Yes, please do keep an open mind

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A response to Jane Toller’s letter:
“Please keep an open mind about EFW”
Nov. 29, 2023

I’m not an expert about Energy from Waste (EFW), but I know many have questions. Will they have the opportunity to ask them? Will there be public consultations before a final decision? I hope so!

You say we can learn from Denmark “about their success with recycling, composting, reuse and reduction of packaging” – maybe we should start there instead of hauling tons of garbage up and down an inadequate highway system (who is going to pay to develop it?). Shouldn’t we learn before committing? In fact, the Ottawa Citizen’s Nov 30 article “Why Quebec’s “wild west” wants Ottawa’s garbage” reports “Denmark recently decided to cut its waste-to-energy capacity by up to 30%. In June 2020, the Danish Parliament, concerned about rising greenhouse gas emissions from the plants…”

You talk about “statements of danger to health and the environment that is speculation and fear mongering”; can you show beyond a reasonable doubt that the facility won’t be a danger?

Why are you surprised by opposition? The project deserves a fair chance, but only after you’ve proven it won’t harm the local environment and residents. You must evaluate all the pros and cons. You have a vision and can’t see around it.

It’s important we think for ourselves and question what we don’t know or understand. We should all be allowed and encouraged to do our own research. We’re all biased whether we realize it or not; you’re not exempt.

Why weren’t taxpayers allowed to vote on whether we want our money spent on researching this project? How many experts against this type of facility are you listening to? Are you taking advice from both sides or just the side you want to hear from? Many “experts” have been proven wrong.

Some people are for the project, but you’ll find many who are either against it or know very little about it.

You say steam from the EFW facility could be used to heat the hospital. How? What infrastructure would be needed to get the steam from Litchfield to Shawville?

How are you so sure this is what we need? Why does it have to be on such a grand scale? Why don’t we learn how to take care of our own garbage before we claim to know how to take care of outside garbage? Are you sure there isn’t something better? Something that will produce more jobs?

Currently, with the lack of information, I don’t think an EFW facility is what we need. The projected 50 jobs aren’t worth the possible cost. The “800 jobs through construction” would be wonderful but seems unlikely considering it’s rare that anything promised is delivered to the right people when the government is involved. We’ll likely be told we don’t have the “experts” to build it.

The Friends of the Pontiac petition is an opportunity for residents to voice disapproval. What other chances have the taxpayers been given to have their opinions heard?

We should all be allowed, and expected, to form opinions of our own instead of just parroting others. The more knowledge we have, the better able we are to form reasonable opinions. I hope you’d prefer a project going through after a majority had a chance to discuss openly and respectfully the pros and cons. Some opinions may be wrong, but you shouldn’t shut out opposing views, some may have knowledge you should be listening to.

Don’t bully us into this project!

What if you’re wrong?

Bonnie Tubman-Zimmerling
SHAWVILLE