Wanted: brave politicians

Why do we have to keep fighting our own governments in court to make them do the right thing?

Wanted: brave politicians

The Newfoundland and Labrador court has handed down a landmark victory to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence and other sensitive ecosystems. The B.C. Supreme Court has shot down the Taseko mine project that would have destroyed the beautiful and culturally sensitive Fish Lake. Here in Cowichan Valley, it took years of legal wrangling before the courts to stop the dumping of contaminated soil in a populated watershed. Wonderful news indeed! While it may be too early to declare a clear environmental trend in these and other court decisions, these are clearly impressive victories, years in the making and at considerable expense.

The question that we have to ask ourselves at this point is why do we (citizens and environmental organizations) have to keep fighting our own governments in court to make them do the right thing? There are laws and ministerial plans in place that proclaim governments’ commitment and responsibility to “sustainability” and the environment, but do we really have forests, fisheries, oil and gas, and mining operations that truly respect or even understand the intricacies of intact ecosystems? Absolutely not. Why do First Nations have to keep up legal battles to try to get governments to respect their rights and need for basic living requirements? Why are corporations allowed to contravene the rules, then provided government subsidies to ensure their solvency or clean up their mess?

It takes years of hard work and stress, not to mention truckloads of money, much of it citizen donations, to keep up the fight. We keep fighting on a case-by-case basis, fighting for every inch of ground while all around us, our ecosystems are being devastated more quickly than we can protect them.

We shouldn’t have to do this.

We have just witnessed how well governments can respond to a social crisis. If there’s anything positive we can learn from COVID-19, it is that government can act on behalf of the public good, with great speed and buckets of money.

What we need are politicians at all levels who are willing to stand up for citizens, for First Nations rights and for the ecosystems that provide us the very essence of life. Right now, we teeter at the very brink of extinction, not only for much of our biodiversity but for ourselves as well.

Together we can be a powerful force to change the way we perceive our environment and how we live within it, not outside of it. We need to redesign our way of living and our path of collaboration. We need politicians brave enough to stand with us.

Kathy Code

CEO Juniper Community Solutions

Cobble Hill


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McDougall-Percillier gets top Rugby Canada honour

“I’m really stoked about getting this award”

Business notes: WINGS set to close on Aug. 29

A few of the things going on in Cowichan’s business community

Collision knocks over fire hydrant on Ypres Street

Duncan firefighters quick to get situation under control

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read