LETTER: Why aren’t you worried, Mr. Hiebert?

South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert and family pose in a Christmas photo.

Dear Russ Hiebert,

I’d like to respond to your 2011 calendar (themed “Working Hard for YOU!”). In the calendar you say we are “blessed with great natural beauty, a prosperous economy and a peaceful society”. Looking back over the past month, you seem to be taking these blessings for granted.

For example, why did you vote on Dec. 7th and again Dec. 14th against Private Member’s Bills to ban crude oil tanker traffic on Canada’s Pacific coast? Why is your party the only one not worried about an oil spill?

With oil tankers now sailing out of Vancouver, couldn’t a catastrophic spill devastate White Rock and Crescent Beaches, causing permanent damage to the local economy as well as ecosystems and our quality of life? Why do you believe we need not be concerned?

Also this month, for the fourth consecutive year, Canada was given the Colossal Fossil Award for worst behaviour at the UN world leaders’ conference on Climate Change. This award recognizes the country most responsible for “delay, obstruction and total inaction”.

Despite Canada’s efforts, 180 other countries agreed that “climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.” How is the Conservative government planning to address this threat to the coastal communities of White Rock and South Surrey, e.g., from the prospect of rising waters, extreme weather or contaminated coastlines now that the Coast Guard has been downsized?

Please also explain how Canada’s obstinate stance on climate change will help our international reputation. Will Canadians still be welcome abroad? Will we continue to enjoy “a peaceful society” here in Canada if we are seen by other nations as the most serious impediment to their children’s survival?

If your government continues on this path, I wonder about your assertion that “our best years are still ahead of us.” I do hope you’re right, in spite of Canada’s recent record.

Larry Colero, CMC

Green Party of Canada Candidate, South Surrey – White Rock – Cloverdale