A Reader's View
Editor: The issue of deep-water drilling is very concerning. Should an industry that has consistently and unrepentantly continued to contaminate our waterways be given the right to the very groundwater that it has already spoiled? Should an industry have the right to use a public natural resource to the point that it stands to be degraded even more than it already has been? Should an industry be allowed to hold people’s right to clean water hostage in order to provide “perfect” potatoes for the large companies? Should not this industry be made to clean up the mess it has already created before any thought is given to allowing it further penetration into our fragile eco-system?
And think about our soil. The potato crops without good stewardship appear to be creating significant loss of our nutrient dense topsoil. Just look at the red snow in winter and red streams in summer. These should be warnings that we are losing our precious soil. Add to that the chemicals that are put into the soil to kill pests and to try and restore lost nutrients and we are left with a moonscape of dry earth, much of which lacks good growing potential. Would not better farming practices benefit everyone?
There is no doubt the potato industry is very important to the Island economy. The unfortunate part is in order to survive, many farmers are forced to sell to the big producers and the producers name their terms. Is the need of big industry more important than clean and sufficient water? Our streams are running dry in the summer already and it would be logical to assume it would be during dry spells that more demand would be made on these deep water wells. This cannot bode well for sustainable sources of water. We have a densely populated Island with a primary agricultural industry that places heavy demand on our resources and contaminates with its chemicals. We cannot accept Minister Janice Sherry’s assurances the potato industry will “educate” us as to the reasons and presumed necessity for deep-water wells.
It is the place of the government to look at this issue from all sides and give advice that is based on sound scientific research and is in the best interest of all. Unfortunately I think it is far too late for that. I am very afraid that this government will sell us out — again. Look at Plan B and HST. Do I have faith that right will prevail? Absolutely not. I think a deal has already been brokered to lift the moratorium and the government is a shill in the process.