Just because something is lawful does not make it OK

Just because something is lawful does not make it OK

Re: “SRA hypocrites for passing on soil problem”

I have a few problems with Ian Kimm’s letter to the editor last Wednesday.

First, just because something is “lawful” does not make it OK. Only a fool would assume that everything their government does is wise, safe, in the best interest of the community, etc. It is the responsibility of all conscientious citizens to be aware of what is going on in their community, question dubious decisions, and hold the various parties accountable for their poor decisions.

Second, neither the SRA or the residents here are eager to dump the toxic soil in any other backyards. However, this is not a situation we chose: we did not ask to have toxic soil dumped here. That was SIA who wanted it brought here, and the CVRD and the provincial government who gave it the green light. Those are the parties who got us in this mess in the first place, so they should now have to make the next difficult decisions on what to do with the soil.

But does Mr. Kimm really blame the people of Shawnigan for not wanting toxic waste to contaminate their drinking water? If Kimm is so supportive of dumping toxic soil near communities, perhaps he should volunteer his own yard, or wherever he gets his water from. As long as it’s a “lawful” dumping situation (regardless of numerous infractions and shady backroom business deals, as was the case with SIA), I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

Assuming Kimm does not actually volunteer his yard as the new contaminated soil dump site, maybe it would be better placed somewhere that it can not leak into a community’s drinking water. I think that’s a good start.

Third, no one should even be trying to figure out where to dump this toxic waste. We should be asking why are we creating toxic waste in the first place, and putting ourselves in this situation? Anything else is shortsighted, and guaranteed to cause illness, grief, and legal gymnastics for years to come — just like what has occurred here in Shawnigan over the last 5 years.

We need to stop creating toxic waste because there is absolutely no good place to put it, period. That is the only way people can avoid repeating this kind of mistake.

David Barnes

Shawnigan Lake