Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Now, Justin, Repair the Damage Harper Inflicted on Our Coast. That Much You Owe Us.

If British Columbians returned as many Liberals on Monday as they did in 2011, Justin Trudeau would have fallen just short of his majority. We elected just two Libs back then, 17-this year, enough to endow the Libs with their 14-seat majority margin.

What happened? The coast happened or, more to the point, the depredations and threats Harper posed to it happened.

Three out of four British Columbians wanted Stephen Harper out of Canadian politics as they cast ballots in the federal election, according to an exit poll done by Insights West.

“Harper has alienated a lot of people over issues like the environment and multiculturalism,” said Insights West pollster Mario Canseco. “There’s this magnitude of hatred towards him.”

Not dislike. Not dissatisfaction. Hatred - deep, abiding hatred and it was well earned which should offer a cautionary note to Justin and whoever follows him.

Harper never got to the point of provoking large-scale public unrest from coastal British Columbians. The hammer was cocked but he never got far enough to pull the trigger. I know a lot of people for whom the coast, in particular an armada of bitumen laden supertankers, was our line in the sand. Lifelong law-abiding people who were prepared to see the inside of a jail for the first time if that's what it took to stop this assault.

There's a big divide in this province. There's the hydrocarbon redneck interior, where Harper still claimed 10-seats. Then there's the coast where Harper lost 18-seats and the Libs garnered 17.

The island, the bastion of the Green Party? Well, it went NDP, the party best poised to eliminate Tory candidates. The Greens took a big hit, no doubt about it.

Only 34 per cent of British Columbians said they voted strategically — a strategy generally used to vote for the candidate best able to defeat someone, which in Monday’s case was typically Harper. The highest rate of strategic voting took place on Vancouver Island, where 38 per cent voted that way.

A strong majority of those polled, including a significant percentage of Tories, want Harper to take that long walk into the forest. Mulcair's numbers were 44% go, 46% stay, 15% undecided.  Elizabeth May? A very strong majority, 66%, want her to stay right where she is.

But this is about Justin Trudeau and recognizing the support he received from coastal British Columbia. Please, please. Do the easy stuff first. Reinstate our navigation regulations. Restore our fisheries and waterways protections. Then see if you can find those Fisheries and Oceans scientists who Harper fired. Get them back to work monitoring and securing our coastal habitat. And, finally, re-open those Coast Guard stations that Harper shuttered. All too often those are our first responders and that translates into lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyong said: Rescind Bill C-51, Bill C-24, reinstate our scientists if not, we continue with the same old, same old. Mr. Trudeau hasn't said anything about this.