'David Suzukis' frozen out of liason group

Letter by Connie McPherson
Cape Breton Post
Thurs., Jan. 27, 2005

While introducing David Suzuki to last Saturday evening, Mayor John Morgan mentioned that he often wished he had a David Suzuki to advise him on issues like the tar ponds.

As reported in the Jan. 24 edition of the Cape Breton Post (Suzuki Pledges Support for Sierra Club), Dr. Suzuki endorsed the work of the local chapter of the Sierra Club, in particular that group's opposition to incineration as part of tar ponds and coke ovens site remediation.

The Sierra Club's recommendations are consistent with methods proposed for toxic site cleanup that are outlined in Suzuki's book, Good News for a Change.

The good news for Cape Bretoners: We have a local group whose ideas for remediation are endorsed by Canada's leading environmentalist!

The bad news: That group has been excluded from the community liaison committee for the cleanup by "senior levels of government" (Sydney Dentist to Head Tar Ponds Liaison Committee, Jan. 26).

Like many Cape Bretoners, I suffer from "tar ponds fatigue" because the remediation debate has gone on so long. However, trying to silence debate by excluding opposition voices is not a valid way to "get on" with the cleanup. That would be just another in a long history of environmental mistakes foisted on Cape Breton.

I hope the "senior levels of government," whomever they might be, recognize that they have David Suzukis to advise them.

Connie McPherson