LETTER: Please, leave our parks alone

The legacy of the citizens of BC is our parks system.

A letter to Premier Clark:

The legacy of the citizens of BC is our parks system. It was created over the past 75 years or so, much of it due to the hard work, time and money of BC taxpayers.

Our parks are the only places in the province free from economic exploitation, where wildlife can find a refuge, and where common folks like myself can go to experience nature.

The bill introduced February 13th called ‘The Park Amendment Act (Bill 4) will enable the government to permit exploration “research” for industrial development of parks and protected areas, even Class A parks.

This is wrong.

We already have a situation where your government has denied the creation of any new parks, and this legislation would allow government to open parks up to research projects for industrial development of now protected areas.

That leaves us with nothing. This province is not about industrial development at the expense of all else, and a bill like this, if passed, will mean civil disobedience on a large scale. It seems that the government has lost sight of the fact that the parks of BC belong to the citizens of BC, not to whatever industry is the flavour of the day.

At a time in human history when the governments of the world should be exerting themselves to reduce C02 emissions and pollution generally in order to forestall the worst effects of global warming, we see the gas and oil industry pulling out all the stops to urge government to pin their hopes on them to reduce taxes and reduce the debt.

I am happy to pay more taxes for roads, schools, parks, and government services. If the government insists on supporting resource extraction over supporting local business and industry it will turn BC into a third world economy.

Extractive industry leads to a boom and bust economy, and impoverished communities. I say no changes to the BC Park Act, no industrial development or activities in BC Parks. The removal or damage of resources or land for economic or industrial purposes in BC parks has been illegal for over 50 years and should stay that way.


Harvey Armstrong