It looks like the Town of Shelburne is not interested in the generous offer by filmmaker and actress Ellen Page to pay for a much-needed public well for the Black community in town. But the town’s legacy of environmental racism calls for reparations, and that well would be a great start.
Congrats to Louise Delisle and the South End Environmental Injustice Society (SEED)! I learned a lot about activism and rural Nova Scotia from listening to them. We posted this same news release yesterday, but with a photo that is no longer current. We are reposting with a current photo of Louise and her fellow SEED members, with apologies.
While municipalities reliably test the quality of water delivered through the utilities they manage, rural residents who rely on wells are on their own, reports new contributor Fazeela Jiwa. Now a new organization, Rural Water Watch Association (RWW), will respond to rural community members’ calls to test their water quality, addressing concerns about living close to toxic sites like landfills or incinerators.
While members of the Black community in the Town of Shelburne are facing racist comments by a local councillor, people elsewhere in the province are not standing idly by. “Racism is like a sore, and in order to heal it got to hurt first, I guess. You feel like you don’t have a voice, and you’re feeling isolated within that sickness,” Louise Delisle told the NS Advocate.
Shelburne activist Louise Delisle says Shelburne councillor Rick Davis should issue a real and public apology to the entire Black community in town, not just post some weasel words and a lot of self pity on her personal Facebook page. Meanwhile people elsewhere are speaking out in her support and other activities are being planned.
This morning at the launch of the Environmental Bill of Rights Louise Delisle, a resident of the Black community within the Town of Shelburne, spoke about the damage done by pollution from the town dump placed right in the middle of the community. With her permission we publish that speech here.
“We were not allowed to speak. They would never speak for fear of repercussions, not being able to care for their families if they spoke up because they would lose their job.”
A proposed Environmental Bill of Rights for Nova Scotia is designed to empower communities and stop stonewalling by polluters and governments.
A former member of the Dr. Ingrid Waldron’s Enrich project talks about growing up poor, becoming aware of white privilege, and the need to fight alongside communities in Nova Scotia who face environmental racism, all in the plainest of language.
How does environmental racism manifest in Nova Scotia? How do you establish a direct link between health issues in a community and the landfill down the road? We speak with Dr. Ingrid Waldron of the ENRICH project. and meet with two scientists who looked at water quality issues in Lincolnville, an African Nova Scotian community situated near a large landfill.
Residents of the South End, a black community within the Town of Shelburne, fear for their health because a nearby landfill has been allowed to operate without many constraints for most of its 75-year existence. The Town isn’t really listening to their concerns, they say.