Column a misguided attack on Leap Manifesto

Column a misguided attack on Leap Manifesto

I just read the column by Jim Shepard featured on Page 6, April 21. Before I was three paragraphs in, I realized one of two things was happening. Either Jim Shepard has never actually read the Leap Manifesto, or he’s only read a Clark’s Notes (like Coles notes but more biased) version.

Leap does not call for phasing out the entire resource sector as Shepard claims. It calls for the resource sector to move to renewable energy sources. It calls for Canada to end the practice of resource extraction and export, especially where those resources are non renewable. So right away Shepard is either misled, or misleading.

Yes, Leap calls for the end of fossil fuels, which is something most of the developed country in the world, even the United States, is moving towards, or was in the most recent past.

Leap does call for the end of pipelines, because they won’t be needed in the future. It does not just call for the end of highway construction, but for a vast improvement in efficient public transit to decrease the need for new highways.

I’m not going to defend John Horgan from Jim Shepard’s misguided attack. I think Mr. Horgan should be able to respond himself.

But Jim Shepard isn’t really looking to engage Mr. Horgan. Jim Shepard is using cherry picked information, carefully selected, lightly Orwellian language, and hyperbole to frame Mr. Horgan. He doesn’t really care what Mr. Horgan has to say. It is your readers Jim is really talking to.

Clearly Jim Shepard wants to scare people into thinking the Leap Manifesto is some far out, left wing nutbar, commie loonie tuned, cannabis addled. dark dangerous diatribe, with no ties to the real world.

The Leap Manifesto is actually a document put together by hundreds of Canadians from all walks of life. From learned scholars to trade unionists, from teachers to labourers, from artists to religious leaders, from politicians to single moms, from plumbers to foresters to biochemists and poets. It is meant to be a basis for discussion, a starting place, a plan towards the future. Everyone should read it, just as everyone should read the platforms of the political parties, the encyclopedia, and the works of people like Leonard Cohen (a signer of the Leap Manifesto). It is paper in a book, words on a page, ideas written down.

Whether or not our political leaders decide to adhere to Leap will be Our decision. We do not need to worry about which its provisions John Horgan, Andrew Weaver, or Christy Clark support (they all support some). What we need to be concerned about is electing politicians who will listen to the people of this province and do what is right by all BCers, not just the wealthy, not just business, not just the middle class.

And we certainly do not need to listen to Jim Shepard’s dire warnings or sidewinding political spin, which are based entirely on a biased interpretation of a very well written and articulated political vision.

And if you don’t think Leap is a good read, I dare you to go read it, and decide for yourself.

Will Webster

Saanich