I am furious and discouraged with the remarks
made by a well-known businessman and
president of the Industrial Cape Breton Board of
Trade (Board of Trade Opposes Website Video
on Toxic Waste, Feb. 26).
I find the statement
cold and heartless towards the people of
Sydney. Shame on Avvie Druker for placing
money before humanity.
The statement ďWhat
is the point in telling everybody in the world
that this is a toxic waste site?Ē disturbs me
very much. This alone is enough to tell me, and
perhaps the rest of the people in Sydney, that
its OK to bury our heads and ignore the serious
pollution problem sitting on our doorsteps; itís
OK to lie about the No. 1 toxic waste site in
Canada being part of our community; itís OK
that the lives of people in Sydney are at risk;
but itís not OK for the economy to suffer.
The economy is already suffering and it isnít
going to get any better unless we put our heads
together and work to clean up the tar ponds.
Give JAG some slack; I for one stand behind the
decision to put a three-minute video, The
Legacy, on the website. Itís about time the
world got to see just what we have been living
with. Perhaps this will embarrass government
into fulfilling its commitment to cleaning up this
mess, and the sooner the better.
If Mr. Druker still thinks heís right, tell the
people who lost loved ones to cancer because
of these toxic chemicals; tell the ones who are
struggling to breathe because of the air
pollution from the plant and coke ovens; tell the
children who cannot play in their own backyards
or playgrounds because the toxic waste is just
a few feet away.
The picture Mr. Druker creates shows not only
that business people in Sydney admit that
money comes before humanity, but also their
selfishness and ignorance towards the health
and welfare of the people from whom their
businesses were created. This is the thanks we
get. Heaven help us all.
Construction near tar ponds raises questions
by Lloyd MacDonald
To the editor:
Incredibly, work has not stopped on the Sobeys
expansion at the Sydney Shopping Centre. PAHs
and hydrocarbons exceed guidelines, and benzo
A pyrene is six times greater than acceptable.
The plan to keep these substances from
entering the building and food products has
apparently not been determined.
How a building permit was issued in the first
place must be answered by those responsible.
How can an apartment building on Intercolonial
Street be forbidden to be lived in because of its
proximity to the tar ponds, and yet Sobeys is
allowed to build practically on top of the sludge
Will the carcinogens under the ground permeate
into the store, onto the meats and produce?
This is a question that should be asked and
answered. Why is work allowed to continue?
Were tests on this property done before
construction began and before the building
permit was issued?
Someone at city hall owes an explanation to
And imagine: the Industrial Cape
Breton Board of Trade is angry about the tar
ponds Internet website. Did I hear the board
get angry when this construction started? Did it
ask questions regarding the health and safety
aspects of a food store in this location, just
feet away from the tar ponds?
Sobeys executives are hundreds of miles away,
in Stellarton, safe from the tar ponds. Are they
worried about those of us who remain here? I
Park Street, Sydney
Pollution silence proved deadly
by Donald DeLeski
To the editor:
Once again I deem it necessary to express my
outrage regarding the high number of people
dying from cancer and other illnesses due to the
emissions that came from the former coke ovens
stacks. Make no mistake, the federal and
provincial governments knew steelworkers and
the residents of Sydney would die because of
Many who never worked on the coke ovens died
because of the cancer-causing agents coming
from the stacks. For many others, quality of life
was destroyed. The government is not
concerned that former coke ovens workers will
bring legal action for the government will hide
behind the Workersí Compensation Act. I would
say the government is concerned that residents
who never worked on the steel plant or the
coke ovens could take legal action.
Who gave governments the right to turn the
people of Sydney into guinea pigs? We will have
researchers here talking about genetics and
smoking. Those who worked on the coke ovens
were sucking down the equivalent of 35
packages of cigarettes a shift. The high
pollution was falling in residential districts 24
hours a day.
As I stated in 1993, we must remember those
who died because of government omission on
the coke ovens, for if we forget those who died
it would be the same as agreeing with what the
government did. I always thought it was against
the law to poison people. Was I wrong?
I thank Donnie MacPherson for shining the light
on the high cancer rates in Sydney. You will
notice I have mentioned only Sydney, and I
have done this because the government
documents I have in my possession mention
If the federal and Nova Scotia governments had
been at war with the residents of Sydney, it
would seem their mandate would have been to
take no prisoners. But then again, we would
have had a chance to defend ourselves. Silence
is not always golden. In this case it was, and
still will be for years to come, deadly!