Do expansion benefits outweigh the problems?

Dear editor,

Re: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval

Climate and First Nations leaders condemn the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and pledge to fight.

In the past, leaders had mentioned a disincline towards such a proposal. What may appear to be awful, with this approved decision, may actually lead to a few examples of benefits: new jobs, some of them permanent, also temporary construction jobs; and an increase in provincial tax revenue and municipal tax revenues in B.C. needed for advanced world-building and safety. 2020 is a deadline to reduce harmful emissions and to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, we need funds.

Now on the other hand, we weigh out the problems of: mountain and ocean protection, tanker spillage and cleanup, disruption in fishing, impact on food production, from increased soil acidity and toxicity, contaminated grounds and waters, sick orca, fish and wildlife.

Two hands with two battles.

For the hand that weighs the safety hazards, there are safety preventative methods. There are oil spill procedures currently being used, in case of oil accidents – boom oil cleanup with inflatable skimmers, and dispersants that break down oil. New technology has been devised, including a nano-sponge created for oil absorption. Oil shipping companies should have mandatory spill procedure at owners’ expense.

Complete safety, or an expansion toward ultimate global change. Which hand is now heavier?

Rebecca Brie Cairns

Nanaimo