Thursday, April 06, 2006

Please send YOUR letter (or email) by April 18th!

The tiny rural community of Upper Leitches Creek, on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, is being made uninhabitable by the Alva Construction Ltd. mining operation. Please send a message of solidarity. Alva Construction placed a notice in the Cape Breton Post (newspaper) regarding their quarry expansion. Copies of Alva Construction’s environmental assessment registration information may be examined at, where I invite you to leave your comments (please see the sample letter). Please make a comment before April 18.

My family looked over the rather massive Environmental Assessment. We hope that, when you become aware of the concerns of our tiny community, that you will be able to send a message of solidarity on the behalf of Upper Leitches Creek. (My family is doing everything we can. We have had numerous phone contacts with supporters. Although I have hope, the other members of my family are particularly afraid that with the twinning of the provincial highway, municipal work on water supply services, and now possibly the opening of closed mines, that the disturbance may be unendurable.) The newspaper estimated a project lifespan of 20 years.

No profit from Alva’s operation is seen by the people in our community. The earth is being despoiled by natural resource profiteers, in collusion with the economic elite and regional politicians. Most people in my community don't own computers (and quite a few of them don't even have phones), but they are united, they are organizing non-hierarchically, and their dissent is unanimous.

You can submit further comments to:

Environmental Assessment Branch,
Nova Scotia Environment & Labour,
PO Box 697 Halifax NS B3J2T8

You can also call (902) 424-3230FAX (902) 424-0503or e-mail at

Sample Letter:

Environmental Assessment Branch
Nova Scotia Environment & Labour
PO Box 697 Halifax NS B3J2T8

Friday, April 7, 2006

Dear Environmental Assessment Branch,

The tiny rural community of Upper Leitches Creek, on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, is being made uninhabitable by mining. For too long, Alva Construction Ltd. has been disrupting the quiet rural life of Upper Leitches Creek. Alva's open-pit surface mining operation has made the once serene community dangerous. The noise of their crusher corrupts the air. Their mining operation defaces the earth obscenely. They have hollowed out a vast pit on the slopes of the Hill of Boisdale. The heavy metals runoff is poisoning ancient and socially valuable streams and wells, where fish live, and unique wild biotypes of heritage herbs grow. Alva's operation encroaches on the habitat of endangered lynx, wetlands where endangered miniature orchids grow, the old-growth forest in the backlands, and the archaeological remains of the original settlers.

The mining operation is unprofessional, unregulated, and ought to be illegal.

The trucks travel too frequently and too fast on the Upper Leitches Creek Road. These trucks are often too heavy to be able to stay on the right side of our winding rural route. The weight of the trucks has torn up the ashphalt, and has made the road treacherous. This is a road where children play, and where older people enjoyed long quiet walks. The citizens of Upper Leitches Creek respect the forest. They have a resonant connection to the land where they live. The boreal (or brown-capped) chickadee, barred owls, bald eagles, partridges, deer, wolves, ermines, silver foxes, and innumerable forest birds and small mammals, all depend on the forest and creeks. Many people in this community depend on a healthy forest for their continued livelihood.

In a democratic country such as Canada, the interests of a private company (whose owners live far away on mainland Nova Scotia) ought not to outweigh the interests of the immediate community.

I insist that you stop all industrial activity in Upper Leitches Creek. Put an end to the Leitches Creek Quarry.


[insert your name here]

[Furthermore, the government needs to pour just as many dollars into regenerating Cape Breton Island as was put into destroying (i.e. clearcutting and mining) it.]

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