Full Panel Assessment the obvious course

Robin Henderson
Cape Breton Post
Thurs., Feb. 17, 2005

Could someone please explain to me why the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency continues to object to a full panel environmental assessment of the various technologies available for cleaning up Sydney's toxic waste?

Isn't it good sense to select people to do the study who are independent, without conflict of interest, and educated in the fields pertaining to the project? This would produce unbiased scientific answers and prevent further toxic damage to a community which has already suffered far too much illness and death as a result of the Sydney steel plant's pollution.

And is it not proper to have the doors to the meetings unlocked so that the people whose health and lives are to be affected can attend to learn and have a voice in what will take place in their home town?

Surely when the province is crying for more immigrants it doesn't want to endanger the lives of the people already here. I can't imagine why anyone would want to immigrate to a province so environmentally backward that government is on the verge of compounding what is already the worst environmental disaster in all of Canada.

Perhaps to some people the idea of even coming here for a short vacation would seem unwise. As was so vividly demonstrated by the drop in tourism to Toronto and the rest of Canada during the SARS outbreak, it doesn't take much to frighten people away from visiting a place that is perceived as dangerous.

Certainly the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency would not wish to be responsible for such disastrous repercussions. One would expect it to support the most comprehensive and transparent study so that the decision-making process is properly informed and shared by all concerned.

Robin Henderson
Queen Street
North Sydney