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Letters to the Editor: January 12, 2011

Salute to staff I am writing this letter to salute the staff members of BC Ferry Corporation who recently went out of their way this holiday to move passengers between Little River and Powell River terminals [“Holiday holdups,” December 29, 2010].

Salute to staff

I am writing this letter to salute the staff members of BC Ferry Corporation who recently went out of their way this holiday to move passengers between Little River and Powell River terminals [“Holiday holdups,” December 29, 2010]. With the weather conditions the way they were, I was pleased they put the second ferry on Christmas Eve at 11:30 pm. They finished their final shift at 2:30 am on Christmas morning and were back to get the 10:10 am ferry to Powell River the same day. They need to be commended as they aren’t often given roses. I want to acknowledge them for what they were able to do for everyone who was stranded during the holiday season.

Roy Stover

Glacier Street

Cadmium in shellfish

I am pleased to see the increasing public awareness of cadmium contamination in food products and its relationship to disease in humans [“High levels of cadmium found in area oysters,” December 29, 2010].

We all accumulate cadmium, a known carcinogen, from many sources that we cannot control.

Governments, both federally and provincially, are in the position of promoting shellfish aquaculture for economic benefits, while ignoring well documented evidence of unacceptable levels of cadmium contamination in the resulting food products.

The federal government is in the process of developing standards for acceptable levels of contamination. Public pressure must be brought to bear to force human health to take precedence over profit in the establishment of these standards.

There should be routine testing of shellfish products for cadmium contamination and if necessary relocation of shellfish farms currently sited in areas of known toxicity.

Vern Kemp MD

Nanaimo, BC

Opportunistic, delusional

After reading the article [“Simons runs for leader,” January 5] on Nicholas Simons’ bid for the leadership of the provincial NDP (New Democratic Party), I feel I must comment. I have been a supporter and member of the party for over 40 years and while I lived in Powell River I was an executive member of the Powell River-Sunshine Coast BC NDP Constituency Association and of the Provincial Council. I worked as a volunteer in every federal, provincial and municipal election.

I find it disturbing that a Judas, who has been an ineffectual MLA and considered a lightweight by the party, would now think he can lead a party that he tried to tear apart as a member of a pack of dissidents who disregarded all party protocol and tradition.

In his letter announcing his bid for the leadership he states, “I’ve decided it would be good for the party, and for me, to enter the leadership race.” It truly shows how opportunistic and delusional he is, and out of touch with the feelings of the majority of members.

I assume he believes “it would be good” for him so that he can raise his profile and pretend he has some leadership abilities. Maybe before he does that he should reflect on whether his previous actions were “good for the party.”

I would hope that any “former MLAs and community leaders” that he refers to in his letter are few and will soon see the error in hitching their wagon to his “dim star.”

He further states, “The final result in April will be one that reflects unity, strength and cohesiveness—I have no doubt about that.”

If his speaking abilities are anything like his writing abilities (as evidenced by his letter) then I suppose we will not have any concerns about him being a dynamic candidate.

I truly believe that he is disingenuous in his actions and I will use any influence and resources I can muster to ensure that he does not get elected as leader of the provincial NDP or, in fact, receive the nomination for the NDP for Powell River-Sunshine Coast in the next election.

Chris Merrick

Coquitlam, BC

Cadmium effects unfounded

BC Shellfish Growers Association stands 100 per cent behind the shellfish products that are sustainably raised on BC’s vast shorelines [“High levels of cadmium found in area oysters,” December 29, 2010]. Cadmium is a naturally occurring substance found in everything from vegetables to the air we breathe. To attribute any adverse health effects from cadmium absorption to shellfish consumption is unfounded. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, specifically done on the consumption of BC oysters, states that there is no direct link between BC oyster consumption and increased levels of cadmium in the body.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, through vigorous testing regimes, has confirmed there is no scientific evidence linking adverse health effects to naturally occurring cadmium found in shellfish. In fact, it recently revisited this issue in the spring of 2010 and, with this up-to-date data, recommended that no changes be made to Health Canada’s consumption guidelines. We are confident our farmers produce a secure and nutritious food product that is naturally grown in our coastal waters. People have been eating farmed shellfish from BC for over a hundred years and there has never been one direct link to adverse health effects documented, including in this current research from Simon Fraser University.

Matthew Wright

Assistant Executive Director

BC Shellfish Growers Association

Complex wish list

Residents have offered ideas for the “logged land” near the Powell River Recreation Complex: a bike park, adult recreational activities, basketball and expanding the parking lot [“Residents suggest logged land uses,” December 29, 2010]. Good ideas, but new ones. There is another on the “wish list” that has been there for a very long time—a new library and now a new museum.

Our complex is a great asset to all, in a wonderful setting. By adding these two ideas a very attractive compound would be achieved, still leaving land for other uses.

It is time for the people in office to listen to the people of Powell River. We want the park that has replaced the old Willingdon arena site left as it is now. We have already lost a school, Gordon Park track, Timberlane Park. Not a good record.

Now is the time for City of Powell River council to do what is right and follow the popular recommendation. Leave the small waterfront park with a million-dollar view alone. Use the complex land already semi-cleared for what is needed—a new library and museum.

Sid Allman Sr.

Marine Avenue