10 Apr A federal history of Sydney, NS: sanitized, pasteurized, and false
I generally refrain from commenting on developments in the Sydney Tar Ponds project, because I know better than most the PR minefield faced by those charged with getting the job done.
Nevertheless, the Government of Canada has just released a short video that sanitizes the history of the cleanup in a manner so patronizing and false, it demands comment.
Here’s an excerpt from the video’s smarmy narration:
In the years and decades that followed, Sydney would see good times, and it would see hard times. But the resilience of its people would never falter. Faced with the environmental legacy of a century of steelmaking, the people of Sydney persevered. Their grit and determination resulted in the largest cleanup project in Canadian history to date.
Anyone even passingly familiar with the destructive process that hobbled cleanup decisions knows how dishonest this account is—especially coming from the Government of Canada, whose foot-dragging and pandering to irresponsible elements rendered the process nearly interminable.
One can easily imagine the battalions of craven bureaucrats who vetted and re-vetted this text with an eye to excising anything that might give offense, oblivious to the reality that the unwillingness to offend was the greatest offense of all.
I won’t sully the pages of Contrarian by embedding the video here, but the morbidly curious can find it here.