“Montreal did its homework. Speak to the experts who will tell you very clearly that this was the only option. If the federal government wants to try to teach us a lesson, I suggest they invest millions of dollars and tell us how they will invest in the green industry. Until then, we have work to do.”—Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal
Dear Denis: You should have penciled in “oil” on the form instead of “sewage”, Mr. Mayor. Would have been green-lighted by the feds faster than you can say “pipeline-poutine” (this is the Harper Government, after all). But seriously, I’ve been agonizing over this sewage dump issue for almost two weeks: reading everything I can get my hands on, talking to everyone who knows what they’re talking about. As many of you know, The River is sacred to me. Indeed, I’ve made it quite clear that after I die, I want someone to dump my cremated remains into the Saint Lawrence (a rather comic death wish, given our current debate). Anyhow, I have a deep sense of connection to The River: love it like an old friend, truth be told. And yet I’ve come to the conclusion that Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is doing the right thing: that construction work is long overdue, and this sewage dump is unavoidable. What’s more, it probably won’t cause any long-term damage to The River. Eight billion litres sounds like a lot, but we’re not dealing with a little river like the Mississippi here; we’re dealing with the Queen of North American Rivers, the Saint Lawrence, a very big river. Anyhow, that’s why I didn’t sign that petition that was going around, much to the chagrin of my friends; and that’s why I want the feds to stop playing politics and get the hell out of my mayor’s way!
—John Faithful Hamer