In reference to the January 31, 2013 issue of the Alaska Highway News I would like to point out that I resent the fact that Mr. Warkentin (whom to my knowledge I have never even met) says that “the group opposed to PVOSB, led by Cushway, is ignoring the facts and dredging up decades-old issues that no longer reflect the way the company is presently run.” There was a ditch that was dug last year as part of a solution to avoid flooding out neighbors with contaminated water. Should the log ponds flood again, the contaminated water will now be diverted across to the east side of the Swanson lumber road and end up in the Peace River. Is this old?
At the Baldonnel meeting on January 29th, 2013 we heard from two of PVOSB’s nearest neighbors. They both talked about what a dishonest company LP was and how the company is not a good corporate neighbor. Currently to date, both neighbors do not feel that they have been dealt with adequately for their land being flooded with contaminated water (on more than one occasion) to the point that crops will not grow properly and trees are dying. Is this old? How about the fact that the PVOSB plant is currently running on a 2005 DRAFT copy of an Environmental Management Plan because they “did not receive approval or comments from the MoE so the plan remained in “draft”?” Is this old? I could go on and on but my point is that these are not “old” issues. The old issues resurfacing simply show to me a continued pattern and why the public may feel so distrustful of the company.
I would also like to point out to Mr. Warkentin that I am not “leading” anyone. Concerned local residents came to me to ask if I would organize another meeting so they could share some of the information that they had been researching. I agreed to this; however, I would also like to point out that I invited EVERYONE (including PVOSB employees, Ministry of Environment people, city officials, local politicians, and people both for and against the use of MDI) to this meeting and it was an open-mic meeting where anyone from either side of the argument was encouraged to speak. Everyone that wanted to speak had an opportunity to do so. I was just one of ten people that spoke at the Baldonnel meeting and one of many, many people that spoke at the Cultural Center. When I speak, I speak only for myself and I do not represent anyone or any organization. I am a concerned citizen like everyone else – no more; no less. The fact that so many people are showing up to the meetings and that there are nearly 1500 names on a petition that says they do not want MDI used in the PVOSB plant should say something though.
And to close, I would like to say, “Please, give your local citizens the respect that they deserve – most of them are well educated, caring individuals that are standing up for what they think is right. To insinuate that they are “following” my lead like a bunch of sheep I find is disrespectful and degrading to the people of your community.”
Fort St. John