The pipeline to the future doesn’t carry the jobs of the past – by Mike Robinson (Troy Media – May 20, 2018)

The ruckus over the Kinder Morgan project is a good reminder that the economic conditions we once enjoyed are on the way out

While the opinion writers and politicians are venting about expanding the Kinder Morgan pipeline for diluted bitumen to the West Coast, it might help to consider some history.

We didn’t arrive at this shout-fest without making diverse tracks from previous experiences, and most of us are old enough to think back over a few previous decades, or read about circumstances further back still.

My take on this mess starts with two grandfathers from the British lower middle class who didn’t see an employment future in London. So in 1910 they each took a boat to Montreal and hopped on the Canadian Pacific Railway to British Columbia. One got off at Revelstoke, the other in Vancouver.

One became a professional engineer and built roads to resources, the other eventually became a teacher. They both went back to the Old Country to fight in the First World War, but they both returned to marry and stay in B.C. I’m here because they took risks.

My granddad Robinson, my dad and I all worked in the woods. We set chokers, made log booms and chased sparks. But my son and daughter missed their chance at high-paid summer jobs with the likes of ‘Mac and Blo’ (MacMillan Bloedel) because the old-growth forest got cut and the big logging camps got shut down. The same story applies to good jobs in mining and fishing.

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