From the earliest days of colonialism spreading west under industrial expansion, governments thought that natural resources were near infinite. Acts of exploitation were relatively harmless and just the cost of doing business. But with the stinky pulp mills, the mining site discharges, the hydro dams changing entire landscapes and the clear-cutting of forests, citizens came to expect more attention to the environment and responsible behaviour from industry. Despite government promises, the mining and oil & gas sectors still operate mostly the same. Because development is mostly in low populated areas, the urban majorities don't much care. Neoliberal governments claim that "red tape" inhibits enterprise hence the move to self-regulation by industry. If safe operations conflict with financial interests, unhealthy compromises result. Mount Polley is example #1.
In BC, the Clark regime is beholden to the exploiters of natural resources. The mantra of development that provided gainful employment for the people and revenues for the province has shifted. The message is the same, but the winners are ever increasing profitable corporations. So what if there are few jobs and residual environmental damage? So what if royalties dwindle to next to nothing? So what if the billions in GDP are exports of raw materials with no local benefit? Royalties were higher in 2001 than 2016. Subsidies now amount to a larger total.
Norm Farrell started to research and write on public affairs in 2009, focusing on BC issues. His work, now available at https://in-sights.ca has brought much unwelcome attention to the mismanagement and destruction of the public trust by industry compliant elected officials. May 9, 2017 is not that far off and BC has some hard decisions to make. Join us for some BC Truth on BCHydro, the LNG disaster, the neoliberal narrative and the compliant corporate media.