"For much of the state of Maine, the environment is the economy"
I am writing this letter as a private citizen who has lived and worked in the International Quoddy Region for most of my 66 years. Throughout this period, I, my family, and most of my friends and neighbours have made our livings from the natural resources of this uniquely rich area. I have operated businesses in St. Andrews, Deer Island, St. Stephen, Calais, and Eastport and have employed hundred of individuals through the years. During this time, Washington and Charlotte Counties have always been complimentary parts of our international community and our families, friends, and businesses transcended the border. Now things have changed.
With the arrival of the LNG promotors, our international communities, our local communities, friends, and families have become seriously divided on the issue of LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay. The tensions have risen to the point where assaults on personal property have taken place. The promotors are skilled at what they do and we are seen to be "buying in" to some of the oldest techniques around. It is true that by dividing your enemy you may indeed conquer them; particularly if the enemy is so lacking in intellect that they accept the spectacular promises being made by the LNG proponents; similar in many ways to false or misleading promises made by other developers through the years. Certainly "yankee carpetbaggers" have come north to pick our pockets once more.
What would be particularly amusing if it were not so sad, is the apparent belief that 227 votes for LNG at Robbinston and 192 for LNG at Sipayik represents the wishes of the entire International Quoddy Community. The impact of these developments will be to the entire Quoddy Region and all of the Canadian and American communities along these shore. To suggest that these 2 small communities can represent the wishes of tens of thousands of Quoddy residents is fatuous. Officials should pay close attention to the Canadian federal election coming up on January 23rd. All 4 candidates who are running in this election hope to represent New Brunswick Southwest in the Canadian Parliament and each of them has, in public, stated their personal opposition to LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay and the passage of LNG tankers through sovereign Canadian waters in Head Harbour Passage. As a consequence, every vote cast in this election will be a vote cast against LNG in Passamaquoddy Bay. Count them on January 23, 2006
Only one candidate, Greg Thompson, the encumbant Member of Parliament has promised that he, his party, his party leader, and, if the Conservatives form the next Government of Canada, his government will say no to the passage of LNG tankers through Head Harbour Passage. Stack these thousands of votes up against the 419 votes that are for LNG in Robbinston and Sipayik.
Many of us have spent a lifetime working to build the Quoddy Region on a solid sustainable foundation that utilizes the many natural gifts that we have been given. Many of us will, if necessary, spend the rest of our lives protecting this important area for future generations. Count the votes for Greg Thompson. Most of those voters will be pushing him to make an early declaration in Ottawa if his party forms the Government of Canada. If the Liberals return to power, hundreds of Charlotte County residents will be there to seek closure on this issue based on the stand of their local representative and Minister Andy Scott.
Art MacKay Bocabec, N.B.