Don’t let the environment become a red herring

I got into some controversy last year when I defended the City of Moncton for deciding to use some of the highway frontage land around Mapleton Park for commercial use. I got calls, emails and blog posts decrying me as a cigar chomping hater of dhickadees. But the truth of the matter was that land was never officially part of the park and the amount to be used was less than 0.05% of Moncton’s total park acreage. Further, Moncton has one of the highest concentrations of parkland of any urban area in Canada.

But that didn’t matter to a lot of people. They just heard the words parkland in the same sentence as ‘commercial development’ and freaked out. We were going to threaten Moncton’s entire way of life and it would be an ecological disaster.

Now, admittedly, people do have some right to be skeptical. After all, government officials in the past did build the causeway, did build a dump on the banks of the river – among other things.

But I just think we need to inject rationality into this type of discussion.

Consider the story that there may be oil deposits around Turtle Creek. A few people have expressed outrage at the environmental concerns related to this. For some folks it’s like a trigger in the brain: oil = bad.

If there is oil out there and if it can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way – we should not try and obstruct development on some theoretical grounds.

I get a tired of people that yak on about environmental ‘stewardship’ and ‘sustainability’ and protection our environment for ‘future generations’ and then ignore and directly obstruct any efforts to talk about economic ‘stewardship’ and ‘sustainability’ and protection of our ‘way of life’ for ‘future generations’.

New Brunswick is going in the wrong direction in an economic sense, folks. More people are moving out than in and we grow more dependant on Equalization daily.

If environmentalists would like to see New Brunswick turned into one big nature conservation, they might just get their wish.

But that’s not my vision for this province.

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0 Responses to Don’t let the environment become a red herring

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think you just showed why people freaked out on you. That’s the most ludicrous thing ever imagined that New Brunswick be a ‘nature park’. Just because the cities have municipal parks means nothing about the province.

    As for environments, you’ve never seen another province or even state where environmentalists have so little power. Again, just look at the recent forest giveaway, downsizing forest rangers, laxing logging restrictions, stopping funding of just about every progressive forestry program. Not to mention Belledune, pig farms, landfills.

    New Brunswick is every environmentalists nightmare. Why do you think Greenpeace doesn’t even bother with a branch here, and never even tries a protest. Hell, even a party with progressive labour ideas is non existent here. The environment here is a toxic toilet. Again, let’s talk about Agent Orange, Agent Purple, one of the highest concentrations of pesticide spraying in the continent. Gee, you think its a coincidence so many people are sick in NB? No other province in canada or state blanket sprays forests nowaday, let alone does it so close to residential areas.

    You want yet another reason people get the hell out of the province just look at the environment. Take a look at St. John Harbour sometime. Fredericton dumps raw sewage into the Saint John on many occasions.

    That’s Al Hogan style propagandizing you are doing there and you really should be ashamed. The very few voices for the environment have zero political power and are treated like a joke, they stopped sending press releases to Irving because they know its impossible to get them printed.

    Meanwhile, joe city dweller couldn’t give a rats ass about the environment, it isn’t even a topic. The rural people need it for jobs, and the city people ignore it. Look at the christmas mountains – and that was the only old growth forests in the province and they didn’t even paus. Just go count the Smart Cars and Prius’ on the road and that’s how many environmentalists there are.

    People know it, that’s why they get the hell out and go to places like southern ontario where just about every region has a conservation area, and where Algonkuin and the northern muskoka’s service their tourism needs. Just like northern New Hampshire services Boston’s. In NB, you go an hour from a road and you can enjoy the beautiful sounds of chainsaws and enjoy the sight of logging companies running over wildlife at breakneak speed.

    Good Lord man, get some perspective. The environment isn’t even considered here, and that bears directly on a number of people’s leaving. I know its tough when the economy isn’t doing well, but like somebody posted over at Charles’ site, if Irving were announcing plans to incarcerate acadians in work camps there would be people arguing for it on the basis that it provides jobs. Somebody else made a post, and in fact if you had a good airport and progressive work changes, I’d FAR rather see people work shifts in Alberta and fly home to a beautiful Saint John than see it become even more of a toilet.

