WELL I MUST SAY it has been some time since a reporter, outside of the Kamloops area, has sought me out for comment. It happened Thursday, however, and it had to do with seven Greenpeace protesters who took it upon themselves to hang from the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, and block a tanker which was legally about to head out to sea. This demonstration of course to protest the ALSO LEGAL Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
Good afternoon Mr. Forseth,
I am a reporter with The Star Vancouver newspaper and covering yesterday’s illegal bridge protest and arrests.
I noted that hundreds of social media users have used phrases such as “cut their ropes,” and that you used the phrase as well:
“Damn shame they couldn’t have just cut the ropes if these moron protesters, and just let them fall in the river.”
Do you stand by that sentiment?
Can you please comment on allegations that any reasonable person would interpret that as suggesting police should have caused people to fall to their death or serious injury?
And also criticisms that even if it was in jest, such phrases are inappropriate for you as someone who has run for public office in the past?
I thought, “Why not?”, and so I sent him the reply which follows. Maybe it will resonate with you as well:
I do not believe most people would take seriously, the comment I and others made. Instead, it should show the frustration that a very large (and I would personally say a majority) of people in B.C. feel about eco / enviro radicals, who time and time again, hold the provinces resource and development industry hostage.
I grew up in the interior (Cariboo) where this is some of the most beautiful country around … filled with a multitude of lakes, high plateaus, and wilderness. And where I now live, in Kamloops, is much the same.
I also worked for a short time at Gibraltar, an open pit copper mine (’74 – ’79) located at McLeese Lake. Most of the workers there were outdoors people … none of whom would have ever thought it a good idea to destroy the outdoors they loved to play in and enjoy.
The same holds true today. In fact, the people who work in the resource industry are some of the strongest environmentalists.
Big city protesters on the other hand live in concrete jungles … surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of square miles of asphalt roads and parking lots … enjoying all of the amenities, services, and products the resource industries provide.
Oh, I forget to mention many live in homes in the Abbotsford area (and other metro Vancouver areas) crowded into clear-cut hillsides, which had forests until recently.
“Cut them (the Greenpeace protesters) down and let them fall in the river”.
Yah it’s a little strong, but maybe those in the media who champion these eco radicals should instead ask if they actually realize how much their lives AND lifestyle would be negatively impacted if the resource sectors they protest, were to close.
I am proud to have once worked in the resource industry, and in fact to also have been a union Shop Steward and Bargaining Rep. Friends and family I know … and tens of thousands of interior and northern residents, are also PROUD to work in the resource industry.
Maybe, its time some one stood up for then??
A short time later David emailed back to thank me for my reply. He also indicated that he … “will of course try to fairly represent the very valid frustrations you express, which are widely shared in this province.”
His tag line on his email address states: Investigate. Report. Effect Change.
IF he does indeed fairly represent the very valid frustration I and other express, then he will have lived up to that statement.
That’s it for me. In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth. Have a comment to make about this? Please feel free to express your thoughts below in the Comments section.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada and the B.C. Reform Party, and a past and current member of the BC Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.