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Short-term pain for long-term gain

Posted on December 2, 2015 by Taber Times

We now have new governments in place both provincially and federal. The people voted for change, not our community, and we are not happy about how the governments are now changing things. Today as I write this there is a summit that begins in Paris on climate change. I will not debate with you whether climate change is happening or not, suffice to say that our world has to change the way it uses our earth or our grandchildren could be in big trouble. Whenever I take a trip to Calgary and see the urban sprawl that has happened in my lifetime it scares me.

Earlier this year our own town decided to go to a three bin system for garbage and begin a compost site to take care of our waste. I myself cringed at this.

That stinky can of compost that I have to keep. Small cans that will not hold the spring and fall cleanup of my yard. Small cans that may not even hold the recycle we have in a week. Cans that will blow around.

Anyone see that video of a garbage can wheeling down the street during a wind storm? That looks like Taber to me. Frankly there are a lot of downsides to this new change. However I see the forward thinking that has gone into this change and can see that in the long run this will be better for the future. The truth is it should have been done many years ago.

Our provincial government wants to close the coal-generated power plants and there are people who will be hurt by this, of that there is no doubt, but other provinces have already gone this way. Did they have pains in doing so? Yes. Is their province better off for moving ahead? Yes.

Our province is hurting from a downturn in oil prices. This started long before our present party was in power and the NDP certainly do not have the power to cause the world to have low oil prices. Has a harsh downturn in oil happened before? You bet, back in the 1980’s.

Did anyone in government at that time or any time since plan ahead so if a downturn happened again they would be prepared? No. Because change is hard, and people do not like it.

I do not believe Alberta oil is dirtier than other countries. In fact, unlike Third World countries where the oil companies have little to no ecological rules and can run with no regard to the mess they make, our country is heads above, but we could always use improvement. Unlike mid eastern oil our oil does not finance terrorism. Should we have a pipeline east to our own Canadian refinery? I think so. However we cannot use the pipeline that we have.

A new one hopefully could be built in the same place as the old one, not making any more detriment to the environment than needed. The old line we have was not built for the product that they want to ship in it. The old pipeline has also not been built to todays safety standards. In other words if we use it we would have a disaster waiting to happen.

Federally the ecology and climate change is high on the agenda as well. The Canadian group of leaders that went to Paris was way to large, however this does show the interest in wanting to see what more can be done to change our old way of doing things. There will be financial help federally for projects that are better for the environment. Could Alberta not use some of this money to move ahead with new projects? Projects that make jobs for those who will be without one and/or for those who have already lost theirs. Could this new energy make a stronger Alberta that does not rely on only oil for revenue? Change is scary and painful, but we need to ask ourselves will this change make a better world for our grandchildren?

TERESA GREGUS

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