Monday, June 18, 2007

I just sent this letter to the Cape Breton Post

Dear Cape Breton Post,

I hope your paper will publish this letter regarding “Group gathers at jail to support protesters” June 18, as I would like to express my disagreement to the Atlantica plan.
The proposals of Atlantica have been promoted by the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies director Brian Crowley, who is the special advisor to the federal Department of Finance, a position among the elite, from where he is making decisions that effect us all. Atlantica has been glossed-over entirely (perhaps intentionally) by the media and government. The proposal is unrealistic and pro-deregulation. If we allow it, the environment and people of Cape Breton will continue to suffer (as our forefathers did for the past 100 years) natural resource industry exploitation.
The containers that are proposed to arrive in Halifax would include colossal volumes of food and other consumer goods from Asia, i.e., from countries where environmental and human rights are lacking or nonexistent. Your paper outlined some of my concerns, and explained why we do not want to handle these products, in “Everything from dyes to formaldehyde used in foods in Asia” June 18.
Furthermore, the plan involves the use of guest worker truck drivers from Mexico. So, unionized truckers from the Maritimes should not expect any benefit. The modest economic benefits (due to Atlantica) come out of security budgets and go to the tiny group of industries that handle containers in Halifax. The economic argument for Atlantica is unsound. Direct access to US markets is available already via New York or California ports. The long-standing expansion of the Panama Canal, which will be complete within ten years, will cause the proximity claims of Halifax to evaporate.

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