Time to act, not do more studies

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One would think that our provincial government, in these times of slowdown in the treasury’s revenue sources, i.e. oil, iron ore, nickel, etc., that they would be anxious to get other economic engines started.

Take, for example, Husky Energy wanting to develop a facility in Argentia, a brown-field site — no, a dark-brown-field site if there ever was one. Ripe for development, anxious for development, studied to death by all levels of government, remediated by the federal government at a cost of $130 million plus — but no, there are those in the Confusion Building (who are not laid off but probably should be, for our sakes) who overvalue a small body of water just south of the former Argentia airfield call “The Pond.”

Now, in 1942 when American armed forces personnel wanted to dump or get rid of something, guess where they put it — in The Pond. Fuel, old tires, even a vehicle or two or three have been known to be deposited there, and so it has been for 60 years.

As this old fella would say, everything from a nail to an anchor has gone into The Pond. Surprisingly, it is not filled.

There is a rumour that Jimmy Hoffa is stored there. It is so bad that the gulls will not pitch there. Just the other day a chap told me that he threw a beach rock into it and it floated for a while and then disintegrated. Enough, says you, but you get the picture of The Pond. By the way, the federal government was going to backfill it but deemed it too expensive.

Now, along comes Husky, who wants to build a facility that would bring prosperity to this end of the Avalon, outside the sacred overpass and metro city. The facility will require a huge excavation and a good dumping site would be the old American dumping ground, The Pond. The rubber-boot gang says no, not until it is studied and studied and studied.

Now there are other uses, says the old gang of them (not mine). The location provides salt-bearing soil, being next to the ocean you see, and it could be stored on the old Argentia runway, dried and used by whomever to spread on the highways instead of salt and sand. You know now they are not thinking, using the old noggin to avoid layoff. Another use for this fill would be to store it and municipalities that need fill across the island to backfill their closed dump sites would come and truck it away free of charge, but who will be responsible for the haulage fees? Not mentioned. Now, one would wonder whether this crowd is in Environment or the new Department of Innovation. Do not lay them off; lock them up, before they harm themselves.

This is all a lot of foolishness. Well, you are right, folks; that is just what is obstructing development in Argentia — a lot of foolishness!

William P. Hogan

Mayor of Placentia

Organizations: Husky Energy, Department of Innovation

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Recent comments

  • Christopher Chafe
    April 28, 2013 - 11:27

    Well Said Mayor of Placentia..........Well Said!!!!!

  • Ed Power
    April 28, 2013 - 10:33

    So, if I understand Mr. Hogan correctly, his plan for economic development is a dump? Wasn't he in government when the "brainstorm" of the day was the construction of an incinerator to burn imported US garbage? And isn't Placentia already the home of the Eastern Newfoundland Tire Dump? Why is it that some people's idea of economic development involves new or further destruction of the environment? Perhaps it is time for Mayor Hogan to "Think Outside the Box" - or in this case, dump - when creating his business development plans.....

  • Carbonear Girl
    April 27, 2013 - 18:03

    Wow, great article! And great style of writing. You've really put this into perspective for me; you've opened my eyes to something I've apparently been blind to. What the heck is wrong with this government???

  • crista
    April 27, 2013 - 15:51

    what is over ruling COMMON SENSE???? why is it the ones that are put there to make these decisions???? have got to be told about the damages that are being done and were done???? why is it they have to keep being told???? is it they do not like to be told???? or is they are not being told???? what ever the reasons of it has got to stop or how is going to get better if you let every thing get polluted with every thing that has been polluted????

  • Jay
    April 27, 2013 - 14:21

    David, you're right . The only reason we can pretend this is a pristine place is because of the small population and large land mass. Bill, there's a major credibility gap here. Aren't you the one holding up completion of the bridge in Placentia because of petty, small time, municipal politics. Maybe if you'd done something when you were a Cabinet Minister, you wouldn't have been booted out. The only "acting" voters saw from you was a comedy routine.

  • david
    April 27, 2013 - 12:19

    If you think your examples are effed up, don't pay any attention to the tea leaves in Corner Brook.....that place is one missed mill payday away from being a ghost town, yet the local Suzuki-ists are busy manipulating and brainwashing people and putting up roadblocks to any initiative other than those that emit 100% "anti-bullying hemp vapour" into the atmosphere. Message to the brain-undead: this place was raped and denuded and polluted ----- with EVERYONE'S tacit permission ---- decades ago. Yes, it is sad. Yes, it is shameful. But it is reality, and pretending this place is a pristine, untouched island is just pathetically stupid. Of course, generations of government cheques can do that.