International concerns

Montana Democratic state senator Dan Weinberg took the high road when asked about now former minister of state for mining Bill Bennett's seemingly anti-American comments. In an interview with Public Eye, he said those comments are "not helpful. But I'm not going to concentrate on that. There are larger issues here than how somebody personally feels about a group of people." Continued Mr.Weinberg, who is in favour of protecting the Flathead River watershed from mining, "All of us should be taking care of our land. And the land does belong to all of us. Whether you're on the Canadian side or the American side, the Flathead River basin is to be treasured and cared for by all of us."

"I would hope that public officials and citizens alike could agree on that and work together to maintain, preserve and protect that land. Canadians and Americans have much more in common than we do things that divide us. And I think this is a time where we should be concentrating on the things that we have in common."

For example, "last summer I camped just north of the border with some of my counterparts in the BC government" - including New Democrat agriculture and lands critic Corky Evans. "And around the campfire we talked about what a grand place that is and how it suites all of our purposes to protect it. And we didn't find any areas of disagreement. All we could find are commonlaities. And it's the land that brings us together. So I think that's what the debate should be about. I think that's what we should be talking about. And we should all be doing what we can."

3 Comments

Good for Montana state senator Weinberg to bring this Bennett stink back to the land itself.

Bill Bennett has been ready to pop over the Cline mountain-removal coal mine in the international Flathead River watershed. On one hand, he’s been the handmaiden for mining, pushing the ridiculous two-zone mining policy. On the other hand, that policy is creating big headaches for him in the Elk Valley, where hunters (his swing constituency) are adamant that this is one corner of BC – at least - where no mine belongs.

So along comes the Fernie Rod and Gun Club’s sharp criticism of the mine, and three public hearings in Elko, Fernie and Sparwood where opposition to the mine dominated. And a couple days after the club’s Maarten Hart is quoted in local press blasting the mine, and wishing he were downstairs partying with the boys at the mining convention, Bennett let’s loose on Dr. Hart’s November email about another issue. The rest is history.

Maybe here’s a chance for Campbell to call Sen. Weinberg or Montana governor Brian Schweitzer and work out a long-term solution to this perennial battle over coal mines in the Flathead. Ironically, these are the headwaters of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park….

Maybe if the rest of the world used some foul language to a few more americans they wouldnt have gone to Iraq.

Glad to see he squared this guy off.

No we dont want to spend all out time swearing at people, but when you consider what citizens of British Columbia say to government workers every day, who are we to condemn one politician...

A politician with a spine is a rare and wonderful thing. Canada was a richer place with Ralph Klein, despite his occasional spectacular slip-up.

Granted, this particular nasty-gram was a large lapse in judgment but how many elected reps would even attempt to personally review and respond to a 2000 email backlog. To err is human, forgiveness is divine.

I've never heard Bennett dispute that our US neighbors' concerns about water quality be addressed, but foreign funded lobby groups exerting undue influence in the East Kootenay are no more acceptable to me than indefinate US ocupation of Iraq.

Despite the words in Bill's famous email, I do not accept that he is anti-American. But anonymous US funding orgs like Wilburforce, Kendal, Woodcock and Y2Y pouring millions into Canadian advocacy groups bears some investigation. I believe this is where Bill was coming from.

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