LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Taxpayers pay price for bad council decisions
The City of Peterborough is in the top 10 of the highest property taxes. Each year I’ve lived here it’s never been a one per cent increase. The majority of the taxpayers in the city did not want to sell the utility to Hydro One, but the city did it anyway. Forget the taxpayers — they don’t count. They only pay the bills.
In comparison to other cities Peterborough has very high taxes. That is one of the reasons I was forced to sell my home like many others. I hope when city council prepares the 2020 budget the taxpayers are considered. No increase, or what the seniors and middle class receive, one per cent over the last decade.
All the new homes being built, millions from the sale of the utility and the casino revenues should be used to offset city expenditures, not used for capital expenditures. Take out of the reserves.
The taxpayers in the city have had enough. Other cities in Ontario seem to be able to manage their budgets. Why can’t Peterborough?
M. Martin, Peterborough
Another major store on Lansdowne Street? Really?
Re: “New grocery store gets the green light,”
The new grocery store gets the green light, but the city gets more traffic on Lansdowne Street and more red lights.
A month ago the city council declared climate change an emergency. What is it going to do about it? A major source of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels by automobiles. Bunching of grocery stores on arterial streets only contributes to more driving from residential neighbourhoods and more traffic on arterial streets. Shouldn’t grocery stores be located to be readily accessible to the neighbourhoods? Several locations come to mind. This would reduce traffic and consequently the need for expensive road widenings.
Is the new Official Plan going to give any guidance to reducing the climate change emergency? During the Second World War, the government brought in gasoline rationing. What is the city going to do about the present emergency? An emergency demands immediate action! Robert Lapum, Langton Street
Pipelines run roughshod over Indigenous rights
We are in a climate emergency. This is nothing new. Canada is heating twice as fast as the rest of the world and the time to act is now. In an era where we should be rapidly transitioning to renewable resources, our government has decided to put in a pipeline.
Not only is the Trans Mountain Pipeline a massive step backwards, but it will also have a catastrophic effect on the environment. This risky and dirty oil project is not what Canadians need. Stretching from Northern Alberta to the Vancouver Port, this pipeline will pass through unspoiled land, some of the largest salmon runs in the world, and through the habitat of wild orcas. This pipeline could push the already fragile population of the 76 remaining wild orcas in the Southern Vancouver coast to extinction.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline completely ignores Indigenous rights. It is unacceptable that a pipeline is going to pass through Indigenous land, even though Indigenous peoples have already said no. Our government should be focused on providing more clean water and working toward reconciliation with Native peoples, not increasing fear within Indigenous communities.
“Twenty-one municipalities, 59 First Nations, 91 per cent of people surveyed at town halls, and 210,000 petition signers say no [to the Trans Mountain expansion]. Approval runs roughshod over Indigenous rights,” reads an open letter by the David Suzuki Foundation.
If we keep investing in and adding infrastructure for high-emitting industries, we won’t meet our emissions targets and we will continue to spiral out of control. Our planet is at stake. This is our time to say no to the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Gabriel Trozzi Stamou, Growth Canada
Don’t add to our city’s toxic industrial legacy
If BWXT NEC gets the amendment in its licence to produce uranium dioxide pellets at its Peterborough facility, they will be handling large quantities of fine uranium powder there for the first time. Consequently, BWXT’s uranium air and water emissions would be much higher than they are now (BWXT website).
Although estimating risk is not an exact science, even BWXT estimates that if they started pelleting, the annual radiation dose to the public would go from, what they say it is now, 0.00 microsievert to 10.44 micro sievert. (Darlington Nuclear Power Plant’s was 0.7 micro sievert in 2017.) Prince of Wales School is right next door!
In 2016, air at the perimeter of their Toronto facility, which does pelleting now, tested at 390 X’s background levels. (BWXT website) Even more alarming is that one of the few independent air samples taken near the Toronto facility by the regulator during the last 10 year licensing period was 490X’s background levels! (CNSC website.) (I hope this was a mistake!)
Accidents happen — especially as the climate becomes increasingly erratic and more extreme. Peterborough is vulnerable to flooding, and uranium dioxide powder is flammable, and can become easily airborne.
We do know that these very fine particles of uranium dioxide can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and can sometimes stay inside the body for years, even decades, continuously irradiating sensitive tissue and damaging DNA. (Inhaled alpha emitters, such as uranium, are type 1 carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization.)
Experts warn that there is a paradigm shift happening in the field of radiobiology that is not being reflected in the regulator’s calculations of risks to the public (Ian Fairlie). Cell biology is indicating that uranium is much more dangerous than once was thought (Alexandra Miller).
Children and fetuses are especially sensitive to radiation and heavy metal toxicity, and are not adequately protected by legislation (NIRS.org).
Surely, we should not allow this new industrial process to add to GE’s toxic legacy, in the downtown core, meters away from a primary school and our most vulnerable citizens!
Jane Scott, Peterborough
We want to hear from you. Send us opinions, comments and other feedback. Letters should be no more than 350 words and include the writers’ full name and address, plus a daytime telephone number for verification. Letters will be edited for content and legality. Email to let[email protected]terboroughdaily.com.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, centre, leads a procession of anti-pipeline protesters on Burnaby Mountain outside Vancouver, B.C. in March 2018. Growth Canada will stage an anti-pipeline school walkout and strike in Peterborough on Nov. 20 at Confederation Square. It will begin at noon.