Black Gold Trumps Green Thumbs: Explaining the Environmental Reporting of the Northern Gateway Project

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Education is very important to me, not just for our children, but for our elders, young adults, workers, and those seeking to develop new knowledge, skills, and capabilities – the concept of public education is founded within our First Nations oral history, and it could be argued, pre-dates what we know as social human history. I am a living example of my commitment to public education and lifelong learning. I never graduated high school, rather instead, began working at a very young age. I was fortunate enough to have individuals watching over me and helping me through these years. I wrote and passed my GED tests after some hard studies and then looked to the military for training, education, and experience. Now, over a decade later I am well into my Doctoral studies with Royal Roads University.

My doctoral work is within the social sciences. Specifically, I am looking an environmental issues and wildlife issues. I have a some formal education in Canadian environmental law and policy, and I have dedicated much of my writing time to critiquing government communications, official reports, and key decisions. I use my education in a very applied manner with the intentions of bettering society as a whole. This is one way that I show my activism, my passions, and my commitment to social causes – through the written word.

The manner in which I display my activism is very applied in nature. I conduct critiques of key government decisions, provide alternative viewpoints, argue and fight, and ultimately push for change behind the scenes. I am action orientated and the work that I do, by necessity, is technical in nature and applied.

I believe in lifelong learning

I have been recently challenged on my commitment to stopping coastal pipelines. While it is true that I have not been able to recently attend local events, it is also true that activism comes in many forms. I have been actively involved in significant reviews of key decisions for over two years and now. With the Northern Gateway fight behind us, I would like to share with you a small piece of my work on this subject.

On the subject of the Northern Gateway I have been reviewing and critiquing key decisions and providing strategic advice to various stakeholders on strategies in engaging governments on this issue. My work and activism is technical, applied, and academic. It is also necessary.

In 2014, I wrote a document critiquing the Joint Review Panel’s recommendations on the Northern Gateway Pipeline. While it is a smaller piece of work it highlights for you, the membership, where my mind is at pertaining to our social and environmental values, how I articulate concerns, and the technical abilities that I possess in voicing concerns and bringing forward alternative viewpoints.

An environment for our future

I am committed to ensure a safe and secure environment for tomorrow. I am prepared to fight for these values. I do believe that we have lost our balance in corporate social responsibilities. We do need an economy. We do need jobs. But we also need a balance. We need to adopt sound principles of conservation and look for new and innovative ways to accomplish the hard task of creating a sustainable green economy founded on the protection of one another, our children’s future, and our environment. I believe this balance can be achieved.

People centred politics

When we stray too far to the right, when we lose our capacity to care for one another, when we put profits ahead of people we have failed our fellow citizens. A future of sustainable jobs and a vibrant economy that is people centred – this is my vision.

Committed to defending our coast

I am committed to defending our coast and I have done significant academic work in this area.  I have sought to shape public opinion, provide strategic advice to decision makers, and put forward alternative views and concerns. I am an advocate for positive and progressive change and I will defend our home. To question me on this commitment is to say that my work has achieved nothing in over ten years of putting people first.

To learn more about my views on one of the pipeline projects that is now put to bed, you can read my paper here (PDF file) – Black Gold Trumps Green Thumbs.

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