March 12, 1999, Cape Breton Post

Residents have a right to lash out

by Ronnie MacDonald Sr.

To the editor:

The views expressed in my letter of Feb. 27 (Put Public Health Ahead of Wallets) were mine alone and in no way reflect the views of JAG or the Frederick Street Committee. It seems that the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade has taken exception to my remarks and that Glenn Hanam has been selected to do damage control (Active Participation in JAG Cleanup Work One Part of Business Effort in Community, Letters, March 8).

We may have been dealt a wild card as Mr. Hanam says, and certainly we do blame government and people like him for the position we find ourselves in. This has become a matter of life and death to my family. Imagine coming from work one afternoon to see men in white environmental suits 300 feet away, placing Human Health Hazard signs on the coke ovens site fence. We have every right to lash out, and thank God for freedom of speech. The government seems to be neglecting us in all other regards to our health and welfare.

Mr. Hanamís stance on the particular motion in question was quite clear. Although the Phase 1 site assessment was accepted by the government partners, if they see fit not to act on the recommendations, why was the money spent in the first place for the study?

The majority at EDGAR must have thought the motion was strong enough or else they would not have brought it forward to the roundtable. Mr. Hanamís views on this motion are of little consequence to me. I have discovered what he and the board of trade stand for: money. Our Frederick Street Committee is small but strong and vocal, a group formed out of necessity to guarantee the lives of our children and ourselves. I do need permission from anyone to speak my mind in an open forum.

Ronnie McDonald Sr.,
Frederick Street Committee co-chair and JAG volunteer,
March 26, 1999
- Activist resigns from JAG because of discrimination

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