To the editor:

Mr. Walsh’s November 25th “Reality Check” Letter to the Editor does not speak to reality. It simply speaks to his version of reality. And since the best definition of reality that I have yet to come upon is that “reality is selected illusion”, it’s hard for me to stray from recognizing his entitled right to express what is his well known “opinion” or “selected illusion” as to the establishment of a cement plant in his community.

What saddens me most about his version of reality is how quick he is to attack others who do not agree with his version. He should try to keep in mind that opinions are a dime a dozen and that all are entitled to theirs as well.

He opens his letter with a broad sweeping attack on the intelligence of all in the Champlain Township who disagree with him. Specifically, it is his contention that they are under “the illusion that this area (Champlain Township) of the world is protected by some mysterious dome.” He similarly closes his article by attributing the community’s rejection of a cement plant as little more than “the pronounced negativity within this community.”

Between his opening and closing statements, Mr. Walsh chooses to attack a certain Mrs. Meagher, a certain Mr. Despins, Action Champlain, the Champlain Township municipal government, the Mayor of Hawkesbury and the federal government.

He very cavalierly advances that those who do not wish to see the cement plant in their community would somehow prefer see it in other countries where “the regulations relating to pollutants are less stringent or non-existent than here in Canada”.

If Mr. Walsh wishes to impress readers with his assumed knowledge of the community’s ignorance in their (assumed) “failure to recognize that global jet streams carry those pollutants here today and every day’, he should maybe also explain why he chooses to not inform them of the IPCC’s Report as to what must be done across the globe – and at the community level – over the course of this decade to mitigate the very real existential threats posed by climate change.

Rather than seek to see the township’s community worry about the fact the plant might choose to open in China or India, Mr. Walsh should, in my opinion, get behind the very clearly expressed will of the people of his community to do what they can, here on their home turf, where their collectively expressed voices should carry some weight as to what happens in their backyard.

Concerns re: this rural community’s migration of its youth to cities is a concern, as it is across the country and indeed across the world.

To chastise them for their environmental concerns and worries re: the planet we are leaving them, and for following leaders such as Greta Thunberg is a very sad statement. We should respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you but they are the future and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today. It is not ours to clip their wings but to be the wind below their wings.

Respecting one’s community choices may not be everyone’s cup of tea but they must be respected or we can simply let Big Brother call all the shots, shut up and be grateful for the gruel in our bowls.

Gary Champagne, Ottawa