Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: Spinning views of a columnist

Editor:

Re: Who provoked a school strike? Feb. 18 column.

I’m surprised that there has been no outrage expressed against your BC Views columnist, Tom Fletcher, for the position he took on the endless dispute between the government and the teachers.

The government has broken the law at least twice, the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled against the government twice, yet Fletcher blames the teachers. How can this be? The government commits the crime, but teachers are the criminals?

And why hasn’t Fletcher lain the responsibility for this on Premier Christy Clark, who was, after all, the minister of education in 2002 and introduced the law that is proven to be in violation of the Constitution of Canada?

William Bell, White Rock

• • •

Re: Old man, take a look at your facts, Jan. 21 column.

Columnist Tom Fletcher’s clever little title could have been the headline to any number of his colourful little tales of ideological spin and cherry-picked nuggets.

We can say what we want about Neil Young, but few of us – even with his kind of money – would be willing to stick our necks out like that. He has always been the proverbial thorn in someone’s side. Name-calling and counter-attacks are just part of the territory.

As for the so-called slanted oil-sands documentary that Fletcher mentions, it was likely a recent episode of CBC’s Fifth Estate – Conservatives hate the CBC – called “The Silence of the Labs.”

Now there’s a title that fits the subject matter. It’s no secret that Prime Minister Stephen Harper fears the kind of science that threatens his big plan of turning Canada into a fire-breathing super-power. So it’s no surprise that he’s fired hundreds of world-class scientists and researchers whom no longer fit the ideological mould of the Conservative government.

Unfortunately, Canadians lose a vast wealth of information and innovation that’s best used for shaping sound government policy. The exportation of unwanted science and the very undemocratic process of gutting Canada’s environmental-protection laws are basically forcing Canadians to stand up for the safety of their communities.

Laws that were once capable of balancing safety with economic growth have fallen victim to the mad rush of getting to the market on time. Once again, the scores are tipped in favour of the big polluters.

So are we impressed by the early results? Do we accept the exploding pipelines, oil spills and derailments as the cost of doing business? Perhaps it depends on where you live.

Don’t get me wrong. I drive a car, too. But does that mean we can’t say no to the haste and persuasive nature of the new-age industrial machine?

I know, it’s all about jobs. But couldn’t we slow it down a notch or two and make sure that no one is being put in harm’s way. Because this thing has short-term gain for long-term pain written all over it.

Long may you run, Mr. Fletcher, but like Mr. Young, we’re more than just a little concerned about what’s going to happen after the gold rush.

John Freeman, White Rock

(Ed. note: The “slanted” documentary Fletcher referred to was a 2011 episode of CBC’s Nature of Things, “The Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands,” narrated by David Suzuki.)

 

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