Letter: Adaptation and preparedness should be top priority

Green Party leader for Battle River-Crowfoot speaks to taxes and environmental concern.

Dear Editor,

When a politician tells you that they are going to keep taxes low, what they are really saying is that your roads, health care and schools are going to get worse, not better.

They’re also saying that they don’t believe that the climate is changing, and they’re not going to do anything to prevent or prepare for floods, wildfire, drought and disease outbreaks.

They’re also saying that, despite the imminent threat of nuclear war and a rapidly changing global trade environment, we don’t need to boost spending on international diplomacy.

Finally, they’re saying that we don’t need more first responders (despite the increased risks). And we don’t need more domestic security services — spies on the ground — to keep tabs on the people we suspect of terrorist threats.

Do politicians not watch the news? Or perhaps they think that we don’t. In any case, it seems clear that government is not taking the necessary steps to adapt to, and prepare for, an increasingly dangerous world.

We can do a lot to get ready. We should consider, for instance, what to do about drought. We could change building codes to allow for surface water collection in existing homes, and make it mandatory in new homes. If you look at a map of drought risk in Alberta, it’s only a matter of time before we’re going to run short of water. Right now, grey water systems, which collect lightly used household water, are not allowed here because there is a risk of fecal contamination. They’re not wrong, so we have to look at the options and decide on a solution. Someone has to do that work, and they won’t do it for free.

We should also look at how to create drainage to handle the extreme rainfall we can expect. That probably means changing municipal drainage codes, legislated protection of wetlands (which store water), building new wetlands, grant to farmers to building drainage and water storage on fields, legislating for hedgerows on cropland, and so on. Again, some of these ideas might work and some might be stupid, but we’ve got to get working on a solution. That work doesn’t happen by magic.

These are just a few things we have to do to adapt to changing weather. The geopolitical and terrorist threats are just as important, if not moreso. Preventing and preparing for all of these threats takes a strong and effective government, well-funded colleges and universities, and many non-profit, multi-stakeholder organizations, all working together on these problems. All a politician has to do is create the projects. It’s easy. But those people need to be paid and that takes taxpayer money.

We can do a very great deal to keep ourselves safe, even prosperous and able to help others, in this increasingly dangerous world. But if we focus more on keeping our taxes extremely low (which, in comparison to other developed countries, they are), then we will simply not prevent the threats coming our way, and we won’t be ready when disaster inevitably strikes. It will be nobody’s fault but our own.

Nora Abercrombie

CEO, Green Party of Canada for Battle River – Crowfoot


Just Posted

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

Bashaw School places big importance on remembering

Service demonstrates how students feel about Remembrance Day

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Bashaw Rebels host first volleyball tournament in new gym

Five teams converge on Bashaw for the tournament

Inmate at Bowden Institution dies

Corrections Canada continues to investigate circumstances surrounding death

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million: auditor general

Michael Ferguson’s review hints the entire system should be scrapped

UPDATE: CBS fires Charlie Rose following allegations

Charlie Rose is the latest public figure to be accused with sexual misconduct allegations

LGBTQ advocates want military, RCMP to take part in apology

“These are all the organizations that perpetrated past discrimination against the LGBTQ community.”

Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman

An auditor has found that Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman, when they can get through

B.C. mining company stakes claim in Australia

Copper Mountain is set to purchase Cloncurry Copper Project in a $93-million deal.

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Forecast calls for a snowy Canadian winter

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

Most Read