The Cariboo Connector

While the 2010/11 provincial budget in British Columbia announced cuts to education and health care, our government continues to spend catastrophic amounts of money on freeways. Unfortunately, the $4 billion being proposed for the construction of freeways throughout Metro Vancouver is not where this story ends. 

The Cariboo Connector is a $2 billion freeway expansion project that was announced in 2005. It will be directed towards twinning Hwy. 97 between Cache Creek and Prince George. According to the provincial governement, this is being done to accomodate and facilitate the economic growth in the oil and gas, forestry, mining and tourism industries. Heavy truck traffic on this freeway increased by 28% between 2000 and 2003 and, according to the government, this level of growth is expected to continue. These predictions of growth are likely to be correct as oil and gas exploration continues to increase in the province, as well as the number of proposals for new coal mines.

Can this really be the direction our province is heading?

Time and time again I ask myself, why is it that we must fight our government to protect our environment? Why must it be a struggle to ensure clean air, clean water, green spaces, and a stable climate for our children? Sometimes throughout the day the veracity of how bizarre this is will hit me, and I have to ask myself if this is truly our reality. We live in an insane world full of people that seem intent on its destruction.

Anyone who recognizes this insanity has a choice to make. Inaction is a choice too. We can either decide to step outside of the insanity, and take action so that we may progress beyond it, or we can choose to accept further environmental degradation, species extinction, air pollution, and the development of destructive industries. By choosing not to take action, we are choosing to compromise the future of our children and ourselves.

The South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) is symbolic in that it represents a way of doing things that is destructive and outdated. By taking a stand against the SFPR, you are taking a stand against the expansion of coal mining, oil and gas exploration, urban sprawl, and the development of farmland. You are also taking a stand in favor of public transportation, public health care, education, clean air, protected natural habitats, green jobs, and a truly green economy for the province of BC.

So make the choice.

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