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Blog: If children could vote

"Daddy?"

"Yes, sweetie."

"Why are you saying 'wow' looking at your phone?"

"It's too complicated to explain."

"Daddy! I want you to explain."

"Okay. There is a man who went into politics, and this is surprising."

"Why is it surprising?"

"Because he's rich."

"Rich like you?"

"No, 10,000 times richer than Daddy."

"Oh, I see."

Silence.

"With his money, will he help you save the planet."

"I don't know yet, darling."

How to explain to my daughter that Pierre Karl Péladeau is a PQ strategy to counter the CAQ? How to explain that so far, none of the three main parties has made the environment a focus of their campaigns?

Last election, these three parties were unanimous on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This time, they are unanimous on the opposite end of the spectrum: They all agree on exploiting oil and covering Quebec with pipelines filled with tar sands crude.

Let's talk about the fact that TransCanada filed its proposed Energy East pipeline project on the first day of the election. As a result, it received almost no media coverage.

Last month, Pauline Marois visited my son's daycare. At five years old, he is beginning to follow in his seven-year-old sister's footsteps, and develop an interest in politics. Last week, when the National Energy Board announced that it had approved Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline project, and I was a little discouraged, I had the following conversation with my son.

"Dad?"

"Yes, son."

"Do you sometimes talk to the premier?"

"Yes, but not often."

"Is she going to help you save the planet?"

"No, not today."

"Why? Is she bad? She wants to destroy it?"

I wasn't sure what to say.

"She is not bad, but Daddy still can not convince her to do the right thing. Maybe you should talk to her. Maybe she'll listen more to you than to me."

"Okay, Daddy, I'll talk to  her."

He is now steadfastly awaiting his next visit from the premier.

P.S. The Enbridge pipeline project has been approved, but there is still time to express your opposition to TransCanada's Energy East project. If you (or your child) talk to a candidate during the election campaign, ask them to commit to a formal environmental assessment of the project (something that will not happen at the federal level.)

 By Sidney Ribaux, executive director of Equiterre