Many of us are aware of the new refinery to be built in the beautiful area of Mispec along our beautiful coastline. We as citizens of this area have been faulted for not fighting to stop this proposal. The reality is that most people accepted this news as an inevitable event because of the growing need for energy and the need for jobs in our local area.
I have to admit I am very conflicted by the idea of another refinery. One side of me appreciates the fact that for the first time in years we might finally stop the mass exodus out of our province and keep families together and offer young people a well paying job that can provide for their future.
Yet, the other side of me struggles with the knowledge that we can never get back our coastline. If we really believe that the environmental damage will be minimal we are delusional. I wonder what my children and grandchildren will say to me someday....
But, adding to this internal struggle is the knowledge that the community of Red Head and Mispec are directly affected! My personal struggle on this issue is pitiful compared to their reality! We have all witnessed the pollution over the years from the refinery on the east side...and even with the major improvements made to the Saint John refinery, it still pollutes and the residents who live in Champlain Heights can attest to that.
What must the residents of Mispec & Red Head be thinking when they realize that they will be trading their fresh air and quiet vistas for pollution, noise, trucks, and the daily commute of workers going back and forth to the refinery each day....do we really believe this will not affect them?
Some residents would like Irving to buy them out at fair market values and allow them to move away and start fresh. Irving is refusing to do this if their home is located outside of their arbitrary line. I would love to see Irving step up and truly show to the citizens and business community at large what it means to be a good neighbour... a good corporate citizen! For me, it will take more than some trees planted to give me the warm fuzzies....
If you care to read more on this issue go to CBC and read about one local couple fighting for fairness when it comes to their home. Or visit Alli's blog to get information on how you can help by writing a letter to voice your concerns that residents be treated with monetary fairness and respect.
Many people stand to make lots of money from this deal...why shouldn't the residents be fairly compensated? They are already losing out on the longterm equity that comes with owning waterfront property let alone the disruption to their lives. This shouldn't even be an issue about doing the right thing!