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.

BC legislatureTrans Mountain pipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

Saanich mayor joins fight to protect local wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

Sidney fire responds to fewer but more severe calls during pandemic

Rise in severity linked to changes in routine during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read