Pacific Wild: our responsibilities

Cowichan Valley – I was profoundly moved by the recent presentation, Pacific Wild, at Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre, as Ian McAllister invited us to share something wonderful of his experience among the diverse pristine environments of the North Coast of B.C. While intrigued and delighted at the vision and knowing of the astonishing diversity of life as presented by Ian, the complex and delicate bio-systems, and the creatures inherent within them along Northern Coastal waters, also, I was saddened with thoughts of the immense harm that is impending, by effect of the self-serving greed and ignorance of corporate managers and their collaborators in government. I felt grave concern for the legacy that we are leaving for our children and generations to come.

This morning, I read an article online, of similar concern by Zoe Blunt, Forest Action Network, a dedicated protector of our natural environment.

She wrote, in part, “In every part of the province, industry is laying waste to huge areas of wilderness – un-ceded indigenous land – for mining, fracking, oil, and hydroelectric projects. This frenzy of extraction is funneling down to the port cities of the Pacific and west to China. Prime Minister Stephen Harper [in October] stripped away all recourse for legal defence by signing a new resource trade agreement with China that trumps Canadian and local laws and indigenous rights.”

In response to Ian McAllister’s inspiring presentation, and to Zoe Blunt’s remarks, I write the following: Canada now is a nation at war, and not only the wars overseas that Stephen Harper is dragging us into to serve his personal ambitions. But also, Canada is at war on this land, and within the native and settler nations that occupy it.

In his Agreements for the Protection of Foreign Investors, particularly the recent agreement with China, Harper has invited a hostile foreign takeover of the lands, the resources, and the governance of the peoples of this land.

Canada now, by the actions of Stephen Harper, is a colony of the Chinese empire,

for state-owned Chinese corporations now have the legal right to sue any government in Canada whose actions interfere with Chinese corporate profits. Such suits elsewhere have been in the billions of dollars, sufficient to dis-empower and possibly bankrupt many governments. A serious effect is that Chinese stateowned corporations will profoundly influence and restrict Canadian law and policy, regardless of interests of people here.

Chinese corporations now, with Harper’s support, have the power to take what they want for their profit, and to leave behind destruction of environments, economies, communities, and people’s lives, with no legal recourse for those who are.

In his personal desire to be accepted among transnational corporate executives, Stephen Harper is hostile to democratic government in the best interests of the people, and he has undertaken grave measures to replace democratic government with government by corporation, which is precisely a definition of Fascism.

So, what can honourable people of good conscience do about this reality, this hostile takeover of our lands and our nations, with its dark and troubling prospects?

What good will it do, to kick at the ankles of the corporate Goliath?

What David has a sling and a stone, to bring down the Beast, saving the people and the land much trouble and harm?

What peaceful means will save the spirit of the people, a bright hope, confidence, courage, and optimism, for us to pass along to our children through coming generations?

For, it is within such attitudes that creativity and resiliency are born, and surely our children will need plenty of those capacities, to live well in the world that we now are creating.

The children now and generations to come will inherit what we leave them, both in the worlds of resources and opportunities, and in the culture of attitudes, ideas, and custom that we show them. It will be for them, those who follow us, to make what they can of what we leave them. What will we leave them?

John Mowat Steven

Cowichan Valley