Opinion

Today’s letters: LRT and the hospital; the flag at half-mast

Thursday, Oct. 14: You can write to us too, at [email protected]

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Which will proceed more smoothly: LRT or hospital?

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Will the city mayor and council assure the local citizens that construction of the multi-billion-dollar Civic hospital campus will run as smoothly as the fabulous LRT system they are responsible for?

Leonard Huffman, Ottawa

Leave the flag where it is, for Indigenous children

Re: Letter, Please work to get the flag raised, Oct. 8.

I’m sorry, letter-writer, for your disappointment. My heart bleeds for how your wellbeing is affected by having the flag where it is today.

The children who were pulled out of their parents’ arms by RCMP and Indian agents and taken to residential schools against their will and the will of their parents all deserve to have at least one day of the flag at half-mast for each of them. The flag where it sits will maybe make Canadians realize just how many children never made it home. They have not been on the minds of many mainstream Canadians who seem to have been surprised by the discoveries of children’s bodies on residential school sites.

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Did you, letter-writer, fly a flag at your home on Canada Day? Did you stop on Sept. 30 to reflect on what happened to little children and how you would feel if your grandkids went to school and didn’t come back home? I suspect not.

It has been only 134 days since May 27, when the remains of 215 children, some as young as three, were discovered in Kamloops. Flag- lowered is a small price to recognize the the loss of these children’s lives. No one is being punished for the crimes against those children. The least we can do is remember.

Barbara Dumont-Hill, Ottawa

Keep heavy industry out of residential neighbourhoods

Re: Letter, Cement plant will spew greenhouse gases, Oct. 12 .

Residents of L’Orignal are right to be concerned about the pollution once a new cement plant is built. In Ottawa, there is a quarry and cement plant operating next to a large soccer facility and high school in Blackburn Hamlet. There is an asphalt plant on the same site operated by Coco Paving. In total, there are three industrial processes and hundreds of diesel trucks coming and going, each compounding the pollution in that residential area. You can regularly see a cloud of smoke making its way towards the École secondaire publique Louis-Riel and the adjacent neighbourhood. In Blackburn Hamlet, I suspect each industrial process is subject to an independent regulatory process, not factoring in the total impact on air quality of all the pollution generated on or near the site.

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I inquired about air quality monitoring in the area. There is apparently none available. The Ontario government has one ambient air quality monitoring station for Ottawa on Wurtemburg Street, while it has more than a dozen such stations monitoring air quality in the GTA. There is no air quality monitoring station anywhere close to L’Orignal.

In the end, citizens are on their own, lacking proper information to protect themselves and their families. Heavy industries should not be operating in residential neighbourhoods. This should be fairly obvious, as in the need for ongoing air quality data monitoring to protect citizens who are unfortunate enough to live next to such sites.

Stéphane Audet
Ottawa

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