Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Board Position on Power Corridor

“If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are” says the sage. As you drive east on Cole Harbour Road, there are few landmarks to distinguish this place from hundreds of others. McDonalds, car dealerships, strip malls, developments, pavement, power poles. Which way to Mississauga?


That is until you get to the top of Long Hill and suddenly there it is! The Nova Scotia we keep in our imagination is right there, all the way to Lawrencetown and beyond. Drumlins, the marsh, spruces, fields. Breathtaking! Would you be surprised to see someone cutting hay with a scythe? A yoke of oxen? A little fishing sloop beating up the harbour?


This is Nova Scotia – better than the TV ads. A 400 acre park, an entire marsh and the tireless and generous work of volunteers give us an unspoiled reminder of what makes us who we are. The view from the top of Long Hill is repeated many times in the park. We have something to show our children, new Canadians, and visitors. Most importantly, we have a place to renew ourselves, a place of wide-open expanses, a place to be in touch with nature, a place to be quiet and think.


Everything here is in balance and the details are important. When you smell the balsam, the whiff of diesel is intrusive. When you’re lost in thought, walking along the shore, the roar of an ATV is offensive.


The view is the most important thing and the easiest to spoil. One smokestack, one Golden Arch, one power line – the mood is changed forever. That’s why we need to be vigilant and cautious about every little thing. And why we oppose the surface routing of the Eastern Passage power line along Bissett Road without consideration of sight lines and the fundamental nature of the park.


Because it’s easy to do the expedient thing we have oil spills, rising sea levels, global recessions and inadequate nuclear safeguards. Corporations and governments have notoriously short time horizons. So what’s a few power poles?


They’re reminders that we take the easy path and probably the wrong path – it’s that simple. In the future, do we want our kids to have that same long view over the marsh, or do we want to remind them of the bad decisions we made at every turn?


Unanimous resolution of the board
June 20, 2011