LET­TERS TO THE ED­I­TOR

The Peterborough Examiner - - OPINION -

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,”

Oct. 26

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.

TORSTAR FILE PHOTO

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.

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