Lots of letters slamming Cannon today. It looks as though he's going to get caught in an already activist community. This particular letter caught my eye:
To unseat Cannon and Harper, I believe that progressive (Green and NDP) voters must unite in their support for Cindy Duncan McMillan, regardless of how unpalatable “strategic voting” may be. Don’t forget that Liberal voters and organizers in Edmonton-Strathcona did the exact same thing to avoid vote-splitting and assist Linda Duncan (current NDP environment critic) in 2008. Unless we stand up, knock on doors, and get out the vote, how can we possibly expect to reclaim our river?
Perhaps M. Roussel should do his homework, come to a council meeting, and realize that these "so called activists" represent in fact a wide range of experts, PhDs in wastewater engineering, riverkeepers, farmers and francophones who are quickly becoming very interested in flow rates and phosphorous levels.
And that not everything you read in the papers is the whole picture.
They were protesting based the idea that the septic system would not meet federal standards and that isn't true. In fact it would go beyond federal standards including any new standards that would come in to effect in the next year or so. Quote.
“That is not the case at all,” said Wakefield resident Meredith Brown, the Ottawa Riverkeeper. “The (MRC) is striving to meet federal standards.”
According to Brown, the new federal regulations regarding wastewater management, which will require that all wastewater systems be brought up to secondary treatment, are still only proposals and may not even come through. She said the current proposed system for La Peche actually goes beyond secondary treatment and includes a third or “tertiary treatment.”
If the LowDown is printing miss information then we need to take that up with Nikki.
Ultimately my point was not about waste management and more to do with who needs to be reached/swayed in an effort to dethrone Cannon and it's not Wakefielders who represent a very small part of the Pontiac riding.
Most Green and NDP voters are in the MRC des Collines however, and these voters can be reached more easily by us. It only takes a small shift in these voters intentions to make the difference. Even 500 strategic voters could do it believe it or not. For example, bringing flyers to this protest on April 21, enough for everyone there, could be a really good start. I'll print them...
I'm still waiting on a decision for Catch 22 to support Cindy. I'm not sure what the hold up is. If I don't hear anything soon I'm just going ahead.
The people I stand beside at rallies and council meetings are not protesting about meeting federal standards. The new federal standards are an improvement for sure, but they merely create a much-needed baseline to bring everyone up to national standards.
The issue regarding the MRC septic treatment plant is much more complicated than that, and my open letter to Cannon only addresses part of it:
We are asking to go back to the drawing board and consider other options. Federal standards will not protect the Gatineau River.
The LowDown is not printing misinformation, but like any news article, it only shows one angle of the picture, and it places quotes in a way that justifies its content. If you read further into the article, the same Riverkeeper does point out that "It’s an age old concept to think of our rivers as sewers,” and “Essentially, you can manage it better through the ground.”
If you want more information about the issue, check out: http://www.savethegatineau.com/ and the first link in the left-hand nav to the EcoLapeche Blog - there is a recent update there about questions posed at an all-candidates debate in Campbell's Bay last night.
But you are right about who needs to be swayed in an effort to dethrone Cannon...I'm guessing those that voted Conservative in our riding last election will do so again. As for getting Wakefield NDP'ers to vote strategically for Cindy, I know for a fact that some are going to do just that :-)
I hesitate to comment on the septic controversy. I know that the Collines is without a deal to process sewage right now and that the potential costs of that have mayors and councils in fear. I don't think decisions have yet been made (my understanding) so there is always room for improvement of course. Being a strategic kinda guy, I see this as a wedge issue in the riding. I don't see Cannon answering a single question about this and I would like to be able to attend the April 21st rally with a relevant message for those who believe the Feds have a role in this debate.
Hey Brendan, How's it going?
Cindy's the only candidate to take a position on the septic plant issue by pledging to do whatever she can to protect the health of the river. The septic issue is big in Chelsea and Wakefield which happened to be an NDP stronghold in the last election. I don't normally vote Liberal but in this case I think it would be a spectacular upset if the NDP and Green voters united by voting Liberal to oust Cannon. My friend Claire, has spoken to Cindy who is happy to link her campaign with the save the river campaign. We are printing up stickers saying: "For the River" which she has agreed for us to place on her campaign signs that go on lawns. We are bringing a bunch of these signs to the rally on thursday for anyone who wants one. You can also contact me to get one.
By the way, the population of Wakefield and Chelsea is about 15 000 which is almost 17% of the population of the Pontiac riding. Add in Cantley at 8 000 and you have over 25% of the population. Considering that Cannon won by less than 4000 in the last election, those three communities represent a huge potential to swing the vote. Needless to say, getting people out to vote on election day could also have a huge impact.
I will be voting Liberal as well, which means I will now have voted for every party in the last 14 years! It makes sense, she's the clear second at the moment and I hope that the septic issue gives her the platform to convince others to do the same. I may see you on the 21st.