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.
Town of Shelburne councillor Rick Davis says African Nova Scotian residents worried about pollution from a town dump need to stop playing the race card. That dump was a good thing for Black residents, he suggests, “after all, “the reality is, that many black people relied on that dump for a living, because they, unlike many others I suppose, were the only ones that would deal with the removal of town trash.”
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.
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.