‘Why are you here?’

The Yukon government's pro-oil-and-gas road show reached Mount Lorne last week. Legitimate concerns with the environmental and quality-of-life impacts of oil and gas development were sidelined as irrelevant.

The Yukon government’s pro-oil-and-gas road show reached Mount Lorne last week.

Legitimate concerns with the environmental and quality-of-life impacts of oil and gas development were sidelined as irrelevant. My questions about the process itself weren’t much more successful.

I find it impossible to trust this government, politicians and, on occasion, bureaucrats, because so many lines are being blurred, crossed or just plain erased.

“Part of the oil and gas branch’s mandate is to regulate industry. In order to do this, it has to attract industry so it has something to regulate.” That’s from the horse’s mouth.

Does this scare anyone else? Would you trust a doctor who was openly drumming up business for a pharmaceutical company?

If the same roles were given to the Department of Environment, it would be quite within its rights to recruit guerilla groups with foreign funding to chain themselves to drilling rigs. As it stands, it doesn’t even get a cameo.

Apparently, the frequently asked question is: “Why are you here?”

And after three hours, I am no closer to understanding the logic behind this call for postings. The “local use” argument doesn’t fly because the oil and gas branch is very clear that it has no mechanism to restrict or even encourage companies who get leases to keep oil and gas in the territory.

The geologists tell us there’s a tiny, tiny chance there’s anything worth exploiting. We know that we could meet our energy needs with our current capacity if we cut our use using conservation.

It just doesn’t add up.

The stories are piling up – I suggest our politicians level with us.

Kim Melton

Mount Lorne

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