If you live in Prince George, BC, you would have opened your local paper on Friday to read about the newly minted chair of the BC and Yukon Conservative caucus.
Or, rather, local MP Bob Zimmer’s take on his job: to report the views of regional MPs to Stephen Harper and the rest of the Conservative cabinet. And what would those views be?
"It's neat to be that voice," Zimmer told The Prince George Citizen. "It's just making sure the resource sector is well represented and the issues are well represented."
Interesting timing to talk about the interests of the resource sector.
This attitude may help contextualize what the citizens of Prince George – and the rest of the country – saw Thursday on the other side of the country.
The confrontation between the Elsipogtog First Nation and hundreds of RCMP officers turned ugly when police descended on Rexton, NB. The RCMP moved in to enforce a court injunction to stop a weeks-long Mi’kmaq protest aimed at blocking SWN Resources Canada from commencing shale gas exploration in the area. First Nations leaders want a public consultation before any shale gas exploration can begin.
That seems reasonable. Fracking and shale gas exploration has been tied to serious threats to water security and public health, and First Nations need to be at the table – in BC, in Rexton, and elsewhere.
As a start, the chair of the BC and Yukon Conservative caucus may want to check out this video from Rexton: