Friday, March 21, 2008

This area should have reliable source of drinking water

Peterborough Examiner

As climate change creates more and more environmental refugees, and shortage of pure drinking water becomes a global problem, I had thought of Peterborough as a good place to be, with its reliable supply of drinking water flowing to us from the north.

The Ontario government's complicity with Frontenac Ventures, the company planning to drill for uranium at Sharbot Lake, shows that, in their desire to "go" with nuclear energy and thus encourage production of uranium, they have completely overlooked both the rights of the aboriginal people directly concerned, and the long-term interests of all of us.

Uranium mining results in piles of tailings which leach radioactive substances into adjacent waterways.

Mining at Sharbot Lake would pollute water through Lake Ontario and the St.Lawrence to the sea.

Mining in the Bancroft area, which is also being considered, would permanently and irreversibly pollute Peterborough's water supply.

We have better alternatives to nuclear power, which in any case would not last forever. We do not have better alternatives for our drinking-water supply.

A government which allows profit-hungry companies to invade and destroy territory, which in this case is being claimed and used by first-nations people, leading to possible genocide of these people, needs to face relentless opposition from concerned citizens.

There has been opposition, and more is planned. For example, about 100 people stood, in the worst blizzard of the year, on March 8, in front of PCVS, and listened to moving speeches.

The police showed up, but the press did not.

I have seen only one article in The Examiner on this important local issue, -on Feb.22, headed ''Fleming Counsellor Jailed, Trent Prof Fined'".

Paula Sherman and Robert Lovelace were labelled criminals, which made them newsworthy.


Robert Lovelace is in jail and Paula Sherman has been fined $15,000, apparently for upholding Algonquin law and protecting the vital interests of all of us, at great personal sacrifice. Since when has peaceful opposition to injustice been a crime in Canada? If it is a crime, then we are a Fascist state.

This issue is one piece of the rape of this planet, for resources, which is going on worldwide.

Development of the Alberta tar-sands is another, but this is closer to home. It is our business. If we let it happen, we can look to a very bleak future.

We need reform of the Ontario Mining Act that allows this trespass. We need to demand that Robert Lovelace be released from jail immediately, and that Paula Sherman's fine be revoked.

Dalton McGuinty must reconsider his plans to pursue an expensive, dangerous, and temporary energy future for Ontario, which diverts government funding from the real, permanent, alternatives.

Let us prove that we are free and democratic and we care about the future of all our citizens.

And let us expect our media to give fair coverage to what is, at present, the most important unfolding issue in this area.

We hear plenty about celebrities and criminals, entrepreneurs and sports, but, it seems, issues of real substance somehow get filtered out.

In a democracy, the public must know what is going on.

Jenny Carter

Hillcrest Avenue

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