ahead in its so-called economic progress if the bitumen had been left in the ground where it belongs.

Terry MacCormack

Comox