Honour commitments

Sherry MacPherson,
Voice of the People - Halifax Herald
Tues., Feb. 22, 2005

Our government committed to a population health approach to health care in Nova Scotia, the premise being that social, economic and physical environmental factors impact on our health. This approach recognizes our physical environment is an important determinant of health. Why, then, does government continue to make decisions that negatively impact on the health of Nova Scotians?

What about its commitment to "better management and protection of the environment?" So, it's OK to let Nova Scotia Power burn inferior coal for a couple of months? David Suzuki said burning and burying the waste from the Sydney tar ponds won't work, but who's listening? Nova Scotians have a high rate of chronic illness and the highest rate of deaths from cancer and respiratory disease. Exposure to toxic pollutants can be reduced, but where is the political will?

Nova Scotians need more physical activity to be healthier. We're losing our parks, sanctuaries and forests, which provide recreational opportunities. What about government's commitment to "continue to work toward a healthier and comprehensive system of protected areas?" It promised to protect Gully Lake and Eigg Mountain/James River and we are still waiting!

A good first step toward honouring those commitments to Nova Scotians is to protect these areas in their entirety.

Sherry MacPherson