Not long ago, the BC Liberals passed Bill 4 -an ammendment to the BC Parks Act that would allow “research” to be conducted in BC Parks. Fine, if “research” is harmless to the park and/or helpful for things like understanding/promoting nature or, you know, science and stuff. The problem (at least the main one I can identify) is that the word “research” in the bill has been deliberately NOT defined, meaning it can mean anything the government wants it to. And given government’s track record of doing everything transparently, with the first priority being the long-term welfare and will of the people/our environment, and never doing anything backhanded, self-serving or short-sighted, we should all be ok with that, right? Sure.
Since they wanted this thing to pass, and it never would have if the public was given a chance to see it coming, the BC Liberals made sure it went through quickly and without any public consultation. Awesome. Off to a good start with that “will of the people” thing.
When I first heard about Bill 4, I sent a letter (and a tweet -this is the age of social media, after all) to Mary Polak, the Environment Minister, requesting an explanation. I wanted to hear the “other” side of the story from what the enviro-activist websites were saying -surely there was a good reason to do this. I never received a response.
So I spent a solid morning reading the draft transcripts from the sitting where the Bill was debated and passed, in an attempt to figure out what on earth was going on. It was both fascinating and frustrating. Mostly because there’s no guarantee that anything anyone said was the truth. At the very least, there was a whole lot of spin going on.
I’m not much of an activist. I usually want the whole story before setting off the smoke alarm and crying, “fire.” But they’re messing with my parks. That is not ok. I’m a hippie at heart, and a born pacifist -I prefer to fight fire with flowers. So, along with signing a petition to reverse the Bill, this is my response. All the photos in this post were taken in BC Parks, by friends and friends of friends. People who, like most of us who live in BC, and many, many visitors, enjoy spending time in our provincial parks.
Note: More photos are being added as they come in. Post your own photos and links in the comments (I think that’s possible), or send them to me to add to the slideshow. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have hundreds of these?