Voice of the people - Michelle Dockrill
Wed., Feb. 13, 2004
Don't worry; be happy, Cape Breton. The largest toxic waste dump in North America, the Sydney tar ponds, has been mentioned in another speech from the Liberal throne. There is $500 million. Then again, $500 million over 10 years equals $50 million per year - for the entire country.
In 10 years of Liberal reign, not one teaspoon of sludge has been cleaned up. But if you are in Ottawa, cleanups happen, as in the May 16, 2001, $200-million commitment from the feds for a war museum, of which $100 million was earmarked to first clean the Lebreton Flats. A fire in the early 1900s had left some coal and ash, as well as oil and grease from a subsequent train repair yard. In 2004, not only are the Lebreton Flats cleaned up, the museum is nearing completion and scheduled to open this spring.
What does it mean to have the tar ponds mentioned in the throne speech? The reality is: nothing. Cape Bretoners don't need more words; we need action. Cape Bretoners are dealing in reality. The reality includes high unemployment and a rapid increase in the outmigration of not only our young, but middle-aged Cape Bretoners; no coal - except the imported coal being delivered to Cape Breton by ships (owned by whom?); the possible removable of the Flight Service Station at the airport, etc. This is the reality of Cape Breton.
All the political spin in the world will not correct the present reality of Cape Breton.