We need people who can bring people together

Writer calls Stewart Muir’s view on protesting divisive.

Dear Mr. Muir,

Your organization “…communicates with British Columbians about the importance of the province’s resource sectors to their personal well-being. It demonstrates how responsible development of British Columbia’s resources creates jobs and incomes…”

Despite this stated purpose, your original 3,500-word opus used the word “jobs” only three times and “employment” a bare six times. “Foreign” (as in “foreign groups”) shows up four times, “protest” 13 times and “First Nations” 20 times.

Your article [‘Flash mobs for the protest era’ published Jan. 23] is not a useful contribution to any discussion on what the future of jobs in the north could or should look like. It is not an examination of how we can ensure young people will have jobs that not only provide for their families now, but also for future generations. It is not a good-faith exploration of how resource extraction could or should be done to respect First Nations land claims while also protecting jobs and the environment. Yes, resource extraction can absolutely be done sustainably. This is not an all or nothing game.

Your article was conspiracy-laden, divisive and eminently unproductive. Do you really think that the solution to creating jobs in the north is to pit folks who depend on oil & gas, mining or forestry to pay for mortgages, hockey and university against their neighbours who want clean water, air, salmon and whales? And First Nations with unsettled land claims? Do you think that folks who work in mining, oil & gas or forestry would not *prefer* to go to work each morning knowing that they are not only contributing to the economic health of their families and this country, but also working in a manner that ensures their great-grandchildren will enjoy caribou and steelhead?

We need people who will work together to define the future and chart a path to get there. We need people who can bring people together, not drive them apart. We don’t need you. Stop it.

Tina Portman


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