My husband and I attended an all-candidates forum in North Delta on June 26 hosted by Communities and Coal, a community group from South Surrey. This was an opportunity to acquaint ourselves with federal candidates on a local issue.
The group’s guest speaker, Nick Mullins, was a former coal miner turned climate change activist who spoke to his experiences and discoveries about coal and its environmental effects on our health and planet. We learned a lot.
It was very disappointing to find our Conservative MP, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, was absent and did not provide a requested statement to answer the five questions pre-arranged for all candidates.
The first question was to ask for each candidate’s position on Fraser Surrey Docks’ coal project and U.S. thermal coal in general. It was a very straightforward question. A response from our MP would have shown concern and engagement with an issue in Delta and important for Delta voters to hear and communicate with their representative.
Canada is in the process of allowing up to four million metric tonnes of thermal coal to be transported through White Rock, Surrey and Delta on its way to Asia. What is very disturbing is that all the U.S. west coast ports from California to Washington have declined or delayed having this coal transported through their states yet Canada said yes. Why? What are the risks and benefits for Delta?
Since our MP was a no show, I can only imagine that this is just another example of control by the Harper government. Perhaps the message is still with the Ottawa committee that approves responses or maybe she was told to ignore this issue.
I’m fed up with this style of government. I for one will be looking to vote for someone to represent Delta to Ottawa, not Ottawa to Delta. The government is not Harper’s, it is ours and I want my Canada back.
Peggy Richardson, Delta