My Country, Canada, Guilty of Human Rights Violations
By Deborah Elaine Barrie
Wed, July 30, 2008
I live in a country where your neighbors are allowed to poison you. They are allowed to steal your health and that of your family. They are allowed to contaminate your property and there is nothing you can do about it.
I remember when we bought our home how happy we were to finally offer our children some stability. To show them that we lived in a country where if you worked hard you could make your dreams come true. I had no idea how wrong I was about that. Shortly after moving into this home we became ill like so many of our neighbors around us. It took many years to discover the cause; the burning of cca treated wood and other scrap by a neighbor in a woodstove in his garage. It took many more years to learn how serious a problem this was and then more to get it stopped. Why, because I wasn’t concerned? No, because industry and government fought me every step of the way. They even tried to humiliate me into giving up.
My local hospital often refused me treatment and left me in pain or choking when I had breathed in arsine gas. Someone becoming ill from something in the environment was not considered socially acceptable. The hospital emergency even refused to carry out written instructions from two neurologists even after thousands of dollars and many tests were performed to find out how to treat me best. They once even went as far as to call a neighboring hospital and tell them not to treat me if I arrived there.
The Ontario government even wrote to my supporters that the cca burning situation in my neighborhood had been investigated. I ask them to show me the proof of that investigation. Oh sure I remembered my contact with the M.O.E., the insults, the abuse of power. It hardly seemed like an investigation to me. Not even when they finally showed up at a doctorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s request and managed to take the soil samples at a depth which would miss the fly ash and give them the results they wanted, not the true results.
I kept working on getting cca treated wood banned because my investigation showed we were all in danger; not just the people breathing in the hexavalent chromium and the arsine gas from the places this wood was being burned. How did I discover this? A Health Canada scientist gave me a copy of his alarming study. Then I filed an access for information request and when most of the information I had filed for was denied me I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop. I phoned up the commissioner and taught her about the dangers I had already discovered and asked her to get me that data I was being denied that could protect Canadians and that is what she did. Our government hid what they knew about cca wood dangers from us.