Students gather at the B.C. legislature for a Friday afternoon “climate strike,” March 15, 2019. Plastic orcas are a regular feature of anti-pipeline protests there. (Keri Coles/Black Press Media)

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

It’s likely you or someone you know have children who were swept up in the recent “student strike 4 climate” that was staged in B.C. communities and around the world, at least in places where citizens are still free to take to the streets.

Naturally staged on a Friday afternoon, students skipped class with support of teachers to march on government offices to wave placards. The largest rally in B.C. was, again naturally, at the legislature, where Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Green Party MLAs were enthusiastic supporters.

The chants will be familiar to those who have seen striking teachers and other unions do the same, generally on behalf of their pocketbooks rather than the planet. “What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!”

Leaving aside for a moment what they mean by “climate action,” what lesson is conveyed by these demonstrations? That’s obvious. The way to get what you want is to refuse to carry out your responsibilities and yell at elected leaders to do what you want them to do. Debate is not allowed. This won’t be a new experience for parents who depend on B.C. public schools.

The “climate action” demands are familiar as well. Stop the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion and the LNG Canada gas pipeline and export terminal project in northern B.C. Oh, and stop all industrial logging in “ancient temperate rainforests on Vancouver Island,” which is such a staple of Victoria protests it gets thrown in for every march.

READ MORE: LNG Canada support far outweighs protests, CEO says

READ MORE: Prime Minister Trudeau lauds benefits of LNG over coal

By this time most people know that the taxpayers of Canada now own the 65-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, and its expansion has been guaranteed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A futile effort by the B.C. NDP government to assert jurisdiction over this interprovincial infrastructure has begun at taxpayer expense at the B.C. Court of Appeal. Canada’s attorney general, among others, has submitted to the court that this is “unconstitutional.”

The LNG Canada project is supported by Premier John Horgan and Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson, representing 83 of the 87 seats in the legislature. It is opposed by three B.C. Green MLAs and a far-left fringe network that includes the B.C. Teachers’ Federation.

Organizers of the Unist’ot’en anti-pipeline protest camp in northwestern B.C. proudly display a declaration from the BCTF that it stands “in solidarity with the hereditary chiefs and the Wet’suwet’en people” against the project. In fact a splinter group of hereditary chiefs and their supporters are opposed, and elected band councils (representing the vast majority of actual people) all along the pipeline route are in favour.

According to student “climate strike” organizers in Victoria, total elimination of carbon fuel use has to happen in 10 years. The inconvenient truth is that there is no possible way to do this without economic collapse. There is no other way to grow and deliver food and other necessities to B.C. residents in anything near that time frame.

The BCTF urges people to “act on your positions of influence as teachers and community members by attending public information sessions, teach-ins, marches, rallies and other events that raise awareness of the devastating impacts of climate change and fossil fuel extraction.”

Horgan’s government is preparing new tax incentives to deliver the LNG Canada project, arguing that it will replace more carbon-intensive fuels and net the province billions over its life to provide employment and necessary services, including schools.

Students are getting a different message: democratic governments don’t matter.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press Media. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Smoke, Fire & Thunder returns to Mission Raceway Park

The annual event takes place Aug. 23-25.

The Offspring and Sum 41 announce show in Abbotsford

Bands play Abbotsford Centre on Nov. 30 as part of Canadian leg of current tour

PHOTOS: Chrome For Kids features more than 100 big rigs

Mission Raceway hosted truck show and shine supporting the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in Manning Park backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

VIDEO: Abbotsford police arrest man suspected of using pepper-spray against another man

Police cruisers collide in pursuit of suspect fleeing on a stolen bicycle

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Mom mourns teen son whose fatal overdose posted on social media

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Man launches petition to bring charter schools to B.C.

The move could see up to 20 charter schools come to the province

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Most Read