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Don’t hurry this one

Letter to the editor on the air quality in the Bulkley Valley

When David Suzuki spoke here two weeks ago he made the point that having good air to breathe is the most important thing in our lives.  He eloquently explained that once we have the basics like good air, water and food, we can then (and only then) pay attention to other things such as making money.

The BC Lung Association’s Annual Report released last week listed our wonderful neighbor, Telkwa as having the second worst air quality in the Province. Smithers is also on the list as not meeting the provincial target for acceptable air quality.

This information is not intended to be negative, but rather to help the powers that be to recognize that we have a problem that needs to be dealt with.

Adding more toxins into our air is not an intelligent thing to do. A presentation made to Town council last Tuesday briefly outlined the specific problem we have and requested our mayor and council to gather the data necessary to make a decision on whether or not to support a new industry that will add toxins to air that is already unhealthy.

From the questions asked by the Mayor and council, I sense an element of support for the proposed new plant. It’s quite possible that this is about the receipt of tax dollars (in arrears from the company, by the way). It always seems to boil down to money first.

If we’re concerned about money we should also be considering the cost of health care (not to mention the personal suffering) for those people we know are being affected by breathing toxic air and also the fact that making our town a nice place to live will attract the economic growth the Mayor and council is seeking.

Let’s not be in a hurry about this one.

With respectful concern,


Jim Senka