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

https://battlerivercrowfootgreens.blog/

Just Posted

Bashaw to talk with curling club on modernizing 35 year lease agreement

Vague language, financial concerns among reasons to clean up lease agreement

Special review for confined feeding operation goes to NRCB

The request for 125 cow dairy operation west of Ponoka will wait 4 to 6 weeks for a decision

Bashaw School’s senior girls had a tough go at their home tourney

Eckville and Bawlf get to the finals at Bashaw’s tournament

UPDATED/VIDEO: Klaus, Frank sentenced to 25 years to life in prison

Castor-area triple homicide coming to a close in Red Deer

Reward offered to find man charged in 2006 murder

RCMP are offering up to $5000 for information leading to the arrest of Kevin Brown

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

Students head to Florida capital to press for gun law change

Young protestors are joining a grassroots movement against gun violence in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Liberals look at use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for dads

Liberals looking at creating a use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

Fred Rogers, America’s favourite neighbour, celebrated in 2018

The golden anniversary of America’s favorite neighbor is being celebrated with a PBS special next month

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

A Calgary woman is reminding parents of the dangers of escalators after her toddler’s foot was stuck in one and he broke his leg

Most Read