Do we ever learn from our mis­takes?

Po­lit­i­cal choices take prece­dence over en­vi­ron­men­tal safety

The Compass - - OPINION -

COPY Tammy McDon­ald En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Of­fi­cer Har­bour Grace Dear Ms McDon­ald:

It is ob­vi­ous to me that leg­is­la­tion has to be changed in re­gards to our re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas and what is con­sid­ered 21st cen­tury garbage. Car wrecks are a good ex­am­ple.

How­ever his­tor­i­cally and in our cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cli­mate it seems some min­is­ters, both past and present of­ten made the po­lit­i­cal safe choice over the en­vi­ron­men­tally safe one. If we are go­ing to pay our elected min­is­ters the big bucks, they shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty.

En­vi­ron­men­tal vi­o­la­tions like that in Cliffty Pond and the dump­site in front of my house in Western Bay clas­sic ex­am­ples of Pass­ing the Buck. It is messy work that has to be done, or dump­sites like I showed you will be the norm.

It seems ev­ery­one wants to be pop­u­lar these days. How­ever en­vi­ron­men­tal safety is about safety, not a pop­u­lar­ity con­test.

If leg­is­la­tion is the brick wall here, than let’s get our hands dirty and go ahead with the busi­ness of pro­posed leg­is­la­tion. Even if the vot­ing pub­lic were obliv­i­ous or didn’t care about this car­nage, we have to do what’s right for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

By the way, do­ing what is po­lit­i­cally safe is the rea­son our cod, and capelin fish­ery is in the mess it is in to­day.

Do we ever learn from our past mis­takes?

Not one sin­gle soli­tary capelin rolled on the beaches of Western Bay in 2009 or 2010. Is this an ex­am­ple of chang­ing ocean cur­rents and man-made pol­lu­tants, or is it a com­bi­na­tion of hu­man greed and our elected min­is­ters of the past mak­ing the po­lit­i­cally safe choice? I

In the years my grand­fa­ther lived in Western Bay he never once said the capelin never rolled on our beaches.

Are the re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas we have left go­ing to be dealt the same fate? For the his­tory books, the last capelin trap was pulled from the wa­ters of Western Bay in late July or early Au­gust 2009. Not a capelin any­where!

Is this a sign of the times? Will the capelin ever roll on our beaches again? Has mankind sealed the fate of this lit­tle fish by choos­ing to do what is po­lit­i­cally safe over en­vi­ron­men­tal safety? If this is the case, re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas like Cliffty Pond are in se­ri­ous trou­ble.

Let’s get with the pro­gram!

Yours in con­ser­va­tion Tony O’Leary Western Bay c.c. Premier Danny Wil­liams Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper Char­lene John­son, Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment Shane Mahoney The Com­pass New­found­land Sports­man

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