LETTERS: Talking out both sides of our mouth

Editor:

I am a proud Canadian. I believe in this country and the values I believe it stands for.

But, sometimes the reality of our laws tells me a different story. Specifically, I would like to speak about SNC-Lavalin and our environmental record – a strange mix, I know.

In Canada, we believe we should not give bribes for contracts. Thus when SNC bribes the Libyan government for contracts we charge them, it’s against our laws. However, according to SNC they may move their head office away from Montreal, with the loss of 9,000 jobs. I don’t imagine there are many people who disbelieve there are certain countries where only bribery will get you the contract. So why do we have this law on the books? Because we are Canadians and it is against our values to bribe for contracts. But, we want those jobs, don’t we? And what goes on in Libya should stay in Libya. So we are in a quandary of our own making. We are speaking out of both sides of our mouth.

As Canadians, we love nature and feel we have the right to clean water and clean air.

But, as I have discovered, we have no federal law protecting this right.

We think we’re great environmentalists, but look closer and you will see that we have been, as a country, an abysmal failure in protecting the environment.

Only 1.3 per cent of our coastline is protected.

We sign the Paris Climate Accord but do nothing – lots of rhetoric, no action. We are an anomaly; more than 150 countries recognize the legal right to a healthy environment. And laws do matter.

Most countries that have laws have a better performance record. The Conference Board of Canada puts us consistently near the last in environmental performance.

And yet the vast majority of Canadians agree environmental rights should be recognized in law. So the next time our political leaders want to do something to put our values into law, celebrate it and stand by that law.

Do not speak out of both sides of our mouth.

Judy Peterson, White Rock

Just Posted

South Surrey mom optimistic changes ahead for recovery homes

Maggie Plett met with Min. Judy Darcy Thursday

Surrey lotto winner plans to spoil his kids

Attila Kelemen won $500K in the Daily Grand draw, held on July 8

Uphill battle for Cloverdale cyclist, 64, and her daughters in Cypress Challenge charity ride

Robyn Wells has lost both of her parents and two uncles to pancreatic cancer

Surrey mayor dissolves public safety committee, creates one for police transition

Locke slams the move, saying who McCallum appoints to the committee will be ‘a very large tell’

Canadian national softball team wins second straight Canada Cup

Team Canada defeats Texas-based Scrapyard International in gold-medal game Sunday in South Surrey

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Most Read

l -->