Letter to the Editor: We must be sustainable – The Northern View

Letter to the Editor: We must be sustainable – The Northern View.

Editor:

This letter is regarding Nexen Energy’s proposed Aurora LNG project for Digby Island across from Prince Rupert.

I am not the only person in this area that is deeply disturbed by the proposed massive LNG export terminal. The negative impacts from such a terminal will be felt by all  residents and tourists in Prince Rupert and the surrounding area. For the residents of Dodge Cove, on Digby Island, this proposal strikes at the heart of our community as that is almost in our backyard.

The number one concern above all else is the health risks such a terminal would bring with it. The cancer-causing toxins released into our air will directly affect our air quality and our water supply. There are many reasons to not place these terminals close to residential areas (the constant noise, lights, smog, marine navigation disturbance, local wildlife and marine life destruction and destruction of our fishing and hunting grounds and beaches) but the main issue that matters is our health.

Prince Rupert has often boasted of the great quality of our drinking water – this has also been the case with the air (especially for many of us susceptible to breathing problems). The pristine surrounding wilderness and marine environment is why most of us live in such a remote location, and why tourists travel from all over the world to our town.

When a group of children were asked what would make their neighborhood a better place, their responses included the following (as published by Peace Child International 1992): “I would like a place where the sky is blue, the air is clean, birds sing, the sun is shining, the earth is  covered in rich forests, and everything around smells of strawberries.”

Well, except for the sun shining and the strawberries, this is exactly what I am already providing my child.

If a Nexen representative approached you and offered you money in exchange for your health – or maybe your child’s health – what would  your reply be? And just so we are clear, no money is being offered. A handful of jobs is hardly compensation for my child’s health – nothing can compensate for that.

I am proud of my community that is looking past the short-term benefits and refusing the long-term destruction of this clean environment we have always called home.

I am both angry and ashamed of the Canadian government that has set no laws in place to protect its citizens, but seems to be openly supporting and encouraging the pillaging of our homes. No protection from toxins, no protection from potential gas leaks and explosions and no protection of our quality of life.

Many people are discussing whether or not these proposed terminals will even be built. I would rather not leave the choice up to companies such as Nexen. I would rather know that residential areas are protected, and that the lives and health of Canadian citizens matter.

My community has been here for over 100 years, let’s make it 100 more.

Nexen, I oppose you.

Sarah C. Brown, Dodge Cove

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