A de­bate fit for the trash

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Dear edi­tor,

Some years ago, I sat as a town coun­cil­lor at a pro­vin­cial con­ven­tion and lis­tened in hor­ror as a re­gion in our prov­ince wanted to ac­cept main­land garbage floated on a barge into our pris­tine prov­ince to be buried in a land­fill. It was to­tally in­cred­u­lous but the pos­si­ble night­mare sce­nario is still not dead.

I also lis­tened for many years as our gov­ern­ments tried to deal with its own waste dis­posal prob­lem and the last word was there would be three ma­jor ar­eas for this — Robin Hood Bay in St. John’s, the Nor­ris Arm re­gion and a west­ern site. Well, ap­par­ently this has now been whit­tled down to two sites — Robin Hood Bay and the cen­tral site in the Nor­ris Arm re­gion.

Aren’t we blessed? They couldn’t save our mill; they couldn’t cre­ate a sub­sti­tute in­dus­try or in­dus­tries and they have yet to make our forests in cen­tral a sus­tain­able re­source, or if they could, we’d have to ask “sus­tain­able for what pur­pose apart from gather­ing fire­wood?”

Re­mem­ber the cliché? It’s an ill wind that blows no good. Well, we have had our share of ill winds and the fact that it’s about to blow un­told tons of garbage into the cen­tral re­gion isn’t do­ing our peo­ple any fa­vors. I am thor­oughly dis­gusted to think that’s all we de­serve as a once vi­brant in­dus­trial re­gion re­plete with re­sources and skilled trades­men and pro­fes­sional ad­min­is­tra­tors is to be in­un­dated with garbage.

Kelvin Parsons, the Lib­eral MHA for Bur­geoLaPoile, noted the prov­ince iden­ti­fied three po­ten­tial waste man­age­ment sites in west­ern New­found­land, but in­stead of pick­ing one, is now plan­ning to truck all waste from the area to cen­tral New­found­land. That move will add to the cost of the ser­vice con­sid­er­ably and mean higher mu­nic­i­pal taxes for res­i­dents, Parsons has said.

Parsons has said it is mind-bog­gling that the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment wants to truck waste some 500 kilo­me­tres, in­stead of build­ing a fa­cil­ity in west­ern New­found­land.

Oh, it’s mind-bog­gling. Our in­di­vid­ual per­spec­tives on this is­sue are in sync, but our rea­son­ings are widely di­ver­gent.

Aubrey Smith Grand Falls-Wind­sor

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