Sir: The recent article on the mysterious plastic pellets showing up on the shores of Lake Huron provides a mere glimpse into the environmental concerns facing local municipalities. While this is indeed an issue that calls for further investigation, the story focuses on “upstream” concerns, with little regard for the everyday realities of communities who live downstream. In fact, the article states that the plastic pellets “could” be caused by the downstream Chemical Valley.
While the source and content of these mysterious pellets remains unknown, living
with these kinds of fears about the unknown is an everyday reality facing the Chemical Valley’s closest neighbours -The Aamjiwnaang First Nation.
The article states that the “Chemical Valley is around Sarnia.” In fact, it surrounds this First Nations reserve.
Too often, the media focuses its gaze north, without engaging in the tougher questions about effects of plastic production on marginalized communities. Pollutants may be hitting the beach, but for those of us living beside chemical plants, pollutants hit us, and our bodies, every day.
– Mckay Swanson Chair of the Young People’s Council Within Aamjiwnaang and Green Teens Visual Designer
– Sarah Wiebe Collaborative Research Partner and PhD Student, Ottawa University