That’s about as simple as I can put the paradox I feel everyday living in a country that still hasn’t come to terms with the global crisis we are living in.

All around the world we see the threats of the climate crisis – from mega-fires in Fort McMurray, to homes, entire islands, being swallowed by rising sea levels, to an ever warming globe that has experienced 13-months of record setting hot temperatures as part of the hottest year ever recorded.

At the same time we are seeing the rise of solutions. Germany just unveiled a zero-emissions train that will emit nothing but steam.The United States has an electric bus that can go over 350 miles on a single charge. Bangladesh has installed over 3.8 million solar home systems with plans for more. Sweden is on track to be 100% renewable by 2040 and the Netherlands, India and Norway are all looking to ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles.

In so many places around the world, conversations, about how to quickly decarbonize our economy, and meet the challenges of the climate crisis are being had and implemented. But that’s not the conversation here in Canada.

While the government is starting to talk solutions and was a real leader at the Paris climate talks the reality is the conversation in Canada is still about pipelines.  

The government knows the science that says we can’t build any new fossil fuel infrastructure but just approved an LNG pipeline/terminal and is on the cusp of approving another massive carbon enabling tarsands pipeline.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline would unlock the equivalent emissions of 2,700,000 cars every year (that’s more then 4 times BC’s entire carbon budget and 56 times more emissions then the entire City of Vancouver - all in one project). It would bring 400 tankers a year up and down B.C. pristine coastline and threaten the 320,000 jobs that depend on it. It’s also against the express wishes of over 85 tribes and nations.

The reality is in today’s carbon constrained world the government can no longer have it both ways. We can’t have new pipelines and climate action because one always undermines the other.

It’s time the government dumped the pipeline conversation and started having the conversations we need to have: Conversations about supporting workers and frontline communities; conversations about speeding renewables and sustainable transportation; and conversations about how we live up to our commitments to the climate and Indigenous peoples not how we undermine them.

Canada it’s time we stopped talking about pipelines.

We can literally print solar panels.

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