Friday, March 10, 2006

Paved Paradise

There are times, such as the one I am about to account, that I have serious doubts about the sanity and lucidity of humanity as a whole.

As my previous post states, I have a deep, nagging concern that perhaps there is hole we are blindly digging, one that perhaps has gotten cavernous enough that crawling out has become a nearly insurmountable task. The following is an account of such an event unfurling in my home province of Quebec, Canada. Keep in mind that I am cobbling this together from radio, newspaper and television accounts. It’s about as accurate as I can manage, considering they sometimes present conflicting stories. As is, it is an event ‘in-progress’.

The last few days, the news-station I listen to in the morning has been reporting, to my disgust and utter horror, the salacious and despicable efforts of the provincial government to cut swaths out of a provincial park at the base of Mount Orford in the Eastern Townships. The intention is to sell the tract of land for $15 million dollars to a private developer in order to build condos in this pristine, undeveloped area. Many residents, in the recent past, donated countless hectares of their own land to public trust in a valiant effort to stave off the creeping development of this area, as the encroachment threatened the very ecological health of the area. The donors got nothing in return for their forward-minded deed, nothing besides a promise from the government that the land would be held in stewardship for future generations to enjoy. Now, that very body has turned their backs, ignored their duty and, in an act both callous and vulgar, has begun plans to dismantle and sell off this rare, precious resource. It is a bad day indeed.

Quebec, surprisingly, has only 3.5% of its land in public trust or in provincial parks, which should be a complete source of embarrassment considering that lesser-off Costa Rica has about 35%, and Australia has 18%. It is no secret that for some time, Quebec has been ‘for sale’, with every precious resource cut up, sucked dry and farmed out for mere pennies, with little or no consideration for future generations. What this amounts to is a land grab for the rich, fat hogs that sidle up to the governmental trough, stumbling glassy-eyed over each other as they greedily try to mop up every ounce of runoff from the wasteful, bloated governmental machine. The lies being offered in earnest by the Premier, one bloated and poorly-coiffed Jean Charest, are bordering on sociopathic, in which the admitted governmental intention is to sell off part of the park to buy another area to expand on the further side. the government promises to use the proceeds to almost double the size of the 5,200-hectare park to 10,000 hectares. Experts are crying foul as the area that they intend to purchase would estimate towards $150 million, a far cry from the $15 mil they plan to take in for their efforts. So, somebody is getting a deal, and it ain’t us… unless you count ‘raw deals’ into the mix. Helps to be a buddy to the Premier...

It gets funnier. Or sadder, depending on your sense of irony. Thomas Mulcair, the previous minister of the environment, was pushed out in an unexplained move during a cabinet shuffle and demoted, irregardless of his spotless record of good service and pro-active policies toward sustainability and conservation. He was replaced by, yep; you guessed it, the previous minister of ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, Claude Bechard. Almost immediately, before he had a chance to warm the seat, he announced the plan to dismantle the park would go forward. Needless to say, Mulcair quit in disgust. You see, Mulcair had been against the project and held by his principles. The project, now in the hands of a mock-environment minister, is defiantly moving forward, a gesture so brash and disgusting one can nearly see from afar their swollen, ruddy cocks defiantly jutting skyward as they traipse about, their forward vision obviously obstructed by the immensity of this towering, pulsing righteousness. They answer reporters’ questions with the air of disinterest and malice one sees only in pro athletes, who know at the end of the day that the ‘little people’ do not truly count, they are merely pests to be tolerated.

An act of good faith has been sullied in a manner most undignified. The water table will be poisoned; the lake near the mountain will be awash with diesel fumes and waste. The trees will be cut, and nothing will be the same. One of the opponents to the project, Orford County Mayor Pierre Rodier, said yesterday that the community's water supply could not sustain such a major development.

This madness must stop. They dance on their rooftops as the city burns.

8 Comments:

Blogger Sinkchicken said...

