Time is running out for this beautiful island and the warm and friendly people that live here. It is often said we Islanders are steeped in tradition, we vote the way our parents and grandparents voted in years gone by. There is probably a hint of truth in this, but its not the whole truth. Many Islanders are beginning to sit up and take notice. I’m 76 years old and sometimes I’m glad, because it means I wont be around too much longer to face the consequences of the governments environmental inaction. I’m guessing many other seniors feel as I do. They, like me surely remember when life was simpler. They, like me remember the pristine fields and farms, the beautiful trees and meadows, the sparkling rivers and seas. The huge variety of birds warbling in the summer sun, butterflies and bees flitting from flower to flower. We never worried about eating fresh fish or fresh produce? We never thought they might be contaminated with mercury and other insidious poisons. I believe the majority of Islanders had respect for our elected officials, yes there was patronage and probably some corruption but it was never on a scale like today.
Today I walk the roads seeing what remains of this once beautiful Province, our island once called the Garden of the Gulf. Our ditches fill with garbage, the endless treeless/hedge-less acres of potato fields looking more like a barren waste land. The polluted and poison soil where not even the hardiest of weeds can grow. I smell the offensive odors emanating from the silted and poisoned river. Rivers without fish and running red with mud and top soil. In the cities rubbish and garbage blow wildly around the streets and avenues. I see the lines of desperate people at the soup kitchen doors. I hear the homeless persons begging me for loose change to buy a coffee.
How on Earth did we ever fall this far?? A good question, and I believe the answers lay at the feet of our Provincial Governments over the last 50 years. They told farmers to go big or go bust, farmers tore out hedgerows and trees to create huge tracts of land. When winter winds came the top soil blew off into our streams and rivers. Next they poured millions into fish processing plants like Polar Foods and Ocean Choice, now long gone and we hold the debts. Factory hog farms became the answer along with a processing plant, also gone along with millions of tax payer dollars. But Hey!!! we can become a world class golf destination, more millions spent and now we have golf courses for sale but no buyers. More recently we were to become a World Mecca for on line gambling or e Gaming. We all know how that ended up. Yet here today the two same Party’s are out campaigning and telling us of their many wonderful past achievements, and promises for a rosy future. Is it any wonder most Islanders have become disenchanted and have lost all trust in politicians. However, the more important and difficult question is, what can we do? I unfortunately do not have all the answers, I do however have a suggestion. Try voting for one of the other two party’s, Green or NDP. I realize neither will form the next government but if we a have a surge in new votes it will send a very strong message. The Liberals and PC’s will have to concern themselves with some real opposition. Maybe we can make them realize the times they are a changing. Some will say it is a wasted vote and would rather not bother to vote at all. Its never wasted and we can never calculate the impact it might have if we don’t try. If we are going to save our beautiful Island we have to start now—-Time Is Running Out.
God Bless and keep reading.