Saturday, September 22, 2007

a letter from The Daily News


During a recent trip home to Cape Breton, I was stunned to learn of the government's decision to permit hundreds of acres of wetlands, forests and picturesque landscape to be strip mined for - of all things - low-grade, high-sulphur coal. I was dumbfounded to realize that in an area rich with tourism- development potential, the government would literally permit its destruction. I look forward to one day returning to the area and spending my retirement dollars where I grew up. However, if the government doesn't reverse its plan to "strip" Cape Breton, I fear what might remain.Has the government given careful consideration to the economic impact of their decision to allow strip mining? Surely, any benefits cannot exceed the ruinous impact to local business, tourism and the environment. In an area so rich with beachfronts, fossils and wetland attractions, the tourism, economic and natural-energy potential is limitless.Why doesn't local government strive to become a regional leader in tourism and the development of sustainable energies, instead of strip-mined coal? What is their true motivation in allowing strip mining? It's time for the government to stand for something - or fall for anything.
Raylene MacLeod

[My comment: People in the government of Nova Scotia profit from the destruction of Cape Breton Island ecosystems and communities. People on the island have been given a Bantu education (a la apartheid South Africa), and any alternatives to government-managed education and health care have been knocked down. Cape Bretoners are being rendered insensitive to the real ecological needs of their communities - according to the malicious and profiteering plans of the mainland government. My own community is being destroyed by a open surface gravel mine. The mine is located where there once was a grove of pine trees that was a place of solace for my grandfather. We've been here seven generations, but the level of ecological destruction is now almost unbearable. Cape Bretoners need to be able to make decisions to protect their ecosystems, if we are to have any kind of future at all.]

1 comment:

Michelle_from_Boularderie said...

Hi Tim,
I too fear what will be left for my children when the destruction of strip mining is finished. Along with the huge site on Boularderie Island, there are also 12 other sites on Cape Breton up for grabs for companies to come and strip mine in the not too distant future. As a resident of Cape Breton and a resident of Boularderie Island, I will do everything in my power to keep the pressure on government to put an end to this violation of our land, waters, and air. The coal from the Pt. Aconi site is currently being burned at the NS Power Lingan Station even though it is high in ash, sulphur, chlorine and mercury.
Pioneer Coal has a proven track record of destruction without remediation already on Cape Breton Island, just take a drive out to Reserve Mines and see how they've "remediated" the site they strip mined nearly 20 years ago. All you'll see there is what looks like a moonscape. Not a tree or plant in sight.
Thank you for bringing this issue to people's attention. We need more people who care about the future of Cape Breton.

Sincerely, Michelle Symes