Sunday December 18, 2016

It's time to hear from the militant moderates

Protestors march from City Hall to downtown Vancouver on November 19, 2016 in opposition of Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which was approved by Federal cabinet on Nov. 29.

Protestors march from City Hall to downtown Vancouver on November 19, 2016 in opposition of Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which was approved by Federal cabinet on Nov. 29. (Paul Haavardsrud/CBC)

Listen 3:37

In debates over the environment and the energy industry, the media often depicts a divided public, holding competing rallies.

For example, after the federal government's approval of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, news viewers were treated to images, like the one above, of protest from Vancouver, BC. 

In Alberta, anti-carbon tax protesters have taken up a lot of screen time as well. 

rochfort bridge

This protester drove to Edmonton from Rochfort Bridge to protest carbon taxes. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC)

But Jeff Jones, reporter and columnist with the Globe and Mail, wants to hear from the middle-ground: the compromisers, the give-and-takers, the careful deliberators.

Jones is calling for a groundswell of moderates. 

A new militant middle has to confront the mobs and tell them that they will fight them. Fight them hard with informed discussion and courtesy until they cry "uncle!" - Jeff Jones, Globe and Mail

He argues that what Canada really needs is a vocal middle-ground movement, ready to rationally debate the issues, to keep the absolute 'yes' or 'no' sides from dominating the news.