Jeff Green | Sep 27, 2007
Letters - September 27, 2007
Back toHomeLetters - September 27, 2007
LettersSeptember 27 Snimikobi Algonquin First Nation, Chief Randy Malcolm, Elders, Heads of FamilyRe: Mitchell Creek Bridge., Linda Penrose& Nancy BayleyITo mayor Maguire, Brian Garnier Snimikobi Algonquin First Nation
It is with great pride and excitement that the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation presents to you our new Native name. We will be known as Snimikobi Algonquin First Nation.
This new name is the Algonquin name for the Mississippi River taken from (Pembroke, 31-F) historical files. It reflects our connection to this river and the vast population of people that comprise our group. We extend many kilometers from the Ardoch region and this encompasses a greater area.
For clarification, it is pronounced “Shnaw-Mik-Koba”. There is an even earlier definition, which literally meant “beaver creek”.
The vast majority of our members wanted this new name, which clears up any misunderstanding with regards to the AAFNA group, Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and Allies.
Our hope is to work closely with all parties in negotiations concerning the welfare and settlement of our rights, conservation of our lands, keeping open discussions alive between all sectors.
We are looking forward with great anticipation to the future for our children and our children’s children. Let them have a clearer path to follow than our ancestors experienced. We are only looking ahead. You cannot change the past, but you can greatly improve the journey forward.
Chief Randy Malcolm will guide our group with honesty and integrity. Our Elders will teach us many things along the way to make our passage clearer. With the many new members will come fresh ideas and a new perspective to our cause.
This we acknowledge to be true.
Chief Randy Malcolm, Elders, Heads of Family.
(submitted by Brenda Crawford, Harrowsmith)Mitchell Creek Bridge: Have Council and the Ministry of Environment blown their commitments out of the water?
Over the last three years, residents of South Frontenac Township have expressed ongoing concern about plans to upgrade the Mitchell Creek bridge on Canoe Lake Road. Our township council and Transport Canada promised us again and again - with maps and plans and mitigating conditions - that the new bridge would be built with a minimum of disruption while ensuring the highest safety and environmental standards. Less than one week into the actual construction work (begun mid-September), at least two major commitments are already out the window.
During the second week of August, the building inspector of South Frontenac Township informed two separate residents of Mitchell Creek that a foot bridge would be constructed alongside the new bridge so that school children and residents could easily make daily commutes.
Imagine our dismay on the morning of September 10 when residents attempting to cross Mitchell Creek were informed by the construction team that there was to be no foot bridge provided. School children were tumbled into a rowboat (without life jackets) and other residents were left scrambling to find boat transportation to cross the creek. At the very least, a courtesy letter should have been sent to each of us informing us that no foot bridge would be provided during active bridge construction.
Then on September 18, we were hit with another rude shock. Our clear, lovely creek – home to fish, turtles, frogs and an abundance of other wildlife – was suddenly obscured by a plume of suspended silt so dense that, for more than a hundred yards downstream from the construction, it was impossible to see more than a few inches into the water; this despite continual assurances from the proponents that the technology and means would be strictly applied to prevent such contamination or disruption of habitat.
Where is the promised safe river crossing for our school children and the minimum disruption for commuting members of our families? Where is the highest priority given to environmental protection? Do promises and commitments mean nothing now that bridge construction is under way?
As Mitchell Creek residents, we care about the safety and health of our community and the natural environment. We expect the Mayor, the Council, and Transport Canada to stand by all their agreements on upgrading the bridge.
- Lynda Penrose and Nancy Bayly, HartingtonTo: Mayor Maguire
You may be unhappy with the small tax revolt (“North Frontenac takes a stand”, Frontenac News, Sept. 20, 2007] but this minor inconvenience will pale in comparison should a uranium mine be located in North and Central Frontenac.
One Example is the Sydney tar ponds on Cape Breton Island. After thirty-five years of struggle and litigation, most people were lucky to get 20 cents on the dollar for their property. Individuals simply dropped their keys on the front steps and left in frustration. They believed in others who promised better lives, but after all of their hard work, they left with less equity in their pockets, with health issues, broken families, and the "new" adventure of rebuilding their lives. The federal government has the tab. We the taxpayers are picking up the tab.
Example 2: the Deloro Mine northeast of Marmora. Gold mining commenced in the early 1900s, and gold was leached from ore with arsenic, the residue was held in a "tailing" pond, a large above ground swimming pool, with earthen berms or walls. The tailing pond at Deloro is 20 acres. In addition to arsenic contamination, radiation was detected, therefore traveling along Highway #7 when you see a chain link fence posted with an international icon for radioactivity on the north side, crossing a marsh, you’ll recognize you’re south of the Deloro Mine. In addition, the Moira River is contaminated. Therefore, Mayor, inquire about real estate values in the village and take notice of their reduced tax base. Federal government is presently slated $55 million for remediation. We, the taxpayers are picking up the tab.
Example 3: Elliot Lake and the Denison Uranium Mine Debacle. (open pit)
Example 4: Uranium City Saskatchewan (open pit)
Example 5: The Ranger Uranium Mine in Australia. (in situ)
The process of "open pit" and in "situ" are two current extraction methods for mining Uranium. Open pit is as it sounds: dig a big hole, extract the ore, leach the uranium, and the residual goes into the "tailings" pond. The in "situ" or ISL is a sort of "see no evil, hear no evil". They drill holes into the ground, pump the leaching agent (sulphuric acid) down, extract the liquid, process the uranium from the liquid and the residual goes to "tailings” pond. Radon (radioactive) gas is released from both processes. Decontamination will be necessary, for personnel, equipment, and vehicles exiting the mining site.
There is an old saying in sailing "you don't know where you going, until you know where you've been". Your township, its aquifers, watersheds, and agricultural food chain will become toxic by definition, and what effect will this have on your tax base?
Frontenac Ventures Ltd. has (from articles I have read) professed that the mining standards have changed. They also admit that uranium commodities market value has increased. Mr. White was quoted as saying that the price was currently $136.00 US per lb. in June of 2007. The present spot price for uranium 308 is $90.00 US per pound. The long term pricing stability suggests $60.00 US. Mr. White suggests it is a viable venture at the current value of Uranium; but what happens to the mine if the price of Uranium drops below a viable level. Are we left with a large gaping hole, and unemployed workers with no pension and/or health benefits? Who gets the clean up costs? How does this impact tourism in the area, the health and well being of everyone down stream, down wind, and around the corner?
Is Mr. White interested in "ponying" up his, his children's and grandchildren's life savings as personal collateral to protect 600 employees and the constituency of Eastern Ontario?
The Deloro Mine issue was in litigation for forty years, and finally took a class action lawsuit to "resolve" 100 years of environmental decimation. People made money, but people lost lives.
In summary, you are an elected representative, representing "we, the people", and if they choose to withhold taxes in passive resistance, I wouldn't consider it "ransom", I 'd consider it just exercising their own due diligence. Therefore, recognize who is being held "ransom" here; it is all of us, and we’re negotiating with our health and future.
Brian Garnier, Arden