Paul MacEwan Should Keep His Mouth Shut
May 5, 1999
Letter sent to editors of various newspapers
For almost a year now, the Russell MacLellan government has continued to
to relocate the residents of Frederick Street, this despite a series of toxic
events beginning last summer. Apparently, the best the MacLellan government
do for the residents is to tell them to stay inside, keep the windows closed,
and don’t let the kids play in the backyard. What kind of position is this?
What kind of life does Russell MacLellan expect these people to live?
This is truly an incredulous position to take considering toxic chemicals are
continuing to literally ooze out of the ground. Moreover, independent
scientist, Dr. Rosalie Bertell from the International Institute of Concern for
Public Health (IICPH), has publicly stated that no one should live within 5 km
of the Frederick Street area. I would like to point out that Dr. Bertell is
recognized worldwide as an authority in the field of environmental health. She
is a peer to many distinguished and prestigious international scientific
organizations, as well as a US Congressional witness on the Gulf War Syndrome.
Dr. Bertell is also the chairperson of the permanent People’s Tribunal enquiry
into the Bhopal disaster, a consultant to the government of Ireland regarding
radioactive contamination of the Irish Sea, and a scientific consultant to the
Perhaps most bizarre is that fact that the MacLellan government’s own tests
have clearly show the Frederick Street area to be contaminated with an
toxic chemicals - several well beyond Canadian (CCME) Health Guidelines.
Liberal MLA, Paul MacEwan, recently stated that the province is not
responsible for moving residents, and that if the province were to pay to move
some families - it would have to do the same for countless others. Bingo. Mr.
MacEwan just gave away the MacLellan government’s true motive - avoid spending
any money at any cost (even human life).
Frederick Street resident Juanita McKenzie publicly stated she would move
tomorrow is she could afford it but she can’t, and she can no longer sell her
house. Let’s be realistic, who in their right mind would buy a house with
chemicals oozing out of the backyard?
Instead, Mr. MacEwan insists that cleaning up the site is the answer to the
problems on Frederick Street. Mr. MacEwan isn’t the sharpest knife in drawer -
one only has to look to last summer when the nightmare on Frederick Street
began. Provincial tests had just shown the soil to be contaminated with an
array of toxic chemicals, including arsenic - 18.5 times greater than Canadian
guidelines. Mr. MacEwan responded to outraged Frederick Street residents by
saying, “they would have to eat the soil to be affected by the arsenic.” The
next day government officials immediately rebuked Mr. MacEwan’s
According the IICPH, to “clean up the site”, as Mr. MacEwan suggests, would
put the Frederick Street residents in even greater danger! Perhaps, Mr.
should just keep his mouth shut. Imagine living on Frederick Street, knowing
your life (and that of your family) is in great danger, and having to
an elected official repeatedly make ludicrous, unresearched, unfounded
statements like this.
For the past several months, all the Russell MacLellan government has said
(albeit repeatedly) is to “let JAG (the organization assigned with cleaning up
Sydney’s toxic legacy) do their job.” Well JAG is “trying to do its job”. In
fact, JAG recently made a very important, perhaps life or death,
- relocate the Frederick Street residents no later than June 1st.
for the residents, the MacLellan government immediately shunned that decision.
The Russell MacLellan government, by not heeding this important JAG
recommendation, and that of the IICPH, is clearly subjecting the residents of
Frederick Street to conditions that no animal (let alone a human being) should
face. If anyone thinks that Russell MacLellan, or Paul MacEwan for that
give a damn about their health, or that of their families, think again. All
they care about is money. Every Canadian should be horrified.
Information meeting attracts few non-Pier residents
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