Le gouvernement du Nouveau-
Brunswick a donné à Bennett Environmental une approbation préliminaire
pour la construction d'un incinérateur de déchets dangereux à
Belledune. Sans tenir compte des farouches oppositions des scientifiques,
des environnementalistes et de nombreux citoyens inquiets, Bennett
planifie importer des déchets toxiques des sites pollués aux États-Unis
et au Canada dès 2004.
Les mots les plus souvent associés à
l'incinération sont : danger, cancer, dioxine, maladie, métaux lourds,
contamination, poursuite, désastre environnemental, recours collectifs,
nettoyage, défaut de naissance.
Mais pourquoi donc le gouvernement du
Nouveau-Brunswick serait-il prêt à sacrifier les gens et l'environnement
de la région de Belledune?
Is New Brunswick
the toxic waste tailpipe of
am not an environmentalist (not that there's anything wrong with
that). I am not a Birkenstock-wearing, new-aged, yoga practicing
granola guy (not that there's anything wrong with that). My name is
Armand Melanson and I'm very likely a lot like you. I have a job, a
family, a home, hobbies and all that stuff.
(photo: News source)
So why am I doing this? It all started way back one
day when I chopped down a trufula tree to knit a thneed and out with a
slunkitty schmacks popped this little guy called the Lorax. OK that's
not true, but if you haven't read Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, which I'm
lucky to read to my daughters ever so often, now is a good time. A
really good time...
A few months ago, I started to catch the radio chatter
about a proposed toxic waste incinerator in Belledune. The plan, as I
understood it, was to import hundreds of thousands of tons of
hazardous toxic wastes from the U.S. and abroad, and burn them in
Belledune. I don't know about you, but even on the surface, it didn't
sound like such a great idea to me. 'So long Belledune,' I thought to
But what did I know about toxic waste incineration? So
I continued to listen to the arguments put forward by the
pro-incinerator camp (Bennett and the NB government) and the
no-incinerator camp (just about everybody else):
Activists answer: "UnSafe"
Bennett [cleverly]: "Bad"
Quiet or I'll sue you!"
and so on. The rhetoric is slightly more enlightened
but that's the basic gist of it.
I remembered the fierce opposition Kirkland Lake
Ontario residents had to the proposed incinerator there--the Ontario
government actually stood up for protecting the people and the
environment from 'alleged' toxic contamination and they drove Bennett
out of Ontario. But Bennett recovered quickly and headed straight to
In NB, Bennett maintained that their incinerator would
be clean burning--it wouldn't present any dangers to the Belledune
region. And it would actually help to detoxify some of the most
polluted sites in the world. Sounds like a noble enough cause. But
more and more groups opposing the project seemed to be coming out of
the woodwork--fisheries associations, agricultural producers, native
bands, environmental activists, people on the Quebec side of the Baie
Des Chaleurs, etc.
Despite my initial this-can't-be-good gut reaction,
I've always been a little leery of the environmental lobby, and I
wasn't completely convinced that the Bennett plan was so bad.
Bennett's arguments sounded reasonable... It all came down to whether
or not toxic waste incineration is clean and safe (as Bennett
Where else to turn for the answer than the Net. So, I
headed to Google with the keyphrase "Toxic Waste
Incineration". The 20 minutes that followed literally flattened
me. The more I read, the more astonished I became. And I've been
reading for weeks now. What did I find?
Toxic waste incineration is not just potentially
It doesn't just have possible risks;
It doesn't sometimes work out well and sometimes not;
Toxic waste incineration is inherently unsafe.
There is no such thing as clean incineration.
Toxic waste incineration always produces
massive amounts of hazardous emissions and residues.
Incineration bi-products are often far worse than
the raw waste being processed.
The local environments always become
contaminated and are eventually left to deal with the toxic
The words that are most often associated with
incineration: danger, cancer, dioxin, illness, heavy metals,
contamination, lawsuit, environmental disaster, class action, cleanup,
birth defects. You can't find a single case where a toxic waste
incinerator had a happy ending. They all go up in flames and they take
the host communities with them. In the US, many such incinerators have
so contaminated the local environments that the incinerators and
surrounding areas are abandoned then classified as highly
contaminated--so much for clean burning.
I know some people will say that all the hoopla over
potential risks is exaggerated and alarmist. If the effects of waste
incineration are 1/100th as bad as what I've read, it would still be
too dangerous. The evidence is just too overwhelming. And the people
of Belledune--and everywhere else--are worth protecting.
I'm not objective or unbiased. Anyone who has read
even a little about the effects of waste incineration cannot be. I'm
furious and outraged that the NB government is prepared to sacrifice
the people and the environment of the Belledune region. If you share
my feelings even a little, please sign the 'Stop Belledune' petition
now: go here
and click sign petition. Your voice really can make a difference.
'Never doubt that a small
group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it is the only thing that ever does.'
'The greatest sin of our time is not the few who have
destroyed but the vast majority who've sat idly by.'
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.~
'Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could only do a little.'
If you're not convinced that this is a bad idea, read through the
main site http://www.notoxicwaste.com/
or do your own independent research. And try to imagine how you'd feel
if a toxic waste incinerator was moving into your community. Imagine
watching your family get sick, seeing your friends suffer from chronic
illnesses, having your daughter die from leukemia. This happens to
communities near incinerators. If we don't stop Belledune, your
community may very well be next...
“It seems to me that in licensing these incineration
operations, the government is creating zones of sacrifice. When I say
‘sacrifice zones’ I’m not just talking about people getting
sick. I’ve seen them die. If the wind would blow the smoke towards
the school on a Monday you’d see children being at home sick on
Tuesday and Wednesday. The schools near incinerators had the highest
absentee rates in the district. I met a lot of these children. I’ve
seen them die of leukemia, brain cancer and a host of other disorders.”
--Dr. Neil Carman, former incinerator inspector & internationally
recognized expert on toxic waste incineration