Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 18: Well, well, well.....

The letter below was sent to Letters to the Editor of the TandT over a week ago. But it has yet to appear. It is from doctors in Sackville experessing deep concern about the health risks of shale gas development.

Professor Savoie, whose field of expertise has no connection with health, got a full week of columns to pimp for the shale gas companies, The only report warning of the dangers of shale gas came from Dr. Cleary - who is a real expert in health. Her presentation got garbled  in the TandT report of it - and she has since been pointedly ignored.

And now the doctors are being ignored in favour of the professor Savoies of this world who are trotted out whenever the corporations want something done. U.de Moncton seems particularly prominent in this game. That is not a good sign.

Hon. David Alward, Premier
Centennial Building
Po Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1 Fax 506 453 7407
June 10, 2013

Dear Mr. Alward;

We are writing on behalf of the Sackville Memorial Hospital Medical Staff regarding the New Brunswick Government’s intention to move forward with unconventional shale gas development.

It has been a year since our group of doctors joined the New Brunswick College of Family Physicians to call for a moratorium on the development of this industry because of concerns of potential health risks to the people of New Brunswick as a result of unconventional shale gas mining or fracking. We asked that first there be a full assessment of health issues, using evidence-based information to determine whether public health can be adequately protected and if so, how this could be done.

Since that time, Dr. Cleary, the chief medical officer of health produced a comprehensive report regarding this issue, requiring that baseline population health assessments as well as water and air quality assessments, be completed before any further steps be taken to develop this industry. Regarding the Government’s Oil and Natural Gas Blueprint, released earlier this month, she has expressed concern because health wasn’t identified specifically as an objective or a priority. “I would question, if we’re not bringing in this industry in order to better the lives and the health of the people of this province, well then why would we do it?”

The doctors of New Brunswick know that health is important.

We are deeply disappointed that the Government is planning to go forward without making health a priority. As physicians who have pledged to “do no harm”, we have a responsibility to safe guard the health of the people of New Brunswick.

There is currently no objective evidence that this practice is safe. There is insufficient knowledge to produce evidence-based regulations for safety of workers or populations living in areas of this industry.

At the same time, reports of potential health problems continue to emerge. We feel it is premature to go forward with this.

For all of these reasons, we are again calling for a moratorium, of at least 10 years, on the development of the shale gas industry.


Sackville Memorial Hospital Medical Staff

c.c. Hon. Mike Olscamp, MLA; Hon Hugh Flemming, MLA, Health; Hon. Bruce Fitch, MLA, Environment;

Times and Transcript; Sackville Tribune-Post
Note: the title Hon, short  for "honorable" ,is commonly given to men who lack the brains and integrity to be called "mister".

The two items below were sent to me by a reader. They will illustrate what is not being reported in the Irving Press.

The TandT Letters to the Editor did have room for a long but not very intelligent letter from a shale gas advocate. He is, what a surprise!, a commercial devloper. In effect, he says, duh____ shale gas will create jobs, duh...

Yeah, duh - and Hitler's burning of millions of Jews created jobs for the sons and daughter of the Father land, duh.... (There were some silly people who protested that, too.) It is, of course, important that we get together to work for the future. But that does not mean it's a good idea to herd like sheep behind promoters who dan't give a damn what damage they are doing.

Before we get together, we need information - information of the sort that has been kept from us by the TandT  (and by self-righteous developers who are alsoo weak in logic.)
Section A again has two stories about the purchase of Highfield Square. Like yesterday's two stories, these are by cheerleader Brent Mazerolle wearing a short skirt and waving pom-poms.

The US envoy to Canada assures us that the NSA is not tapping computers and phone calls in Canada. No. We're friends. The US is spying on its   friends in Europe - Britain, France, Germany, etc.  But, oh my goodndess, it would never spy on Canada.
The Canadian Press offers us another loaded "news" story on Syria, and how us good guys are looking for a peaceful solution. Get real.

