Cutting corners to save money

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor:

Regarding the article 'Mortality rate is staggering for lung cancer', by Dr. W. Gifford Jones (The Guardian, Aug. 21, 2012):

Dr. Jones starts off about different kinds of cancer — breast, colon/rectal — but he is concerned more about the high rate of lung cancer and that many people who are dying from this disease are non-smokers. He gives Christopher Reeves' wife as an example. She never smoked a day in her life. Dr. Jones continues to give statistics that are staggering — 110,000 men and 90,000 North American women will die of this disease in a year. He goes on to say that a Swedish study found an increase in lung cancer in those exposed to radon gas.

Immediately a red flag went up for me, thinking of the announcement in May of this year that the staff and students of Souris Consolidated school were exposed to radon gas levels that were above acceptable levels. It was then announced just this week that there is something now being done about the radon gas in Souris Consolidated. Is there a plan in place if this does not work? How often will this radon gas level be monitored? Will it be ready for the teachers who are to return next week, and Sept. 6, for thestudents' return?

Then there is another school on the Island, Parkside Elementary School, that is in desperate need of an air exchanger. The windows must be open all year round for these students and staff to get fresh air so they don't get sick. It was announced that there is no money for an air exchange system.

I want to ask the premier: as a parent, would these conditions be acceptable to him and his wife if his children were attendingeither of these schools?

All Islanders have a right to be safe and to have fresh air to breathe in our schools. Mr. Ghiz, please do not put us and ourchildren at risk by cutting corners to save money when it comes to the future of Islanders and our health. It is all about priorities. What are yours?

Debbie Simmonds,

Green Meadows

Organizations: North American, Souris Consolidated school, Parkside Elementary School

Geographic location: Green Meadows

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