LETTERS: Time for citizens to stand up for themselves on ties

With the May 9 provincial election fast approaching, political candidates of all stripes are eager for our support.

Editor:

With the May 9 provincial election fast approaching, political candidates of all stripes are eager for our support.

As a citizen of Williams Lake my primary concern this election is to prevent our community from becoming the rail tie burning capital of western Canada.

I’m sure the rest of British Columbia and western Canada would only be too glad for Williams Lake to take a hit for the team — to take on the role of ridding the landscape of an overabundance of old railway ties.

To me this is wrong-headed thinking.

Williams Lake is located in a topographic bowl subject to frequent temperature inversions which would trap the toxic smoke and dust and magnify its concentrations.

Atlantic Power Corporation’s Williams Lake energy plant was built to consume clean wood waste from sawmills, not toxic material hauled into the community from across the country.

It is the wrong geographic location too close to 20,000 people who live and work in Williams Lake Valley to import and safely consume up to 300,000 tonnes of toxic material (or 4 million rail ties) per year.

It’s up to the citizens of Williams Lake to stand up for themselves. Nobody else is going to do it for us.

I’m looking for a political candidate willing to take a strong position on this issue.

A group of concerned citizens known as Rail Ties Be Wise is leading the opposition to the rail tie burning proposal. Over the past year they have circulated a petition, and so far have collected over 1,300 signatures of people from across the political spectrum.

They have also hired lawyers to appeal the decision to allow rail tie burning.

This is a strong voice standing up for the best interest of our community, and we urge candidates to take heed.

Many of us feel we are being railroaded into become a toxic wasteland and this is unacceptable.

We need political leadership that will put the health and wellbeing of Williams Lake ahead of corporate profit.

Sage Birchwater

Williams Lake

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