March 2, 1999, Cape Breton Post
Environmental cleanup may need the worldís help
To the editor:
I read with mixed emotions the article, Board of Trade Not
Impressed as JAG Unveils Website (Feb. 27). It is that
archaic thinking of Avvie Druker and his cronies on the
Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade that has Cape
Breton in the state it is.
Quick fixes and hidden truths serve only the immediate
monetary needs of a few, while at the same time
afflicting widespread pain and suffering on the masses.
Mr. Druker refers to our toxic nightmare as pimples and
warts that we should not advertise. The fact is we are
dealing with an infestation of toxic poisons which are
killing, and have killed, many of our family members. Just
as a pimple or wart will fester and spread if not looked
after, this toxic soup has been left to manifest itself far
too long, and its effects are widespread in all of our
Perhaps Mr. Druker and his buddies donít know what it is
like to tell an 11-year-old girl at Christmas that her
daddy, having succumbed to cancer, wonít be coming
home anymore, or havenít had to reassure an 8- and
10-year-old that itís OK to hug their Nana because they
canít catch cancer. No, this nightmare has to end if we
are to leave our children the legacy of a beautiful island
where it is safe to live.
Mr. Druker worries what the effect the website will have
on tourism. I wonder how in good conscience one can
invite someone here without telling the truth, for a
visitorís health is at risk also. If these people would truly
care for our people and their health they would help to
get the truth out.
For example, if a beach in British Columbia was closed
because it had an arsenic level three times the norm, why
is it that we continue to allow people to live and breathe
in an area with an arsenic level 18.5 times the norm?
I begin to question whose welfare and future these
people are really interested in. Itís little wonder our youth
of today are so mixed up.
Sure Cape Breton is in an economic slump. However, it
may never recover if near-sighted people continue to put
blinders on and ignore the truth. The fact is we have
Canadaís worst toxic waste dump and we may need the
help of all the world to clean it up.
Mary Ruth MacLellan,
Phalenís Road, Glace Bay
JAG should stop advertising and get something done
To the editor:
I question why JAG would place the tar ponds, located in
the downtown portion of Sydney, on the Internet. I agree
that there is no need to advertise the mess we have in
the industrial area.
I guess itís not enough that every paper across Canada
and the United States published stories saying just why
no one should invest in industrial Cape Breton. People will
now find it on the Internet. We just keep shooting
ourselves in the foot and blaming it on everybody else.
I suppose JAG has to justify its existence by spending
$20,000 on a website. If JAG had hired five
tractor-trailers for the $20,000, and removed 100 loads of
coal from the former coke ovens site, each truck hauling
20 tonnes, and sold that for a minimum of $50 per tonne,
the revenue would have been $100,000 ó a profit of
$80,000. The profits from the coal could have gone to
help the residents of Frederick Street.
I can understand the frustration of the residents on
Frederick Street. We all know there is a major problem
with the whole watershed area. Thatís exactly why JAG
was created. My advice to JAG is to stop the
procrastinating and do the job that it was created for.
Donít tell me JAG needs more studies. This place has
made millionaires with studies. What we want is action. I
am very tired of the Ivory Tower attitude.
I question JAGís statement that it is very interested in
the economic development of the industrial area. Can you
imagine a developer with some money to spend, thinking
about Cape Breton and viewing the Internet for something
positive, only to find the web page on the tar ponds and
watershed area? Do you really think the developer would
invest in Cape Breton? Would you?
There is one obvious question that has to be answered.
Where has the $15 million-plus spent by JAG since 1996
gone? In my opinion and that of many, many others,
there has been nothing done. This money is the
taxpayersí and we are entitled to this information.
I am not interested in general accounting: I want
complete accounting, line by line. This should be
published in the Cape Breton Post. We are the
If the chairman of JAG canít take suggestions and
criticism to correct the problem we have in the watershed
area, I would think there should be more than one