If you drive south and west from Calgary you will see the most spectacular scenery. Turner Valley is a small town in the foothills that lives off the Sheep River. The primary activities in the area are Oil & Gas, Ranching, and Forestry. The picture above is nothing like what the Sheep river looks like now. For the past week Southern Alberta has been pounded by heavy rainstorms causing swollen rivers and flooding. There is now an emerging story about what could prove to be an environmental catastrophe.
The abandoned Turner Valley Gas Plant is owned by the Province and sits on the shore of the Sheep River. The flooding eroded the shore and caused contaminated soil to wash into the river. The soil contains hydrocarbons and heavy metals that have now contaminated the watershed. The town had been trying for some time to get the Province to clean up the site. There was probably no profit motive in doing so. They could not find a Tory friendly company to give a sweetheart deal to. And they also could not pry the money out of their five billion dollar surplus. How much money could it cost to build a retaining wall facing the river? It is not like they have not had high waters here before. It was an accident waiting to happen.
The Province was fairly quick to send their no-name spokesman out to deny that there is a problem. The town is convinced that this is a major concern which prompts the no-name spokesman to refer to them as fearmongers. (Which shows you how elitist and out of touch this Government has become.) No sight of the Environment minister so far. I expect any moment now that the Government will announce that the science around heavy metal toxicity in water is questionable. It is a liberal conspiracy like Global Warming. They have never had a good relationship with science.
Besides, the Tories are very busy right now and should'nt be interupted with mere poisoning. They are planning more tax cuts and continue to work on the public health care plan which has been 12 years in the making. And then there is the ongoing war against homosexuality which I imagine is quite draining. A few years from now when Cancer and Liver problems start showing up in these communities, the Government will deny that it relates. Here's another tax cut, stop yipping about your Liver. You're just a fearmonger.
These days I keep wondering how many more ways this Government will find to screw people. They have never been a Government for the people and never will be. Please recommend this post
Monday, June 13, 2005
Sheep River Disaster
Posted by Robert McBean. at 12:10 AM