I think that is what I am!! I have been trashing stuff about in my brain since yesterday, and now I question myself. You know me, I tend to say what I think, regarding pretty much everything, and anything. I doubt there is anything I don't have my own personal take on, and ....surprise, most of it is , of course, negative. I warned you long ago, I live on the dark side.
I know I am not always right, but, hey, I think I am right the majority of the time. When I am confronted by something, I try and study up on it, then my mind clamps down, with whatever decision I make, and I sit solid right on the side of the fence I choose. It takes an awful big storm to get me to stand up and move, even an inch to the other side. Lord it would take a typhoon to get me to pack over to the other side!That would be the stubborn Scot side of my makeup. The French side is the one that feels the need to voice my opinion. No discrimination here, I am who I am, and all that comes forth on this page, comes directly from my heart!
So, suddenly my world has been rocked off it's foundation. I am wandering without a clear opinion on something that has confronted me. Now, I am afraid that what I once felt, is no longer true. No, that's not it! I still feel the same, except, I think the wind might have been blowing harder than ever before.
Yesterday, I saw that the Mayor of my old hometown, had decided to contact Spectra Energy, to have them visit the town, and give a presentation on project plans. It is clear she hopes that the town can somehow join up, and get some benefit.
So, how do I feel about possible pipelines in my sacred territory?
I spent years in council meetings here fighting to allow Oil and Gas. We fought against a Hydroid community that was dead set against allowing this industry to start up. Years have passed, the oil and gas industry has grown in leaps and bounds, it surrounds the area. However....what has the community, itself, benefitted from this industry? Are there truckloads of High school graduates walking out the school doors, into job positions with the industry? NO!! Do we have indoor swimming pools (to enjoy when it is -40 outside)? NO!! Do the business's around town haul fistfulls of money, from the increase in the population? NO!! Are there houses built, and an influx of population?NO!! Why? Mostly because the town decided they did not want to deal with the outflow from this industry. They were set in stone it was not going to change the way of life. The industry built a road that by passed the town. They gave up any benefits they could have received, and like anything government gets a cash flow from, the industry presses on. Now, sadly, instead of oil and gas, we have to fight Hydro, and that, my friends, is not something that you can weedle and fight for benefits and compensation.
However, my fear is that this Council is not experienced enough on how to deal with a Huge Energy company. This company has tons of money, and tons of shareholders, and wants to ensure they get the most for the least. I worry that this council will sit behind closed doors and make decisions without proper guidance from learned people who can read between the lines. I worry that they will not take the opportunity to ensure they are compensated for the future. I worry that they will not insist that they are first on the list when it comes to workers, and that they will not ensure the young people have a guarantee to become employees of Spectra.
I see pipelines built in my area all the time. Are there locals working? NO!! The company contracts the work out, and pickups and cars arrive in town bearing license plates from Ontario and Saskatchewan, heck, even Cape Breton!! The crew comes along with their partners, who get hired for smaller jobs. The whole thing is outside the town, they are simply a group that arrives, does the project, and then disappears. On their days off, they head to the larger community to enjoy themselves, and shop. Then there is a lull, and the license plates show up once again. Sure, there are 3-4 folks who get hired on, but generally they get on the jobs that are short term, because they do not have the specialized experience.
I hope that if this does go farther, that people remember the Mine. That they remember the Christmas parties, when the company invited every single child in town, and gifts were given simply by age group (not who had a parent working for the company). I hope they remember that 1/2 the guys from school went off to Trades School in grade 10, and were hired by the mine when they came home to apprentice. I hope they remember the pool, and the contributions to the Arena, and everything else that our town benefited by a company that truly was a part of us. I hope that if they do decide to open the doors, and accept the future of LNG, that they look to the future. Look to what you can receive that will last. Ensure you have proper representation, experts on policies and regulations. Make sure you cover all issues which could result, make sure you are protected, and look far outside the box. Write reams of rules, and get contracts that remove responsibility from the tax payers to the company. They have the money, they have the plans, YOU hold all the cards, do NOT drop them!!
Ahhhh..now I feel better. I was thinking I was against something I worked towards welcoming here. I'm not, I am still pro-progress, and not a Hypocrite. I just want to make sure, those in charge, realize, you can open the door, but once it has been opened, there is no turning back. Do not accept a penny for today, when tomorrow will cost you a dollar. Before you make a decision, call in the experts on both sides, and cover your butts with a huge paper trail.