Dear Editor,

Regarding the editorial on organizations which no longer exist and the need for volunteers to ‘fill the gap’.

Just as there was need for the Public Institutions Inspection Panel until it was foolishly terminated by a hear-no-evil government, so too, is there pressing need for rigorous and frequent inspection of long-term care and retirement residences. The failure to do so is unforgivable in light of what happened, and is still happening, with the onslaught of COVID.

The extinction of the citizen-driven Pollution Watch is similarly short-sighted and leaves one wondering whose interests were being served by its dissolution – corporate elites or those of the people. We will soon see just how vital this public service was, and is, as we enter the environmental darkness of a cement plant.

The idea of citizens being empaneled to serve on inspection panels to protect our common-wealth is as valid as requiring citizens to voluntarily serve jury duty in court cases.

Having been betrayed and failed by the United Counties and LPAT, perhaps the time has come to form our own Pollution Watch to protect us from corporations more interested in the bottom line than in our lives.

Sincerely,

Ian Hepburn