Comments on tar ponds don't add up

Letter to the editor from Anne Ross
Cape Breton Post
Monday, Mar. 8, 2004

I was upset by a comment made by Premier John Hamm's in Tuesday's March 2 edition of the Cape Breton Post.

Premier Hamm stated that the Sydney tar ponds have put Cape Breton on the map for all the wrong reasons, and it is important to "clean up the mess" as soon as possible.

Well Premier Hamm just what do you think the people in Sydney and surrounding areas have been telling the government? Where have you been?

All the testing proved that it is a hurman health hazard and Canada's worst toxic site. Government paid the consultants out of taxpayers' dollars and you have the evidence Mr. Hamm. The facts are in and the evidence is there.

We have been fighting tooth and nail to have this human health hazard known to the people, consultants, government and tourist alike as the Canada's worst toxic site, cleaned up!

Millions and millions of our taxpayers' dollars have been wasted for years and still nothing cleaned up. What put Cape Breton on the map was our coal and steel. They have been taken away from us. We have one of the highest cancer rates that put us on the map. We have a high unemployment rate, that too, puts us on the map. There is enough work in cleaning up Canada's worst toxic site to employ everyone on Cape Breton Island. Stop wasting our taxpayers dollars, clean up the mess properly, keeping our health in mind!

There has been nothing done except for a few structures removed on the old coke oven site and a dump capped. Nice green area to the public eye on the dump hill, but the dump is still in operation behind the nice view. The dump still runs toxic waste on the coke oven site and to adjacent communities. Oh, and least we forget, a new road that will give us a much closer view of the toxic site and dump as we drive by.

We are tired of hearing the same words from every politician that comes across our doorstep during election time. Let our children remain here with a strong healthy environment that they deserve. Stop blaming our lifestyles! We live with a toxic soup in the middle of our city.

Those of us that care about our people, will continue to fight hard. We are fighting for the right reasons.

Anne Marie Ross