The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has completed its sixth annual review of the state of Canada’s parks and has found that, across the country, most parks and proposed protected areas are facing greater threats than they were a year ago.
Peter Wood, spokesperson for the society, says that in B.C., for instance, provincial parks and protected areas are facing serious threats from amendments to the province’s Park Act, which now permit industrial research within park boundaries and facilitate the park boundary adjustment process for industrial purposes, like building pipelines. One problem, he says, is that ‘research’ is not defined, so can be used to justify all sorts of invasive activities specifically designed to facilitate industrial development. For example, he says, Kinder Morgan has been issued permits in five different parks and protected areas to conduct research that will be used to support the expansion of their pipeline.
This is precisely the opposite to what was envisioned when park land was preserved, and precisely not what tourists and residents want from their parks.
We go to parks to enjoy nature and the outdoors, not to see heavy machinery, surveyors or pipelines. Nor do the wildlife which are part of the chain of life that sustains us all need more encroachment on what little land they have left.
With the strength of tourism in this province and the necessity for clean water and air to live, it is false economy to sacrifice our parkland for any more industrial growth.