Misplaced Outrage

Bennet Environmental is in the news again. It looks like the environmentalists will get their wish. The company will not set up in Belledune. And the four or five other firms lined up to create jobs up there are also not coming.

The environmentalists and community activists are relishing this victory with unmitigated glee. They ‘drove a stake in the heart of Bennet’. Victory for Belledune! Victory for New Brunswick!

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not a blog in support of pollution. Companies that come into New Brunswick should meet environmental protection standards. If they don’t, they should be shut down.

No, this blog is about this churlish attitude. About the sense of moral outrage. How dare they come into our community and add even one part per million particulate matter to our air. Those bastards.

But I ask you this.

Where’s that same sense of moral outrage when thousands of employment insurance and welfare cheques are cut each month because there are not enough jobs in Northern New Brunswick?

Where’s the outrage when we read a report stating that Atlantic Canada has the lowest standard of living in North America?

Where’s the outrage when our Premier goes to Ottawa, hat in hand, looking for another handout?

Where’s the outrage when we see our kids leaving our communities for greener pastures because there is no hope here?

Where’s the outrage when when we hear that our kids have the lowest test scores on educational tests?

Where’s the outrage?

One thing’s for sure. The economic problems in Northern New Brunswick will be a thousand times more deadly than the 0.08 parts per million in particulate matter from Bennet.

What is wrong with us? There was a time when a man would gladly rush into the deepest coal mine with an environment a thousand times more hostile than anything coming out of Bennet’s smoke stacks because he understood the self respect and integrity associated with earning a decent day’s pay and providing for his family. Now, that same man will fight tooth and nail to shut down an employer that just might, and I stress might, slightly increase pollution in the air that might, and I stress might, somewhere 30-40 years down the road cause a slight increase in cancer. And, he’ll hold his head high as he cashes his dole cheque.

My grandfather went through the 1930s depression working multiple jobs, farming and fishing to ensure his family was provided for – without even taking one cent of the dole.

Where have our priorities gone? Are we so drunk on government welfare that we can’t think clearly?

Sorry to go so ‘Fox News’ on you but I am getting fed up with our attitudes in this province. We think we have a right to the good life but won’t raise a finger to make it happen – that’s the job of government. We want all the rights but won’t take on any of the responsibilities.

Shame on us.

We deserve our fate.

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