Kristin Henry's Hunger Strike (And The Site C Dam) Must Be Covered By The CBC News
This petition had 816 supporters
(update: as 10/04/2016 the ongoing protest is in it's 28th day and a new hunger striker, Kyle Joshua James Wright, is on his second day)
The story of Kristin Henry, a Canadian girl hospitalized after 19 days of a hunger strike in front of the offices of BC Hydro in Vancouver to protest the construction of the controversial site C dam in the Peace River Valley of Northern BC is one that by any reasonable interpretation of the mandate for the CBC should be covered in depth.
Any circumstances that would lead to a Canadian citizen going without food for that long of a period would be newsworthy enough on their own merits to be reported on as a topic of public interest.
For someone to do so voluntarily at the risk of their own life as a demonstration against a project that:
- is slated to cost more than 8 billion dollars of tax payers money before cost over runs in addition to significant increases to BC utilities bills, for a project meant to meet power needs that have not been demonstrated while other existing dams such as the WAC Bennet require significant maintenance,
- is being opposed by Treaty 8 First Nations, local farmers, homesteaders, and concerned citizens throughout BC as well as reputable scientists nationwide,
- if completed will result in the flooding of thousands of acres of the richest arable land in British Columbia at a time when food security is increasingly becoming a global concern, along with archaeological sites dating back thousands of years as well as key wildlife habitat and migration corridors,
- will change the very landscape of the province and have affects on the water tables of the northern part of two provinces as well as the southern territories when the climate itself is changing radically,
- is part of an increasingly controversial LNG development strategy that is being advanced with legal, environmental, ethical and economic challenges that have not been addressed,
- is being initiated during the first term of a newly elected prime minister who specifically made election promises regarding protection of the environment and formal recognition of the right of First Nations to veto natural resource developments in their traditional territories as is protected by both the Constitution of Canada as well as British Crown law predating Confederation, and is a right recognized by the international community as set forth in the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
...this and more is something that by all reasonable standards should be receiving far more attention in all aspects from Canada's Crown Corporation media and news provider than it has so far received.
Given that the completion of the proposed dam or the cessation of it's development will be a pivotal development for the future of the entirety of Western Canada, if the CBC is to live up to it's mandate as a non-partisan media network that is supposedly beyond the influence of any special interests no matter who they might be, we as Canadian citizens demand that the CBC live up to it's history and global reputation by providing in depth coverage of Kristin's story as well as the background developments and ongoing circumstances that inspired her to undertake the course of action that she has.
This may be one of the most important stories along with the circumstances surrounding it that has ever unfolded in the modern history of Western Canada, affecting the future shape of our economy, political landscape, relations with First Nations, food and water security, the energy sector, and the very shape of the land itself.
Canadians deserve to know about this story and it's full implications both now and as it continues to develop, and the CBC would be derelict in it's duties as a national news service if it were not to provide that coverage to the Canadian public.
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