Sunday, July 31, 2016

Down to earth, for the Earth

The Kinder Morgan Pipeline plan remains under consideration. At least there's now a Ministerial Panel holding meetings, fielding further input before the final decision gets made.

It's hard not to be discouraged when things take this long, especially after the initial optimism so many of us held when Justin Trudeau was elected.

Despite the size of Surrey, and despite the fact that the proposed 'twinned' pipeline will pass through part of the city, no Task Force hearings were scheduled for here. As a result, I made my way instead to Langley, the nearest such event.

The jar pictured above, containing the thick sludge-like material, bitumen, was passed around the room as part of one of the presentations. Where everyone was limited to five minutes, facts were flying fast, and it was nearly impossible to keep up with any note-taking. Luckily, it appeared that there were court-style stenographers, keeping better track than I of all that was said.

I wasn't the only one who'd come from outside Langley. One of the most passionate (and informative) speakers was a woman who identified herself as a 'mom' from White Rock. There were also engineers, former oil patch and refinery workers, all of them with strong reasons for opposing the

Okay, not fair, I did hear one presentation that seemed in support of Kinder Morgan's plan and I was glad that the assemblage remained respectful, despite the elephant so obviously in the room.

As for my presentation, I took, as might be expected, my own track and read part of the poem I wrote as a fundraiser for the Burnaby Mountain Defenders. As introduction, I cited the Han Shan Poetry Project, which succeeded in saving a forest -- a forest in Langley, no less, and on a site not all that far from where the day's meetings were being held.

I was also happy when, at the break, one of the government representatives asked if I had a copy of the poem. I was very glad I'd brought one of the original fundraiser chapbooks, as it's now on its way to Ottawa as part of the input gathered by the panel.

There are more meetings coming up -- in Burnaby, Vancouver and other cities in British Columbia. The full schedule is at the link cited earlier in this post -- but, in case you can attend (or even submit an email response), here's that link again.

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