| Aug 09, 2007

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Feature Article - August 9, 2007

Letters to the Editor


I feel many things for our North Frontenac council, none of them positive or polite. Currently as a township, we are going through much upheaval regarding the potential of a uranium mine. Some folks are for it many against, and then there is council who seem to be sitting on the fence and waiting for “something” to happen. When “something” does happen, I hope they don’t think that their lack of action will garner them my vote at the next election. Meantime, even the rumour of a mine has decreased our property values in excess of 1/3. Many people are having their water tested so as to have a benchmark for future potential contamination. Meanwhile life seems to be continuing for council taxes collected on homes which could have little re-sale value; septics inspected to ensure no harm comes to the aquifer due to leakage; rumour of wells requiring meters so the government can collect user fees and, of course, ensuring our trash is properly sorted.

Would council react if I paid taxes on my home based on its current value? Would council supply us with bottled water when our well testing comes back positive for radiation and is no longer safe to drink? Will council react when any of the small organic farmers in our area are no longer deemed organic due to contamination? Will council react when tourists no longer return to the area to fish, camp, rent cottages or shop? Perhaps council will react if one of their properties is staked by Frontenac Ventures.

There are always two sides to every issue and we must respect that sitting on the fence is not a side.

- Mavis Wade

Like many in the area I do not want to see uranium mining happening. We have a new smoke shop along Hwy. 7 displaying a sign advocating no mine. This to me is the ultimate paradox. Topping the list of cancer causing agents is tobacco smoke as well as an array of other diseases from same. The tip of the iceberg may be all that's been touched by medical research into the devastating side effects of both first-hand and second- hand cigarette smoke. You are not doing anyone around you or your environment any favours when yousmoke inside or outside. The epitome of evil is represented by the tobacco companiesand their practices, yet I see no encampments blocking their facilities. I also notice no demonstrations in front of this local smoke shop selling what I assume are cheap cigarettes which would entice new addictsas well as maintaining those already addicted.

Greg Morris

North Frontenac and Lanark Highlands areas are facing a mining corporation wishing to begin exploration by drilling core samples, which may then lead to a full-blown uranium mining operation. There are hot deposits along a 20 mile long, one mile wide corridor through these lands. Exploration entails removing forest and trenching thousands of tonnes of rock. It would be open pit mining all the way. 30,000 acres of private property and Crown lands (which have never been surrendered or sold to the government by Algonquin First Nations peoples) have been staked.

The Mining Act allows prospectors to come on your land and stake it without your permission then clear your land and tear it up without any compensation or restoration to its original state.

Uranium mining leaves behind damage for thousands of years. Radio-active air to breath, radio-active dust on our gardens and forests, and radio-active toxic waste with sulfuric acid to leach into our lakes, rivers, streams, wells, marshes and wetlands.

The mining companies are bound by law to be stewards of the land and end-tailings forever, so they just go bankrupt and change their company name to get out of it. Elliot Lake mining companies have already done this. Elliot Lake end-tailings are leaching into Lake Huron from the toxic dump they have provided - the Serpent River! To date there is not one proven safe end-tailings containment system in the world - all so far have been breached,

whether it be a dam or cemented cylinders.

A small earthquake rupture, sabotage, a pressure rupture? Remember Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. There are many safe, clean alternatives

to nuclear power. Ontario needs a complete moratorium on Uranium mining such as Nova Scotia has. Mr. McGuinty has said his government wants to protect ecological and environmentally sensitive areas. I hope he believes the Mississippi and Ottawa River watersheds are in his plans. There are many waterways leading to these rivers right from North

Frontenac and Lanark rivers and lakes. We need a moratorium that would last forever and be bound by all future governments via the Constitution.

Wanda Recoskie

I have a comment to make arising from the spring issue of “The Frontenacs”, published by the County of Frontenac. The phrase “We told you so” comes to mind. This stems from the articles regarding water safety, and in particular, the situation that has occurred in the village of Sydenham. I imagine most of the readers are aware of the raw deal the residents received and how the views of over 90% of the population were ignored in spite of evidence and petitions presented to council. It should be noted also that the figure of contaminated wells in Sydenham was very much exaggerated, as was shown by private, town-wide testing. Many felt this incongruity was the fault of the engineering company in charge. But, recriminations are useless now. It does seem that the province has come around to our way of thinking, as shown in the newer regulations coming forth. It is interesting to read that the results of studies show that a municipal water system is not sustainable in a population of less than 3000 people. Then, on the back page there is a small quote stating there are no communities larger than 1,500 residents in the County of Frontenac. In Sydenham there were only 273 households. The Province is also putting forth several alternative solutions for providing safe water, which were suggested to the South Frontenac Council numerous times by the Sydenham Safe Water Association. It has already cost my family $5000 to have the water brought from the road to the house, which we are obliged to do by law.We do not use the water, but must still pay a minimum monthly fee.The last estimate of our share of the frontage costs of the system itself was $10,000, but the long overdue bill for that has not yet arrived. Waiting for that demand for such a huge sum of money is not a very pleasant prospect for a senior and a single parent living on a disability pension.Bureaucracy rains supreme!

- Rosalie Knights

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