BY Stewart Lamont, Tangiers Nova Scotia
Pull the Plug ….. Today .
As a case study in public policy it has been grim but fascinating .
As a coastal job creator it has been pathetic .
As a political football it has been sadly divisive .
But as a threat to wild fisheries and coastal communities, it takes the cake . It has been downright obnoxious ….. words chosen carefully .
Of course I refer to the promotion and subsidy of open net pen feedlots in Nova Scotia lately .
I think back to one year ago . Almost to the day . Premier Dexter was meeting with a group from the Eastern Shore and Wild Salmon . In a performance worthy of Father knows BEST, he lectured us like school children . He was frustrated . Angry even . But he said his Government’s policy on subsidizing feedlot operations would be vindicated in the end . Well the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, admittedly . But there’s an election looming any day . And if this is vindication , I would hate to see defeat .
The Premier event suggested an all too apt comparison . He recalled that “ there were critics when the first tree was cut as well ” . Don’t go there Mr Premier . Don’t go there at all . Yours is the government that quietly changed the definition of clear cutting so clear cutting could be seen to decline . Deception is your Government’s middle name .There are those who now ask quite rightly : which has he treated worse – the lobster or the spruce ? Both species have been sold out ( … in more ways than one …. ).
At this very moment we have the Doelle Lahey Regulatory Review Panel traipsing across the Province in search of a few facts . Professor Doelle seems like an awfully nice fellow, but he says he is not reporting for this Government . He is actually reporting to the next . Good grief and God Bless Us all . Every single one . We may not live long enough to see this debate successfully end . They are going to spend public funds for the next 18 months ( or more ) to report what Professor Doelle already knows today . Apparently even outside the legislature, filibuster reins supreme .
Pull the Plug right now, Mr Premier . It is never too late to do the right thing . End open net pen feedlots immediately . Do it for your children and your grandchildren . A legacy of sorts just before the fat lady sings ….