CORNER BROOK A topic that floated around a group discussion on environmental issues struck a chord with Erika Parrill.
The choice between environment and economy seemed to resonate at a town hall meeting on environmental issues, hosted by NDP MHA George Murphy and Halifax MP Megan Leslie, Friday at Grenfell Campus.
Parrill, a graduate student in environmental policy, said she may be ultimately faced with a decision to work in the Alberta oil industry.
Parrill, who has traveled to over 40 countries, said she wants to end up living in Atlantic Canada, preferably on the island.
To do that, however, she said she will need to get some experience first, and it seems that Alberta will be the best place to go.
“The jobs (in this province now) are not for recent graduates,” she said. “(The jobs) are for people with years of experience.”
She said with the way the provincial economy is currently, the work force favours those with five to 10 years experience.
To lessen her guilty conscience, she wanted to know if environmental regulations were maintained in the oil industry.
The answer she got from Leslie, deputy leader of the party and federal NDP environment critic, was: not really.
The example Leslie used was that water monitoring practices around excavation sites were only implemented in the past year. Further, she said green house gas emissions regulations have yet to be developed.
“Who do we rely on?” Leslie stated to a group of about two dozen.
Murphy, member for St. John’s East, said environmental regulations are not stiff enough in this province either, sometimes leading to oil leaks.
However, he said the government preaches of offshore revenues and jobs that the industry brings.
It’s a tossup, Murphy said, to choose between the effects of economic gain and environmental stewardship.