BY WENDY HUENUL-VALDES
Who has great hair, a killer smile and approved the Kinder Morgan and Line 3 tarsands pipelines? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to be the climate leader Canadians wanted and instead CTV reported that in northern Alberta an estimated 380,000 litres of light petroleum spilled in June 2016. And in January 200,000 litres of oil spilled in Saskatchewan.
Although it is the provinces’ responsibility to clean up the mess, it is the federal government’s job to have the proper restrictions and regulations set up for the use of oil pipelines, or in a better world, provide greener alternatives. Part of the problem is Canadian politics are being overshadowed.
It’s easy to forget to keep an eye on our government because of all the craziness happening south of the border. U.S. President Donald Trump is in every newspaper, on every TV screen and all over social media. We have been so distracted we have forgotten about those who are suffering the consequences.
Canada’s aboriginal communities are the ones who are dealing with their water being polluted and their land being taken for the building of pipelines. Farmers in Saskatchewan have to deal with contamination in their fields. Canada’s image of being an environmentally conscious country is being tarnished.
I remember feeling proud once upon a time to be living in a country that kept its lush forests and beautiful scenery safe. That pride has long gone and has been replaced with an overwhelming anger toward our leaders.
It is not enough to just elect a leader who promised us pretty pictures, we must hold him accountable and remind him every step of the way what it is that we want. Our focus on American politics needs to be reverted to our backyards because we have a myriad of people fighting for their rights and for our land. It is important for those of us who live in cities to support Canadians out west.
We have to keep informed and stay aware of what our own Prince Charming is approving here at home. Trudeau went to the Paris climate summit and promised that Canada was “back.” However, a year later he approved new oil sands and fracking infrastructure. It only takes one environmental science course to know that in just those actions Canada is no longer able to proudly claim that “we’re back” because no, we’re not. We just took a big step back.