Abbotsford mayor should show some backbone

I don’t know what infuriates me more: Metro’s determination to build toxin-spewing garbage incinerators despite the fact that Valley residents are already choking on Vancouver’s smog, or Mayor George Peary’s consistently timorous and ingratiating “now let’s be civil y’all” attitude.

I don’t know what infuriates me more: Metro’s determination to build toxin-spewing garbage incinerators despite the fact that Valley residents are already choking on Vancouver’s smog, or Mayor George Peary’s consistently timorous and ingratiating “now let’s be civil y’all” attitude.

Or, the Liberal government  hypocritically allowing veterinarian-turned-Environment Minister Terry Lake to green light this project, despite making a commitment to the residents of the Fraser Valley to help us improve our air quality.

A recent study showed that 57 per cent of the pollutants in the Valley are blown in from Vancouver. We live in one of the most fragile airsheds in the world. Metro’s own expert, Prof. Douw Steyn, a UBC scientist and air pollution meteorologist, has claimed it would be “a scandalously stupid thing for Metro Vancouver politicians to even consider building incinerators in this airshed.” He went on to say that “Garbage is not a fuel and to say it is a green energy source is stretching credibility to breaking. If you incinerate anything you end up treating the atmosphere like a sewer.” Not surprisingly, Metro Vancouver has since cut off funding supporting for his team’s research into ozone levels in the Valley.

Metro routinely fluffs off research that points towards the dangers of burning garbage in this airshed, choosing instead to compare us to cities in Europe that have this technology – areas that are very different topographically from us.

My message to Mayor George Peary is: Get a backbone. Stating that your “personal preference would be not to have incinerators… but that the dialogue should remain civil” is miserably inadequate. You were elected to champion what’s best for the residents of Abbotsford, a job that you’re clearly not up to.

Karen Bachar