B.C exporting carbon emissions with coal sales to Far East
Putting myself in a situation where I may be accused of civil disobedience is not something I have ever done before
Until they got arrested together on a fateful Saturday in May, economist Marc Jaccard, who advised Premier Gordon Campbell on the carbon tax, had never met long-ago BC Federation of Labour president Ray Haynes, a thorn in the side of former NDP premier Dave Barrett.
Their gathering with 12 other strangers near Burlington Northern Sante Fe railway tracks in White Rock would have been unremarkable had they not stood in the path of a 125-car unit train carrying 13,000 tonnes of American coal. The train had to stop. The police had to arrest them. They were later released upon payment of a modest fine.
The confrontation on the freight line to Westshore Terminals signalled a new stage in the battle over climate change and B.C.’s economic future.
The protest threw down a gauntlet against the dramatic expansion of coal mining at the heart of the provincial government’s economic strategy.
A sustained campaign of civil disobedience at Westshore, particularly by such personalities as Jaccard and Haynes, would quickly acquire the prominence of another Clayoquot struggle, but this time with the fate of the planet in the balance, not just old-growth forest.