JAG's knowledge mustn't go to waste

Letter to editor from Vic Dawson
Cape Breton Post
Saturday, June 21, 2003

We have to thank the volunteers who worked so hard for the community at the Joint Action Group. They made a great, unpaid contribution of time and talent for the betterment of our city.

A lot of vital information has been collected, formatted, recorded, analyzed and stored. A great library has been built.

Those working on various aspects of the problem have gained expertise on the situation at the coke ovens and tar ponds. Many would probably like to continue to make available this knowledge when work begins to implement some of the JAG recommendations. The concluding meetings of JAG must consider how the accomplishments to date will be preserved and how volunteers can be organized to continue the work.

The disposition of the records, files, software, hardware and office equipment should be carefully planned to see that these assets are disposed of where they will best serve the community. An inventory of assets acquired over the years should be taken.

The environmental studies program and the Beaton Institute at University College of Cape Breton could probably be excellent sites to keep this material available to the community. This would be great training material for environmental students.

It will be a crime if all of the information built up over these years is destroyed and the valuable supporting equipment given away for a token.

JAG should be able to function as a totally volunteer organization. The volunteers should be planning now while it is possible to make easy contact. Surely we should be able to provide a work environment in Sydney or at the university.

Thanks and good luck to the whole JAG crew. Hang in there!

Victor Dawson