The more of this shit I hear about the more I am driven almost speechless in the face of it! In conjunction with your previous post and the reading I've been doing lately on native issues in Canada I am stunned and saddned to my core over how little sanity is at play in the actions of government, business and often the general public. And not only sanity, but like my last post said, a sense of justice and morality and doing the right thing for the sake of a better future.

And about that hole we have dug? There is no perhaps about it. It's there, it's deep, and holy shit if the people that dug it shouldn't all be locked up and written off. Course, that would mean about 99 percent of us because most of us contribute to the digging through our indifference or laziness.

It is strange having to try to formulate an argument against such behaviour when for me it just seems so fundamentally wrong that it should be they who have to mount the defense. If they are the ones undertaking controversial actions then why is up to the public to have to explain why it SHOULDN'T be done? When people refuse to look past the end of their noses (or cocks, as you would have it) and not look at the bigger picture, scientific evidence, historical precedents, etc, conveniently ignoring all the evidence, then what kind of rational counter attack can one muster up against it? The burden of proof suddenly becomes so large and on the shoulders of those who are not directly involved in such projects or governments, ie who have 9 to 5 jobs to do and don't have the entire day to mount counter attacks nor easy access to funds and the media as such buggers do. Also, how do you demand a government or developer or law maker delve into the history and ideological study of their attitudes and actions, how do you force them to understand the shameful historical ties their actions and desires link to? It's fairly impossible (though we shouldn't cease to try). Most of these jack asses think they know everything, Mulroney is the perfect example, look at how he handlened the Oka crisis? He spat in the face of hundreds of years of treaties, alliances, promises, death and called their demands to be recognized as an independent nation that had never given up their indepence as "bizarre" and almost incomprehensible. And he sent in the army and tore down the forest they were trying to protect, their forest btw.

I think a strategy that needs to be adopted by the opponents of the insane Right (and not the Left only, but any one with a shred of humanity left in them) is to flat out stop giving them the time of day. Laugh at them, explain to the public that if a person walks up and accuses you of something insane then it should be up to them to prove it. If they cannot, they shouldn't be allowed to interere in your life. If their strategy is to derail their oppoents, always putting them on the defenisive, causing them to waste energy countering deceiptful accusations then no energy can be put into constructive and positive change. It really is a huge part of their strategy, it worked to dismantle the Clinton administration and the Democrats in the US. The public should know that the onous is on the accuser to find the evidence, not the one against whom the accusations are made: Innocent until proven guilty.

God, I hate people sometimes! We really need a collective kick in the ass!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Sinkchicken said...

k, that was more of a post than a comment, but you really got me riled up with that one!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

I'm sorry. Not sure what to say except that this is happening everywhere. Think of Montreal. It was once forest, but not anymore. "Progress" at the expense of nature and good people (he shouldn't have been demoted with a spotless record) makes me sick, too.

1:13 PM  
Blogger TheHamburger said...

The world is rotting because of money....that's all there is to it. Money washes nation's away and brings about newer, less pure ones.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am also totally disgusted with the provincial gov.these parks were created to halt development and protect what little green space there is in thier natural state..this project must be stopped dead in its tracks or it will create a domino effect.other provincial will now be open to develpment with the promise of hundreds of jobs.provincial parks must be kept protected from developers.there is no shortage but a surplus in empty condominiums right here in the city.leave our provincial parks alone.shame!shame!shame!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

here here, even condos in the city can be a crawling blight, when neighborhoods are gutted and converted and those with lesser means keep being pushed further into desperation, with lodging hard to come by.

but, as an investment, condos are great. you build, sell, move on and let the shoddily (but wonderfully facaded) built edifices rot. no quality, just quantity, and all that will remain is kipple in the long run.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Sinkchicken said...

There was a protest today on the Jacques Cartier bridge.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

fantastic!

however, seeing as absolutely no-one wanted montreal island to be turned into one city, and they went ahead anyway with the agglomeration, i doubt much will come of it.

5:18 PM  

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