Our wilderness is not a toilet
Editor’s note: the following letter was sent to Service NL Minister Paul Davis, and also forwarded to other media, including The Compass. Dear Mr. Davis
This letter is in response to your Jan. 24 request for information from an environmental perspective about violators who wash their chemical toilets in Newfoundland’s brooks. Unfortunately, as an avid outdoorsman, I had the misfortune to come across these violators with no camera in hand.
I also realize that you need clear evidence to prosecute anyone who might engage in this practice, which brings me to the letters I wrote to Premier Kathy Dunderdale, Environment and Conservation Minister Terry French, Child, Youth and Family Services and Minister Charlene Johnson, and your predecessor, Harry Harding.
These ministers, along with environmental protection officer Tammy Mcdonald from Harbour Grace, know the difficulty first hand in catching violators in the act, yet the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador continues to open more remote wilderness areas like Cliffty Pond to remote cabin development, indiscriminate dumping and car wrecks.
We had meetings with Minister Johnson about these issues and the dangers of indiscriminate dumping years ago and all we got is a blank face.
I have forwarded numerous pictures and information to the perspective ministers numerous times over the years and reported the risks of remote cabin development, indiscriminate dumping and the washing of chemical toilets in Newfoundland’s remote wilderness areas.
I have practiced due diligence from an environmental safety perspective since I was a kid and have a daughter who might want to drink the water out of a Newfoundland brook sometime. The best way to ensure potable water is going to be safe for future generations and chemical toilets won’t be washed in our beautiful brooks is rescind remote cabin development and leave our woods in peace. Encourage people to pack in and pack it out of our remote wilderness areas because as you stated it is very difficult to catch a slob, or the legal word is violator.
I have read your career highlights online and must say they are pretty impressive; as new minister, please use some common sense to ensure a safety first policy for our remote wilderness areas. If our politicians do not use common sense environmentally, future generations of Newfoundlanders will be packing a jerry can of water in the woods every time they go in. Another blight in Newfoundland’s history. Tony O’leary writes from