“Blood batteries are not the answer to our climate issues.”
BC Liberals blocked a motion for debate in regards to a electric vehicles and electric bikes.
On Monday, March 6, 2023 BC Conservative MLA John Rustad push forward a the motion to be discussed and debated in the house.
The house was asked to consider proceeding with Motion 22 pushed forward by BC MLA member for Nechako Lakes.
“Upon request by the Hon. M. Dean that the House proceed to Motion 22, the Chair put the question of leave pursuant to Standing Order 27 (1).” on the list of the Order of the day.
The BC Liberals shut it down shouting nay to the request.
Here is the description of the motion moved by BC MLA Rustad:
“Be it resolved that this House encourage the government to end the policy of subsidizing electric vehicle and electric bicycle purchases, and end the practice of providing a privilege to electric vehicle owners to utilize high occupancy vehicle lanes.”
Rustad had a speech prepared to begin the debate but was not able to speak to it in the house. In the speech he highlights subsidies for individuals that can afford to buy high priced electric vehicles as virtue signalling for climate change while supporting unethical mining, child labour and other abuses.
“BC should stand for principles. It is not right that we should try to improve our environment by destroying theirs.” Rustad said as he described that the precious metal cobalt used in electric vehicles and e-bikes uses child labour and violence in the Congo to mine the resources needed for EV’s while destroying its environment with unethical mining.
“As of 2022, there is no such thing as a clean supply chain of cobalt from the Congo. All cobalt sourced from the DRC is tainted by various degrees of abuse, including slavery, child labor, forced labor, debt bondage, human trafficking, hazardous and toxic working conditions, pathetic wages, injury and death, and incalculable environmental harm.” all paid for by taxpayers he said.
He also notes the privilege received by individuals who can afford to buy high priced electric vehicles essentially creating a luxury class of drivers that can use the mostly empty HOV lane in a single occupant vehicle just because it’s electric.
The full speech can be read below or you can watch the video posted by BC Conservative MLA John Rustad for motion 22 by BC MLA John Rustad :
Be it resolved that this House encourage the government to end the policy of subsidizing electric vehicle and electric bicycle purchases, and end the practice of providing a privilege to electric vehicle owners to utilize high occupancy vehicle lanes.
Mr. Speaker, I want to start by reading a few lines from the beginning of the book Cobalt Red: How the blood of the Congo powers our lives.
“What has happened here must not be seen. There can be no record of evidence, only the haunting memories of those who stood at this place where hope was lost. I move closer to investigate, treading carefully into the boiling crowd. I catch sight of a body in the dirt. It is a child, lying motionless within a storm of dust and despair. I inch toward the cordon to see the child more clearly. Tensions between soldiers and villagers escalate to the brink of riot. A soldier shouts angrily and waves his gun at me. I’ve drifted too close and lingered too long. I take one final look. I can see his face now, locked in a terminal expression of dread. That is the lasting image I take from the Congo – the heart of Africa reduced to the
bloodstained corpse of a child, who died solely because he was digging for cobalt.”
Mr. Speaker, BC should stand for principles. It is not right that we should try to improve our environment by destroying theirs.
Congo has very unique geology. Three quarters of the cobalt mined in the world comes from the Congo. Almost all of it goes to China where 80% of the world’s cobalt is
refined. China then produces 75% of the worlds lithium batteries.
For now, I won’t raise the issue of lithium extraction and the environmental damage that causes. I also won’t explore the plight of the Uyghurs in China. But suffice to say that turning a blind eye to these issues by using these products only means we quietly support them.
Mr. Speaker, I want to add a few more lines from the book:
“As of 2022, there is no such thing as a clean supply chain of cobalt from the Congo. All cobalt sourced from the DRC is tainted by various degrees of abuse, including slavery, child labor, forced labor, debt bondage, human trafficking, hazardous and toxic working conditions, pathetic wages, injury and death, and incalculable environmental harm.”
“For the foreseeable future, there will be no avoiding cobalt from the Congo, which means there will be no avoiding the devastation that cobalt mining causes the people and environment.”
“Subsidies for EVs and E-Bikes signals that we do not care about the plight of those in the Congo. It signals our support for those abuses. We should end these subsidies and ask Canadians and the world to stand with us to demand changes. We should not reward those who can afford an EV by subsidizing the purchase using taxes collected from those who can not afford to buy one. We should not reward those who own EVs with a privilege of using HOV lanes. What message are we sending to the world? We should be ashamed by our actions.
“In addition Mr. Speaker, the emissions reduction is virtue signalling. Many studies have pointed out that when all factors are considered. EVs do not provide any significant reductions in emissions. Compound this with the need for massive increases in electricity production to meet the net-zero target and ask yourself, what are we trying to achieve? At what cost? Is this just virtue signalling in an attempt to get votes?
Mr. Speaker, it is time this legislature faces the realities of our world and end the subsidies. Doesn’t a child’s life in the Congo matter? Blood batteries are not the answer to our climate issues. Let’s do the right thing and end our publicly funded support for these atrocities.”