Sham­ing the gov­ern­ment for its con­ser­va­tion prac­tices

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - The fol­low­ing letter was sent to Premier Kathy Dun­derdale, and copied to The Com­pass and other me­dia.

Premier Dun­derdale,

Ever since the white man has taken New­found­land from the First Na­tions Beothuk peo­ple, this is­land and prov­ince has seen one ex­tinc­tion af­ter an­other with a steady de­cline of many other an­i­mal species — most re­cently the Ge­orge River cari­bou.

The gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, both past and present, seem to do what they want af­ter be­ing elected in. With all the en­vi­ron­men­tal ev­i­dence to date, it is not just about a few more cab­ins in our re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas like Cliffty Pond, it is about New­found­land’s ter­ri­ble track record in al­ways in­creas­ing quo­tas with no re­gard for the dam­age we have al­ready done. When will the gov­ern­ment learn?

Ev­ery gen­er­a­tion of New­found­land politi­cian con­tin­ues to make the same pro­found mis­takes. Re­mote cabin de­vel­op­ment is no dif­fer­ent than the quo­tas set for the north­ern cod fish­ery.

It was never based on solid, ob­jec­tive, sci­en­tific re­search with a safety first cul­ture. It was a co­nun­drum of power hun­gry in­di­vid­u­als with a need for prof­its at all costs. Be­cause of this, my re­spects are to the Beothuk peo­ple, the Great Auk, the New­found­land wolf and the many other crea­tures who in­hab­ited here, for with­out them my life is and would be con­sid­er­ably less.

Thanks for the letter of democ­racy sent June 7, 2011. At least there is some com­mu­ni­ca­tion and di­a­logue be­tween gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic. How­ever, by mak­ing the same mis­takes in is­su­ing re­mote cabin per­mits for Cliffty Pond and other re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas you are mak­ing the same mis­takes as your pre­de­ces­sors.

There is no such a thing as a few cab­ins, a few cari­bou or a few fish in New­found­land. Six cab­ins in Cliffty pond one year means 60 more once the seeds are set and a new crew of politi­cians take over. It is writ­ten in our his­tory, that the white man won’t stop in this prov­ince till the last bog, fish and, like the Beothuk In­dian, is gone. I guess that’s why you is­sue cabin per­mits know­ing our re­mote wilder­ness is al­ready a dump site from the start in many places.

It’s the prin­ci­ple of it all and the gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions, the en­vi­ron­men­tal mis­ery our race has caused since the ex­tinc­tion of the Beothuk peo­ple that must end here, for fu­ture gen­er­a­tion won’t have any wilder­ness left.

Also, your in­te­grated man­age­ment scheme, with a view to­wards sus­tain­abil­ity, is no dif­fer­ent than the first treaty signed with the First Na­tions. It has been breached a mil­lion times, like our cod fish­ery.

Milk­ing the po­lit­i­cal cow will come to a sweet end at some point. I just hope you can look in the mir­ror. What a shame of our times. Tony O’Leary West­ern Bay

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