“Social license” discussion continues

Reader responds to continuing social license debate.

Dear Editor,

The concept that Canada/Alberta can sell its products on the world market without a ‘social license’ is an outdated right wing dream and ideology that already has been proven many times false.

CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) has only been signed after major concessions to the European Union (EU) and is far from ratified. A few of those concessions are the guarantee for hormone free meat and GMO free produce. The European Unions 27 countries were also animated about not importing any energy products gained through fracking, which remains prohibited in the EU.

The rejection of Keystone XL by the U.S.A. was a follow-up to hundreds of thousands of people protesting over a number of years against it and a president listening and following his conviction of taking action on climate change.

It is completely irrelevant whether some Albertans think Alberta’s oil sands oil is, “the cleanest anywhere and is produced under regulatory and safety condition.” It only matters what the countries think we are exporting to, that is if we like to sell it. The stigma that Alberta’s oil sands have in oil-importing countries is very negatively tainted and that won’t change without changing our approach.

Alberta’s government knows that fact and is trying to improve Alberta’s tainted image with environmentally friendly measures, such as the carbon tax, or eliminating our 18 coal fired power plants.

B.C. implemented the carbon tax successfully since 2008, their emissions have been reduced by 16 per cent, there were no job losses, in fact B.C. is doing better economically than any other province, and they’re paying the lowest income tax in the country.

In regard to “resistance to advances” in agriculture, Germany alone has done 18 university studies over the past two decades on hormone beef and everyone showed increases of cancers and other detrimental effects on the human health. Canada’s cancer rates are increasing.

The notion that we need GMO produce and hormone meat to feed the world population is right wing and Monsanto ideology that falls flat on its face when 500 Million people in the EU have managed to feed themselves GMO and hormone free for decades and the obesity, diabetes and cancers are far less of an issue in Europe.

You think that right wing ideology would get a clue from the two largest fast food chains in Canada; McDonald’s and A&W switching to hormone free beef years ago. More and more consumers are asking for organic products and whether Alberta ranchers, farmers, the Wildrose like it or not it is still the consumer that dictates what they buy, or eat. Organic farming is the fastest growing agricultural industry.

It is disturbing that so many Albertans are resisting change, it is so much wiser and economically vital to adapt quickly and with an open mind.

Ed Mew

Ponoka County