We held eight Town Halls in January, on every one of the southern Gulf Islands in the riding and in three locations on the Saanich Peninsula. I am so grateful to all of the citizens of Saanich-Gulf Islands who came out (in some nasty weather to boot) for our first-ever MP availability sessions. All told, about 600 people took advantage of the opportunity. Democracy is alive and well in our community!
While the issues raised varied from one area to another, the number one issue in each community was the threat posed by the Enbridge supertanker scheme. British Columbians by a margin of 70-80% object to lifting the 40 year oil tanker ban on our coastlines. The next most frequently raised concern was our health care system and particularly the Prime Minister’s latest “take it or leave it” offer to the provinces. In every meeting someone raised health care as a concern, along with the threat to the wild salmon fishery, First Nations rights, and the Kyoto Protocol, among others.
I decided to dedicate my recent newsletter to constituents to an in-depth look at the top issue of concern, the threat of oil tankers.
I hope this primer on tankers, pipelines and energy policy is informative and helpful to you. If you agree with the concerns I have raised, I invite you to take a few minutes to print, sign and return – postage free – a petition against the Northern Gateway Pipeline that I will table in the House of Commons. You can also take part in a survey and, as always, contact me with your questions, concerns or comments at anytime.