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Ken Dryden, Canada's Environment Prime Minister 2016?

Posted by bob on Mar 4, 2012in Articles

Ken Dryden, Canada's Environment Prime Minister 2016?

Is there a better prospect, as Canada's Prime Minister 2016, than Ken Dryden? Dryden, a candidate for the liberal party, was elected recently to the riding of York Centre, a suburb of Toronto.

For those of you born after 1970 and who may (heaven forbid) not know of Canada's legacy as a world hockey power, Ken Dryden was an NHL All-Star goaltender with the Montreal Canadiens and Team Canada '79 of that era.

To his credit, Dryden, while the professional athlete, was simultaneously obtaining his law degree from McGill University. For those of us who also played, coached and watched during that generation admitted that Dryden deserved the title as "the coolest man on ice". The pressure of playing in the world's greatest sports organization (Montreal Canadiens) and before the toughest fans in professional sports seemed to fuel the "fire in the belly" needed to be the best of the best in his field.

As we spring forward to the present and look to the future we're obligated to ask, "Who in the liberal party was the genius behind the Dryden capture?â"

Consider the potential the Dryden name brings to the table: He is respected and recognized across the western hemisphere by its powerful political players. His undergraduate degree in history from Cornell University, in upstate New York, was obtained at one of the great environmental universities in North America.

What Anglophone could better reach and understand the challenges presented to us in Quebec? By its people, its culture and the disaster a break in the confederation link would mean to the dominion if it was allowed to be broken. Dryden's has potentially powerful allies in the Quebec effort, if he needed them, in his former teammate and Quebec power broker Serge Savard. Savard is one of the most successful businessmen in the province and a leader of the province's influential arts and culture community.

Undoubtedly, there are other attributes this man among men will bring to the back bench in Ottawa, but how long will he be a "back-bencher"? He's never been a back-bencher in his life and don't expect him to be one in Ottawa.

Don't blink! This cream will rise to the top faster than Jean Chrétie's memory forgets the definition of scandal.

The questions about Dryden are obvious. Can Ken Dryden be his own man? Can he tackle the tough issues before Canada's future generations? Can he become a member of the liberal team or will he become the team's leader?

Canada's future requires immediate and microscopic political attention. Years of inertia and double-speak are dooming us. Most of tomorrow's problems were there yesterday. Most of today's problems are the same ones presented to the electorate before the elections of years gone-by. Why are we still addressing the same issues again today?

What is a politician anyway? A public servant or glorified member of the public dole? When was the last time your elected public servant served you? Or do you care?

It begs the question, why do we continue to elect impotent and shameful politicians who do little, say much, and accomplish less?

Our elected obvious leaders are under the influence! If we could only develop a believable truth test and administer it regularly we might be further ahead.

Unfortunately public servants are marionettes of the puppeteers of power. These influence peddlers can buy anyone for a price. Say it won't be so, Ken!

Wouldn't it be a joy to refer to a Canadian icon as our next environmental prime minister? Or, will we be obligated to heap him onto the same smoldering political compost heap in our legislative chambers at both the provincial and federal levels?

Let me introduce you to a few "four" letter "ists" words that must be removed from our political vocabulary and suggest they be added to our everyday accomplishment: Environmentalists, conversationalists, naturalists, activists, ecologists, and more.

So, Mr. Dryden, are you prepared to meet the challenge before our children and grandchildren's generations?

Let's start right here in New Brunswick. Why is your party encouraging the importation of toxic waste from the United States to the pristine area of the province called Belledune? To be incinerated? And where will the fallout fall? Are the people and eco-sensitive marshes and waters, wildlife and fish of the Acadian Peninsula expendable? How about he the Pedicodiac? Is the Riverview causeway/dam so vitally important to the selfish needs of the influence peddling residents of Lake Pedicodiac that its impact could be causing an international wildlife crisis? The dumping of Lake Pedecodiac waste into the Grande Anse of Shepody Bay may be destroying the sensitive feeding grounds of hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds.

What about applying existing environmental restrictive regulations to former political hacks who want to destroy a sensitive marsh and replace it with a tourist development plot in Cap Brule? There's plenty more, Ken! Plenty more!

When are we going to find a leader with enough intestinal fortitude to refill the depleting coffers of Environment Canada – and especially the wildlife research and protection areas instead of allowing them to shrink to extinction levels?

When can we count on you to step in and reverse the devastation being caused to our fishing industry, its people and the industries that matter so much to us here? Obviously, your colleagues in the party from our local ridings aren't capable of accomplishing a thing in that regard. And, apparently they don't want to either.

You made a choice, Ken. You have turned down your political sheets and you‘re about to climb into bed with ?. It won’t take us long to see who you choose as bed mates. Hopefully, your choice will be for life. To-date, the choices of other recent prime ministers have been the choices of death. To continue down that path only assures our grandchildren of no hope for a future.

Your leadership on the ice as a sports icon and soft spoken demeanor off the ice is now center stage. Can you star again? Or, will you be a tarnished memory in the history books of time?

The lineup is set, Ken, the metaphorical puck has been dropped, and this former pro hockey player and member of the same great traditional hockey family would like to literally walk you through each point of concern and introduce you to the real people these uncontested issues will and are affecting.

Before you decide on your bed fellows, Ken, give me a call (506-532-2121). Let's go dutch-treat so no one can ever say that an eco-activist was guilty of paying for something so obvious or being called an influence peddler.

"Shooting memories and preserving life" is my mantra, and I'd like to keep shooting, but the days remaining are growing shorter and shorter.

Best wishes, Mr. Dryden, and God's blessings on your newest and most promising high profile public servant role.

Bob Belliveau-Ferrin Lemieux
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