Moral Laxity


With authority and power comes responsibility and moral obligation.

This webpage bears witness to decades of irresponsible decision making on the part of civil servants, professional foresters, professional biologists and government advisers – people charged with acting on behalf of the public good, yet willing in many cases to prioritize short-term corporate interests over the long-term well-being of their fellow Canadians.

At issue is the sustained, multi-decadal attempt of a small rural community in south-central British Columbia to negotiate and safeguard A LASTING LAND USE AGREEMENT consistent with its proximity to a vast wilderness preserve, Wells Gray Provincial Park. At the same time, this community has sought to ensure that the values enshrined in that internationally recognized protected area are respected by public decision-makers.

Unfortunately, these efforts have fallen on deaf ears. In place of sound land management, this community has been witness to: (1) the rapid decline of Canada’s DEEP-SNOW MOUNTAIN CARIBOU in a region otherwise offering unsurpassed sanctuary; (2) greatly enhanced risk of wildfire in a region where climate-induced WILDFIRE IS PROJECTED TO DOUBLE BY 2050; (3) DIMINISHED ECONOMIC PROSPECTS; and (4) CATASTROPHIC FLOODING.

Not long ago, irresponsible decision-making could plausibly be dismissed as part of the inevitable messiness of modern democratic process. But no more. While the details related here are local in nature, they form part of a much larger story in which the pursuit of endless economic growth is rapidly converting into “sacrifice zones” countless small rural communities worldwide.

Compounded over time, the environmental and economic degradation that xxx is now undermining public respect for governmental authority, arguably contributing to the current rise of populism and associated demagoguery.

Even more troubling is the unequivocal link between unsustainable forestry and DEEPENING CLIMATE CHANGE, now widely regarded as an existential threat to humanity.

The primary driver of climate change is of course greenhouse gas emissions. It is well known that CANADIANS RANK AMONG THE WORLD’S HIGHEST PER-CAPITA CARBON EMITTERS. Less well appreciated is the now massive annual contribution by BC’s forest ecosystems, lately transformed from CARBON SINKS INTO GLOBALLY SIGNIFICANT CARBON EMITTERS.

It is against this backdrop that the moral laxity of BC’s public decision makers stands out in high relief. With authority comes responsibility. Such people owe it to posterity to shift government policy away from short-term xxx

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The world order is undergoing profound change. It is well past time that B.C.’s civil servants, professional forests, professional biologists and government advisers begin to take seriously their responsibility to sound land management. Unfortunately, this is not yet happening, as shown by ten examples elaborated below.

Many of these examples pertain to unwillingness of the BC government to honour a FORMAL LAND-USE AGREEMENT with the residents of a small community called Upper Clearwater, while others concern its reluctance to respect legal obligations toward CANADA’S SPECIES AT RISK ACT.
(1) A low-level BC Forest Service representative shows herself to be in service of corporate interests ahead of prior MORAL OBLIGATIONS TO A FORMAL SIGNED AGREEMENT.

(2) A low-level BC Timber Sales representative engages in BACKROOM INTRIGUE IN SUPPORT OF INDUSTRY against a private citizen’s group.
(3) BC’s high-level civil servants release a DELIBERATELY FLAWED MOUNTAIN CARIBOU RECOVERY PLAN responsible for a 40% decline in the global Deep-Snow Mountain Caribou population in ten years.

(4) A high-level industry CEO publicly misrepresents HIS COMPANY’S COMMITMENT TO ITS SOCIAL LICENSE.

(5) A registered professional forester PROMOTES UNSUSTAINABLE FOREST PRACTICES.


(7) Current premier John Horgan advocates policies that accelerate the DECLINE AND EXTIRPATION OF AN ENDANGERED CANADIAN ENDEMIC ANIMAL.

(8) Former BC MLA Terry Lake helps to broker a corporate timber grab that ensures ECONOMIC COLLAPSE FOR A SMALL RURAL COMMUNITY.

(9) High-level federal civil servants in Environment Canada sow DELIBERATE CONFUSION ON BEHALF OF CORPORATE INTERESTS.

(10) Catherine McKenna, current Minister of Environment Canada, shows DISREGARD FOR CANADA’S SPECIES AT RISK ACT.

For the record.