LETTER: Even protesters from Port Alberni need the pipeline

The fact remains that the silent majority of Canadians want this pipeline built.

LETTER: Even protesters from Port Alberni need the pipeline

To the Editor,

What means of transportation did the 45 protesters use on June 4 to get to their destination – Harbour Quay – to rally against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline? Did they walk from their homes? Did they ride their bikes? Or did they drive their fuel-dependent vehicles?

Despite their anti-pipeline rhetoric, the fact remains that the silent majority of Canadians want this pipeline built. Why? With any industrial initiative, comes a certain environmental impact. That is the nature of the beast. It is our job, however, to ensure that any negative impacts are mitigated. This pipeline is essential in that it will not only allow for thousands of jobs to be created, but will create much needed revenue to assist our national deficit and help all Canadians nationwide. The reality is we have a resource-based economy that relies heavily on Alberta.

How many of the protesters are even cognizant of the fact that many individuals in this Valley work in jobs directly or indirectly related to the oil industry? There is a dearth of good-paying jobs here that forces many to work out of town.

Nevertheless, I suppose this doesn’t affect many of the protesters from June 4, as it appears from the photo that most appear to be of retirement age. These individuals were probably fortunate enough to have worked during a time on the West Coast when our major forestry companies dominated the landscape – paying individuals high salaries. Are these people now reaping the benefits of solid pensions? How many of these protesters have a better quality of life compared to the many working poor of Port Alberni?

Now our city’s councillor, Mr. Chris Alemany, is certainly aware of the city’s poverty and lack of industry – and that should be his primary focus (after all, that is what he is being paid for by the citizens of Port Alberni). And yet there he was at Harbour Quay protesting this national issue when he should be concentrating on the many municipal issues that are plaguing this valley.

I suggest Mr. Alemany, together with the remaining protesters, turn all of that negative energy into positive energy that is directed towards addressing this city’s most pressing issues: improving our economy, cleaning up the derelict downtown, and making Port Alberni a safer place to live. Being constructive can go a long way; finally, if this group can help solve some of our municipal challenges, then truly, all Port Albernians can proudly sing, “We [have] overcome.”

Cara Veilleux,

Port Alberni