Not a social club

David Daughton
Voice of the People - Halifax Herald
Mon., Feb. 7, 2005

If the community liaison committee set up by the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency was charged with hosting a tea party, then it might be appropriate to deny membership to the Sierra Club of Canada. Not because the Sierra Club is bad-mannered and does not know how to behave in good company, but because its staff and volunteers lack the time for mere social chitchat.

However, the committee is set up to deal with hard questions about an appalling toxic site. Fears that the Sierra Club might not be "nice" enough to participate are not only ill-founded, but are misplaced. This is exactly the kind of situation that calls for participants to face up to harsh realities and to communicate clearly about difficult decisions, something that the Sierra Club excels at.

Everyone working for a healthier environment in Atlantic Canada has an interest in how the tar ponds cleanup is addressed, and we are keen to have well-informed and resolute community representation at the table.

David Daughton
President, Eastern Co-operative Health Organization