VANCOUVER, June 14, 2019—A novel by Robyn Allan explores the fiction behind Ottawa’s commitment to address climate change and how Trans Mountain’s expansion is a global warming machine.
Trainer Richards, the book’s main character, lives a simple life. She commutes by bike from her West End studio apartment to her minimum wage security guard job in downtown Vancouver and plays volleyball on warm summer nights with her friends at Sunset Beach. Faced with the prospect of a bay-load of oil tankers parked in English Bay because a US multinational wants to build a heavy oil pipeline to ship toxic tar sands crude to Asia, Trainer’s reality implodes.
When They Came for the Beach chronicles the experiences of Trainer and her friends, who dig below the surface of the Trans Mountain expansion proposal and find that entrenched corporate influence and political deception have quietly joined forces to take away everything they value, and the ecosystem along with it.
Armed with a conviction to do something before it’s too late, Trainer, her friends, and a growing community of support, find that the decision-makers keep changing the rules of engagement. Friends of English Bay must find new ways to make their voices heard and their concerns matter. Protecting their future requires a special kind of courage—and a new brand of hope. Can they find what they need before time runs out?
“The best way to attack Ottawa’s fictional narrative on addressing climate change, along with its false pretense that Trans Mountain’s expansion is beneficial, was to write a novel,” explains Allan. “I leave it to my characters to expose one falsehood after another as they discover how corroded our political and regulatory institutions have become.” Because the characters discover truths that have been kept from most Canadians, Allan provides readers with a companion document—an annotated bibliography with citations from the novel. The novel and bibliography will be released June 14 at novel.robynallan.com.
The book and bibliography can be read on the website for free. Digital copies (PDF, EPUB and MOBI) will be available for purchase. Follow on twitter @robynallan for announcements when future audio chapters are released.
Robyn Allan is a former president and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and former senior economist for Central One. She has written extensively on the flawed National Energy Board review process and ill-advised purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline by the government of Canada.