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Oct 07 2010

Pollution Solution – Feeding our Planet

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I have been on a fishing trip – It began when I heard that people were starving without salmon in BC’s Interior. I didn’t know why there were no salmon. All could think of was feed the hungry people – feed them what they need – feed them salmon.

First Nations hunger became critical at the end of last winter. With only a three day fishery in 2009, many First Nation families didn’t get their necessary 200 fish to survive the long winter. Short notice meant some families didn’t get to their traditional fishing ground before the fishery closed. Some had no fish for winter. I started collecting salmon – the traditional diet of BC’s First Nations.

That’s where I began. That’s what I knew. I sent e-mail’s to people in Government asking them to take care of this problem. I was directed to the Cohen Commission. I e-mailed Corporations who seem to own most of the salmon in this country – I asked for donations – I had no reply. I asked everyone I knew for cans of salmon and I published a letter in our Lumby Paper.

Many people offered support and together we sent a few boxes of canned salmon to help some hungry people while the First Nation Band purchased and processed two beef cattle. What does hunger have to do with pollution? That’s a good question – it took me ten months to see the connection.

During that time, I learned about the Cohen Commission – an Inquiry into 9 million missing salmon. I read about fish farms that put tons of raw fish sewage into our ocean. I heard about Alexandra Morton the biologist and I some saw disturbing photographs of fish. I heard about the First Nations hunger strike to bring attention to the decline of wild salmon. Then there was the walk down Vancouver Island to get the fish farms out to contain their pollution.

All the while, Governments on all levels spent billions to put on the Olympics – the G8 and G20 complete with fake lake water.  What’s our global priority? Water? Food? Children? People? Climate? It didn’t seem so – Parliament was prorogued and Canada got tough on crime! The economy wore a tarnished crown as BP did it’s worst deed filling the Gulf with oil – the Internet became a place of petitions.

Still, I was fishing for answers – I was burdened with gloom and doom – I prayed for hope but the more I fished the more I reeled in tons of rotten information. What kind of economy will we have if we can’t breathe? Who can work when hungry? Can life be sustained as the climate thermostat starts to cook us alive? Industry moved out of Lumby leaving wild fish to boil in our rivers.  Agriculture drank up our river water to stop crops from withering and many people didn’t have their pianos tuned.

I made a submission to the Cohen Commission and watched to see how others saw the problems for salmon. There was a place to comment – no one had – so I did.

I have read nearly every post on the Commission web site and it seems there is water pollution in many BC communities. It’s no different here – Lumby has a sewage problem – the lagoon is overburdened and Lumby has been ordered to create a plan to fix it. Since the lagoon is expensive to repair Lumby is thinking about becoming a prison town. If Lumby accepts this new moniker, the Government has promised a sewage upgrade.

Prisons for pollution? Is that any way to get tough on crime? Is it not a crime to pollute in Canada? What is the cost of pollution? What is the price that’s paid when wild fish don’t survive? Is it hunger? What is the cost of hunger? Well to the corporate model of Government – Hunger is not calculated as a cost in our GDP. Hunger is not a cost to be born by corporations either – hunger is the burden of people. If hunger was a Government priority there would be no food banks.

What is Government’s responsibility regarding sewage? Are we to take that matter into our own hands and fix it ourselves? Governments meet with the Corporate stakeholders more often than they sit in their respective hallowed halls. Governments have become a business that supports business for an economy – something we can’t eat – in a place where fish don’t survive. Stakeholders sit at the table – citizens get arrested.

So I found the connection between hunger and pollution – it’s in the water – water that’s necessary for food – food that’s necessary for life. Without water there is no life. Canada needs a water pollution solution. A low cost, non toxic way to deal with our mess. We need to turn down the heat on climate change.

Did I find a solution? Yes I did and it’s not what you might think…

1 comment

  1. Andrea Soto

    Great article! this is so informative.

       0 likes

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