by Larry Powell
Below is a copy of an e-mail I just sent to Chris Hall, host of the CBC Radio program, "The House." It concerns an interview he did this morning with Manitoba's Premier, Brian Pallister on the Premier's move to withdraw from the federal carbon tax plan. If you didn't hear it, Pallister announced to the world that a carbon tax is not needed in Manitoba because both he and his government are already green!
|Manitoba Premier, Brian Pallister.|
Photo by grainnews.ca
I'm a native Manitoban who has, as a journalist, researcher and citizen, long been immersed in the politics of this province. I could hear the lies dripping from Premier Pallister's mouth as you interviewed him on the carbon tax this morning.
His assertion that both he and Manitoba are already green, comes less than a year after his government slashed important legislation. It once provided us with a measure of health and environmental protection from the mass pollution created by this province's already large "factory hog" industry.
And, despite a wealth of science that shows the harm this industry has, for years, inflicted on our water, soil and air, countless new mega-barns are going up as we speak. Predictably, this is also being accompanied by a growing swell of complaints from rural residents whose solitude, privacy and property values are being invaded, not only by the stench from the barns and the disease-carrying manure being spread widely on food crops, but from dust and noise from huge semi-trailers rumbling along, nearby.
Don't forget, animal agriculture is a significant contributor to the climate crisis, which was, after all, the topic at hand. It produces copious amounts of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than the most common one, carbon dioxide.
Not surprisingly, under the guise of "investments" or "loans" (which may not be loans at all, but outright grants), this expanding industry is being "helped along" with generous dollops of our tax dollars. In what alternate universe could this possibly be considered a "polluter pay" policy?
Pallister's hidebound ideology - that we must have growth at all costs - and that most regulations amount to nothing more than "red tape" - amounts to contempt for his own citizens and an insult to our intelligence.
Lake Winnipeg and other important waterways in this province have, for years, been so overgrown with algae (much of it the toxic "blue-green" kind), they can be seen from space! Does anyone in her right mind believe that massive industry expansion will make these problems anything but worse?
If Pallister had boasted that his province was not really green but "blue-green" he would have been closer to the truth!
Shoal Lk. MB