Why Christy Clark Shouldn't Talk to Kids about Trees
Urban premier doesn't know the wrong logging brings big costs to 'moms and dads.'
When I read Premier Christy Clark's simplistic -- OK, dumbfounding -- comments about how she talks to children about the forest industry, I was really offended.Then it struck me that Clark was just another urban office-dweller with no real understanding of the industry, or forest communities.
And no understanding that our relationship with forests, and the rest of the world around us, is complex and multidimensional, not foolishly simplistic.
In case you missed it, here's Clark's grasp of forestry and environmental issues. In a speech to an industry conference, she said whenever she visited schools, no matter where she went, there was always one child who said, "We should stop cutting down trees."
"I'm glad they say it, because it's a chance for education," Clark said. "I get a chance to say to them, 'You know, if we don't cut down trees in British Columbia, we have to take more money from your mom and dad."
Clark should visit the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. She would learn that if you do cut down trees -- too many, in the wrong places -- then moms and dads and all taxpayers have to pay more to government.
For decades, Comox Lake provided clean drinking water for some 50,000 people in Courtenay and Comox.
Now we face regular boil water advisories because of turbidity in the lake. Water taxes are already set to increase more than nine per cent over the next three years.
And problems with declining water quality in Comox Lake have created the need for a treatment and filtration plant costing $50 to $75 million.
To cover the filtration plant's costs, the City of Courtenay will have to increase taxes and long-term debt. Or as, Christy Clark would say, "take money from moms and dads."
Trees used to store and filter our water for "free." Until very recently, we were known for the quality of our drinking water from Comox Lake.
What went wrong? Our water crisis is part of a bigger picture. We're not the only Vancouver Island community with water trouble.
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