    Yes a thousand jobs would be nice, but as you’ve said yourself an economic development package designed to succeed creates jobs as well. This is literally a cop out saying “well, *&^% ED,we’ll take whatever shit jobs anybody will give us”

    As for oil, get real, there is no such thing as an ‘environmental’ way to extract oil.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And oh yeah, a good portion of those jobs won’t even help Saint Johners, it will just encourage more of the rural exodus (but I guess that’s OK now, we’ll got back to arguing against it once the refinery is up). So all that Saint John will get out of it, besides the obvious environmental effects, is some more property tax. Ironically, that’s property tax they’d be getting anyway if the ‘representatives’ hadn’t given Irvings that huge tax break.

    After this its a joke to think that Irving would have put their LNG terminal anywhere else (as they said they would if they didn’t get the tax break)

  3. David Campbell says:

    I think YOU should be ashamed for doing exactly what I said you shouldn’t. How dare you try and link things like Mapleton Park and the potential of oil exploration to Agent Orange and pesticides. That’s EXACTLY THE PROBLEM. People like you will confuse people about issues by throwing down your boilerplate. Let me be clear. I realize there have been serious missteps when it comes to the environment – but you do nobody any good by making every thing government tries to do an ‘environmental disaster’. Guys/gals like you should focus on the real environmental problems and not these silly little red herrings. Your type would have much more credibility if you stuck to real environmental issues instead of trying to dig one out from under every rock.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh man, out come the “how dare you” ‘s. Didn’t like that Al Hogan reference eh. Well, let’s recap what was said:

    “I get a tired of people that yak on about environmental ‘stewardship’ and ‘sustainability’ and protection our environment for ‘future generations’ and then ignore and directly obstruct any efforts to talk about economic ‘stewardship’ and ‘sustainability’ and protection of our ‘way of life’ for ‘future generations’…..If environmentalists would like to see New Brunswick turned into one big nature conservation, they might just get their wish”

    That, my friend, is pure and utter propaganda. Until you added those two paragraphs you had at least a fairly objective look at the issue in Moncton.

    But those paragraphs are clearly aimed at environmentalists, which means YOU were turning Moncton into a symbol of the ‘environment vs economy’ argument.

    And the final paragraph is just so completely insane I don’t think Al himself could come up with it. Read it again, its so far beyond ludicrousness that I’d have to assume you were stoned or something.

    New Brunswick? Turned into a park?? The province is quickly on its way to turning into clear cuts and tree farms and you think environmentalists may get their wish?

    And again, the reverse is true than what is represented. In fact, it is BY FAR environmentalists that are arguing in favour of industry-I mean NEW BRUNSWICKERS industry, not the multinationals. Native lumberers and small woodlot owners have been adopting environmental policies for years, of course now they will have to abandon them because of the massive subsidies to the forestry giants.

    Even the conservation council simply mirrors the needs of the small woodlot owners, when any REAL environmentalist worth his salt would be pushing for exactly what you imply-more national parks, more provincial parks, more game refuges. NOBODY in New Brunswick is saying that, they are just saying “well, maybe yah know its not such a good idea to ignore every scientist in the province and massively cut all the timber in a ten year span”

    In case you forgotten, just look at the Grand Banks to see what massive subsidies and deregulation do to an industry. And I’ve got other news-New Brunswick ain’t nearly as big as the Grand Banks!

    So by FAR it is the environmentalists who are pushing economically sound policies-unless you’re a massive company that just wants quick wood and then move on to the next place.

    Yet every time somebody says “yah know, maybe digging and transporting oil right near a major urban centre isn’t such a great idea” suddenly they are just “yakking on about environmental stewardship” and just not looking at the other side (and why would they, if you oppose something it seems odd to argue the opposing view)

    As for the other remarks, no environmentalist gives a flying squirrel about ‘respect’ in a province where such toilet policies are status quo and not even worth mentioning. You can’t even get bloggers to even care that their forests are being massacred. Who would want the respect of such people?

    As that pretty elaborate list above shows, you certainly don’t need to ‘lift rocks’ to find an environmental issue in this province, although,granted, more rocks are visible as the trees are extracted from view.

    YOU said the ‘environment’ is a red herring, not anybody else. YOU made those comments about environmentalists, forcing a rebuttal. The whole idea is to deal with this BEFORE it becomes an environmental disaster. The claim to “leave this issue alone and worry about other ones” is exactly the problem. People ignore the environment and create more problems, and leave it up to others to ‘worry about’.

    You can just as easily (in fact more) say that the economy is a function of the environment, not vice versa.

    It’s a pretty short sighted view to look at immediate gratification in lieu of long term strategies.