BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
Earlier this month seven protesters suspended themselves from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in Vancouver to protest the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. I know like many of you, I read about this latest protest against natural resource development and couldn’t help but note that many of those protestors were wearing and using items that came from the resources they were protesting.
The responsible development of our natural resources is essential to the growth of our national and local economy. Not only that, but there’s no getting around the fact that in today’s society we ALL use products that come from oil, gas, and other natural resources. Practically speaking then, we need to develop these resources in order to use them.
We all know the obvious oil products like gasoline and motor oil, as well as the natural gas used to heat our homes and the wood to build them. But there are many other resource-based products that use plastic (an oil product), steel (metallurgical coal), and glass (natural gas is required for production) that I would argue would be virtually impossible to live without. Eyeglasses, telecommunications towers, hospitals, houses, wastewater pipes, satellites, cell phones, laptop computers, televisions, buses, cars, light bulbs, electrical equipment, ambulances, wheelchairs, tires, hospital beds, bicycles, hip replacements, and toilet paper are all made using natural resources. And these are just a few examples.
As you can see, if we were to remove all products that are manufactured with oil, gas, or other natural resources there wouldn’t be much left.
That is why I find it so frustrating seeing photos of protests like the recent bridge incident or listening to some Members of Parliament in the House of Commons speak against projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline, or even get arrested at an anti-pipeline protest, knowing full well that they are taking the same planes I am to get to and from Ottawa.
While I don’t challenge their right to their beliefs…Canada is a great place where we are all supposed to be able to voice our opinion…it is the absolute position they have against developing our resources while using the very same resources that I have a problem with.
How can someone support a moratorium on natural resource development while at the same time using these products on a daily basis? To me, this is an untenable position. To use natural resources and at the same time oppose their development is hypocrisy and it simply doesn’t work.
It is why I continue to highlight this hypocrisy with the #stopthehypocrisychallenge.
We need to have a practical and honest perspective when discussing our environment and the development of our natural resources. We all need to realize that we need natural resources to function in today’s society. We can be good stewards of the environment and our natural resources so that all Canadians can enjoy the benefits of both.