Stewards unite in hope

Stewards unite in hope I am proud to be a Canadian but I am ashamed to have a government that is blatantly sacrificing our environment for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. On Friday, Jan. 11 I attended an Idle No More rally in Whitehorse. The mar

I am proud to be a Canadian but I am ashamed to have a government that is blatantly sacrificing our environment for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.

On Friday, Jan. 11 I attended an Idle No More rally in Whitehorse. The march began at the federal MP’s office, took over Second Ave. and disrupted traffic for a good long time.

There were hundreds of us, walking tall, loud, and proud. First Nations, old and new immigrants, but all children of this beautiful Canada we call home.

I feel very hopeful again. I took home from this rally that many of us want to protect the very environment that sustains us.

Over a decade ago, Canada had committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by signing onto the Kyoto Accord. The Yukon was making great strides towards renewable energy research and development. I had great hope then that we were starting to see sweeping changes towards a more sustainable and renewable energy economy.

Somewhere along the road, this all changed. We are now experiencing an unprecedented growth in natural gas and tarsands developments; we are also experiencing the unprecedented effects of climate change.

At this moment, we are polluting the water, poisoning the earth and stealing the future from our grandchildren. It’s unsustainable and dangerous.

Our neighbours in northeastern B.C. have punched over 20,000 gas wells and they are experiencing serious problems with water resources. In the Yukon we are about to embark on the same new energy economy that will depend on natural gas fracking. Going down this road will only continue to make us more dependent on a non-renewable energy source.

Should we act like sheep and follow down this path as our neighbours have done?

Or should we be leaders instead and develop our Yukon economy with renewable energy and live within our means?

Four hundred years ago my ancestors came to Canada. If it were not for the First Nations to welcome and help them survive there would not have been the Canada we have today. We are only stewards of this land and we must take care of it for our future generations.

JP Pinard

Whitehorse