Cleanup announcements seem to hug elections

Letter to the editor from D. Victor Tomiczek
Cape Breton Post
Thursday, May 20, 2004

There seems to be no end to the arrogance and hypocrisy of the federal Liberals and their minions.

To all those who actually believe the Sydney tar ponds will somehow be miraculously cleaned up to become this wonderful picture postcard as suggested in the recent mailout, all I can say is: "Don't hold your breath."

The timing of this announcement is party politics at its worse. This is not the first time the Liberals have announced the final cleanup of Canada's worst toxic dump and it's not a coincidence that it always seems to come on the eve of an election.

It goes to show how stupid the federal Liberals think we Cape Bretoners are! It exacerbates the situation when we see the result of the photo-op of MPs Rodger Cuzner and Mark Eyking viewing the tar ponds site.

I wonder who drove them to this area. In all my years of activism I have never seen either Cuzner or Eyking involved in anything regarding the tar ponds or their cleanup. Now they are portraying themselves as our saviours.

The Liberals are once again pulling the wool over our eyes and I hope this time we will not reward them.

Now a government agency is spending thousands of dollars on propaganda postcards, printed in Halifax, and Parker Donham of the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency doesn't have the decency to tell us how much this is costing.

Let's not forget that the Liberals sent in their hatchet man, Ralph Goodale, to close our coal mines even though we are sitting on millions of tonnes of coal, and now oil prices have surpassed $40 a barrel. Who profited from this decision? Ships registered in foreign countries to avoid paying taxes to Canada, and owned until recently by Paul Martin, the prime minister, are hauling coal from outside the country into our Sydney piers while our miners are idle. Many have faced welfare or have left their homes for work outside Nova Scotia.

If there was ever a time to have a strong voice in Ottawa carrying our message, it is now. We need someone to tell Ottawa what we want, not puppets to tell us what Ottawa is or is not going to do for Cape Breton.

D. Victor Tomiczek