This "civil' war in Syria was being planned a good, 20 years ago by the US and others. An Assad win would be a disaster for Israel. A win by the "rebels" would be even worse since it is certain that any government formed in their Syria would be of the most extreme Moslem variety. Nobody is looking for a winner. The aim of the game is to destroy Syria as a coherent nation.

Oh - There was a huge explosion at a Damascus aiport. First reports say it was an Israeli missile. Israel has not responded to the reports. Anyway, the foreign new editor didn't think it worh reporting.

For those who missed it the first time, the Your Business page repeats the story that a fish market has opened at the airport. It even uses the same photo as last time. I've never seen that before. That page must have one, dozey editor.
The editorial says we chould clean up downtown Moncton to get rid of half-way houses and assorted low-class bums. (That would spruce up the area, and attract a higher class of bum.)
Norbert persists with his silly columns on how the government could save money. And he still ignores the role of big business in creating our provincial debt.  He opens it with a paragraph congratulating himself on his keen mimd. He repeats his self-congratulation at the end - but is generous enough to suggest that others may have good ideas, too.
A solid column by Alec Bruce on the   squandering of money by the very rich at a time when millions are  suffering. At big time events, it is common for politicians to get astronomic fees for speaking... George Bush, a man who would have great difficulty in understanding even the TandT gets 500,000 at least for a speech. That's several thousand for a burp.

And these are speeches that we all know are designed to say nothing. Explain that to a woman working at WalMart.

And, alas, I have to disagree with Gwynne Dyer when he says the election of a moderate leader means new hope for Iran.

No, it doesn't. The US doesn't care how moderate or  how democratic the new president is. Strategically and commercially, the US wants a puppet state. Democracy would be a disaster. The last time Iran had a government the US approved of, it was a dictatorship under the Shah. In fact, he was put on the throne by the US.

Similarly, Israel wants Iran out of the way as a rival power.

The election of a moderate will change nothing.
And now I'm off, wearing clean underwear and socks, for my daughter's grade eight graduation and then prom night. (Curiously, she hasn't yet invited me to the prom. But no doubt she will when she sees splendid me at the grad in clean clothes.)


  1. https://monctonfreepress.ca/post/16066
    Read the latest column of Jean-Claude Basque. I promise you will like it :).

  2. I've zeroed in on the latest one. So far, I like everything he's written.

  3. The taxpayers are being taxed to death. So, it is our fault the province is over $11 billions in debt? No. The big corporations need to pay their share of taxes. But that won't happen with a corrupt government in power.

    A convention center....why should the taxpayers pay for that? If the CC is such a great idea, let the private sector pay for it (and buy and clean-up the contaminated parcel of land). They are the ones who can afford it. Plus, it is them who will reap all the financial benefits, not the taxpayers.

    I am sick and tired of working like a maniac while the big corporations are enjoying their tax-free money (or almost tax-free) and enjoying my tax dollars thru corporate welfare programs. This is adding insult to injury. It's a crime, really.

    We need to stop behaving like spectators and be part of the spectacle. Let's stop following other people's rules and set our own collective rules that benefit the greater part of the population, not just the rich and powerful.

    It is time for a revolution. It is time for us to revolt. It is time for us to hold the guilty parties responsible for making stupid and greedy decisions. With a strong collective voice, we can create opportunities that will benefit all of us.

  4. Agreed. But I would not have written that final paragraph. Our politicians and economic leaders are not an intellectually gifted bunch. Nor, so far as I can tell, do they possess dictionaries. They are most unlikely to understand that revolution and revolt can have far gentler meanings - and don't necesarily suggest violence.
    For example, the invention of radio created a revolution in use of leisure time.
    Or - the announcment of James Irving that he was in coalition with the government was a revolution in New Brunswick politics.
    The drastic cutting of taxes for the rich and for corporations was a revolution in taxation.

  5. And of course, we're all grateful for those revolutions.
    Oh, and KC Irving revolted against paying Canadian taxes.

    I mean, it's really a revolting family.