A past that haunts

By  | October 1, 2009 | 0 Comments | Filed under: Posts by M. Boilard

There is an old Chinese Proverb that states:

When we have nothing to worry about we are not doing much, and not doing much may supply us with plenty of future worries.

I hear congratulations are in order for the remediation efforts of the Bishop Street TCE plume. Indeed, we mustn’t hold back the credit deserved for their efforts, as they have aimed to give this area a better future, and the future is usually a good thing to hold on to, so that we can move forward.

However, is their aim a bit off? Does this actually mean that the job is done? Do we forget those who cannot shake off a past that will haunt them forever? Should we simply allow ourselves to be wrapped in our blankets of denial, while closing the door in their faces, telling them their worries are over…the poison is gone…you are healed?

…Are they?

Many families in the residential community around Bishop Street had their homes unknowingly invaded by an unwanted guest, and according to the same companies involved in the remediation process, this invasion was of historic significance, meaning, the plume was there for a long, long time. So, in reality, whole families were chronically exposed to low doses of a poison for … what …ten years or more? No one knows.
Should we be ignoring this important fact so that we can give credit to those who refuse to see this? Perhaps it’s time more attention is given this fact, now that the contaminant is showing signs of being under control.

There is great controversy over the effects of TCE in regards to public health these days. Yet evidence in communities effected, and there are many in North America, clearly show alarming statistics of illnesses – particularly cancers – that can be attributed to the intake of this poisonous chemical. TCE is one of the most chronically abused solvents in history, resulting in massive plumes in groundwater under too many communities, just like the one in Cambridge.

Evidence, voluntarily collected by one of those afflicted residents of the Bishop Street Community, clearly shows numerous and serious health issues; yet no effort has been taken by any level of government to corroborate this data. No realistic reason has been given as to why this voluntary data is NOT important; it has simply been ignored.

Perhaps they realize that the real reasons would be too hard for us, the public, to swallow, so they choose to make these ill people ‘chase their tails’ in a ruthless system that has no compassion for the public it serves. Many of us know this frustration… don’t we?

I have also heard that the companies’ have stated that the concentrations of TCE in water samples collected from the Grand River are generally less or consistent with previous sampling efforts. What does that mean…is this good or bad? Is the River not part of the watershed? If their statement is true, at what point in the River do these chemicals accumulate or interact…down the river in someone else’s back yard? Perhaps they are just ending up in someone else’s basement in some other neighbourhood? Surely these chemicals have not found that magical wormhole that has transported them into orbit.

The testing for allowable standards of poisons in our water gives us a false sense of security…very false indeed. We are being fooled into believing that we can consume poison as long as it is done a little at a time over our lifetime. We are being fooled that the consumption of this poison will not catch up to us and give us cancer until we are at least 70 years old.

Look around you….how many 20 year olds have cancer these days.

There is another good quote from an unknown author that states:

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Tell me…What are you doing?

M.B.

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m_boilard@sympatico.ca'

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