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Be Not Indifferent

To The Editor,
“Be not indifferent.”
That is  the message of a survivor at yesterday’s 75th anniversary of Auschwitz Death Factory liberation.
He said it should be the eleventh commandment. He indicated that Auschwitz death camp had not come to be by simply falling from the sky. That it was the result of the silence and indifference of the many to the accumulated wrongs that came to be accepted as commonplace, as the norm, …over many years.
“Be Not Indifferent.”  These words echoed two other recently heard comments that had struck me and were also floating in my mind.
The one was that: “The true enemy of love is not hate but indifference.”
The other are the words of the woman of a married couple that had just about tried everything they could to conceive a child.
“The despair I can live with; it’s the hope that’s killing me.”
These comments in mind, I turned to a recently read Review article indicating that the cement plant appeals were moving forward, with an OMB case conference set to be held in L’Orignal on February 18th.
While my thoughts on the climate emergency before us are rather clear, my biggest concern is the sadly misheld  belief of many that our singular voice means nothing. That we cannot do anything about our climate crisis, about whether or not there will be a one of the world’s worst polluting industries “falling into our backyard from the sky”.
That is not so. You the people of this “host municipality” have made it quite clear, as has your Town Hall, that you do not want this foreign corporation setting up shop in your backyard on officially designated farmland, that others drawn in by simply financial incentives are ready to embrace all in ignoring your democratically expressed wishes.
As your ex-Mayor Gary Barton indicated, never in his years at the county government table did he see so many people present at any council meetings as he did when it came to this matter of an unwanted cement plant.
That this corner of Ontario is one of its poorest is a fact. That jobs are wanted is a fact. That people here care about the future health and well-being of the planet and their children is a given.
While pointing fingers at China and India is nice, it’s a cop-out. Believing there’s nothing you can do about what is or isn’t done elsewhere to protect our environment may be true but you do have a voice and you can make it heard. And it does make a difference, As does your presence in L’Orignal on February 18th.
Do not be  indifferent.
Take a stand and be there if you can. Be there for your community. Stand as one. You are not alone.
Gary Champagne,
Ottawa,ON

 

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