How the federal government deals with the Manolis L. cleanup effort should open the eyes of every single resident in our province and indeed the whole Gulf of St. Lawrence population. Residents of the affected area and communities on the northeast coast have witnessed the environmental damage that has been done by the leaking oil.
Concerned residents have spoken, and continue to speak out for a permanent solution to this brewing environmental disaster. Yet it is falling on deaf ears. Why? Admittedly, it is the monetary cost.
Our coastal and marine environment, which is under the jurisdiction of the federal government and the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, is supposed to be protected by them. Quite clearly, as is the case with the Manolis L., protection comes as superficial band-aid cover up, not a genuine, safe and permanent cleanup. On behalf of this cleanup effort, we, as Newfoundlanders, must rally our support with letters and petitions to federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq. It is our moral duty to “stand on guard for thee.”
The thing we all must pay close attention to is the negligence our federal government has demonstrated to the request by concerned residents to clean up and safely remove the oil. Oil and gas development on the west coast is a huge concern for the entire gulf as well.
We are witnessing how much the federal government cares about the Manolis L. cleanup effort. This gives a very clear indication how much it would care about potential spills and accidents anywhere in the gulf.
Please, be vigilant and alert. Speak out. This is our island, our home and if we do not care enough to be its stewards, we can be assured that those in positions of control will not.
Other than reaping the economic benefits of any oil and gas under our coastlines and coastal waters, the benefactors of this resource will not be our province’s caretakers. We can only rely on ourselves and our united voice to make sure our province is kept safe. God help us if we don't.
I have sent my letter and shared the Manolis L. petition with other concerned people in my area. I hope everyone throughout the province will join the effort.
I hope before too long there is a change of heart and that the oil in the Manolis L. gets pumped out. Our environment, our people, our health, our marine and coastal wildlife, our fishery and tourism and our sense of well being deserve better care.