Student’s essay draws response

Re: “The unrelenting need for industry” (Sentinel, June 1), this is a very nice essay by Mathias Tait, and I am very pleased to see that a young person takes such an interest in his future.

Dear sir,

Re: “The unrelenting need for industry” (Sentinel, June 1), this is a very nice essay by Mathias Tait, and I am very pleased to see that a young person takes such an interest in his future.

He presented some good facts, but a few comments need to be made.

“The strongest economies (Canada and USA) are based on the exploitation of natural resources through industrial production”: so true, but the emphasis must be on production.

Other than Ontario we have little production. We exploit the resources and export them with little or no processing which is where the money is for employees and for governments.

Just look close to home.

Eurocan was built with special craft paper in mind using a mix of interior and coastal wood; the best lumber was cut in their sawmill, the rest went into pulp. The timber licence was attached to the mill.

The first thing to go was the sawmill;  next the pulp mill was sold to West Fraser, then the timber licence was transferred from the mill to West Fraser. Now 35 per cent of the timber is shipped to China, and the rest goes to mills out of this region.

Terrace had several sawmills;  all closed down.  I could go on for a while.

Methanex employed 125 people using relatively little natural gas. More could have been done right here with the methanol.

A few years ago, Trinidad declined more methanol plants unless methanol was used there to make other products.

Henry Ford was probably the best industrialist. He looked after his workers in a big way.

He built orphanages, invested in nutritional research to make sure his workers and their families were well-fed and healthy, and many other things. This is no longer true today.

It changed with globalization. The only thing that counts is profit, most of which goes to top executives and/or flows out of the country. Very, very little goes to our governments – just the opposite. It was recently announced that the federal government will pump two billion dollars into the oil industry expansion and give one million dollars per day in tax credits.  Almost no taxes will be paid until projects are paid off.

There is no such thing as loyalty to the country, to community, the workers, their families.

It will get worse. We now have no energy policy. But Ottawa is working with Washington on a North American energy sharing plan.

That will be worse than the Free Trade Agreements. It will not only cover fossil fuels but electric power,  however generated,  and water which is a big part of any generation project.

It has also recently been stated that the site C project is to go ahead – BC Hydro flooding beautiful, productive farmland and wildlife habitat. For what?

To provide power, about 350 megawatts – nearly half of what Kemano produces – to ship dilbit (diluted bitumen) from Alberta to Kitimat.

One last word about the tree huggers. They are not against every project, industrial or otherwise. But let us first stop the export of our existing jobs.

Finally, with the “new industry,” I have to assume you mean the Enbridge pipeline. Well, that pipeline would not just transport dilbit but it would transport many thousands of jobs out of the country.

As to possible environmental risks, these are not “possible” but guaranteed.

 

Dieter H. Wagner.

 

 

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