The Sandy Pond Alliance to Protect Canadian Water (mostly based in St. John’s NL, and which includes many members of the local chapter) held an outdoor press conference this morning (World Water Day) at the Fluvarium in St. John’s. You can see a picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/councilofcanadians/ (along with many others from WWD) – you can see a lake in the background (Long Pond) and the Fluvarium off to the right.
According to Ken Kavanagh, chair of the St. John’s Chapter and a Director of the Alliance said, “… the Sandy Pond Alliance has had a very successful ‘coming out’ event this morning. Our press conference to announce our intention to initiate a court challenge went well… More importantly, it brings public attention to this important issue and gives a glimmer of hope to the goal of saving Sandy Pond…”
Coverage has been great so far, regardless of it being a busy news day in St. John’s with the opening of the House of Assembly, an Oxfam event, etc.
To hear the local radio coverage on VOCM, click here: http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?mn=2&id=5094&latest=1 (the text from this piece is included below).
CBC Radio 1 has picked up the story, as well as the local paper in the Long Harbour community, the Charter (based in Placentia): http://www.thecharter.ca/index.cfm?sid=333590&sc=312&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
The Navigator (‘The Voice of the Marine Industry’ in Atlantic Canada and the Northeastern US) has an article here: http://www.thenavigatormagazine.com/news/view.asp?ID=336
The major NL paper, The Telegram, was also present at the press conference. The journalist reportedly asked lots of questions and took lots of photos, so we are anticipating some good coverage in this tomorrow: http://www.thetelegram.com/ (hopefully everyone will be able to see the article as some are only available to those who subscribe!). the-telegram-piece-on-sandy-pond-wwd-23march2010
A copy of the release, and the letter sent to residents (which was mailed last Friday, 19March), and a backgrounder on the Sandy Pond Alliance were all available at the press conference, and can now be found on the Council of Canadians website under the Tailings Impoundment Areas section of the Water campaign at: http://canadians.org/water/issues/TIAs/sandy-pond.html
So what’s next? The Alliance plans to release the details of the intent to file a legal challenge shortly, with Owen Myers, a local lawyer, present to discuss the details.
A great job done by all!! And nice to see so many chapter activists out too. Cheers and Happy World Water Day!
Atlantic Regional Organizer | Organizatrice régionale – Région Atlantique
The Council of Canadians | Le Conseil des Canadiens
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Ph: (902) 422.7811 | 1.877.772.7811
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As aired on VOCM during their regular news broadcast at least once every hour:
“A newly formed group of concerned citizens is launching an effort to prevent Sandy Pond near Long Harbour from being used as a tailings collection site for the nickel processing plant. The Sandy Pond Alliance today announced they are going to take legal action against what they term a loophole in the Fisheries Act that allows Vale Inco to use Sandy Pond as a tailings site. The company has both federal and provincial approval. The Alliance’s Fred Windsor, says it’s a destruction of the watershed at a time the earth’s resources are diminishing. The group has sent letters to Long Harbour and Mt. Arlington Heights residents expressing their concerns. The Alliance says more information will come next week. The Sandy Pond Alliance includes the Natural History Society, Mining Watch Canada, the Council of Canadians, the Sierra Club and Sandy Pond area residents.”