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REPORTING · 9th April 2011
Merv Ritchie
Attached below is a 20 minute conversation with Haida Gwaii resident and acting Band Manager, John Disney. After the Chernobyl accident 25 years ago he had his own water tested and found it to be contaminated to unsafe levels. Today, as acting Band Manager, he has issued orders to not drink the water from above ground sources, it is also contaminated. Listen to the entire shocking interview regarding his treatment by Health Canada, 25 years ago and again last month.

As the Governments of the world continue to misrepresent the truth, individuals across the globe are taking matters into their own hands. Even when the obvious historical evidence is available, such as the fall out from Chernobyl, governments still act contemptuously.

According to non government experts, the largest explosion at Chernobyl was virtually the same as Fukushima. It was a large hydrogen explosion, which ejected radioactive elements into the jet stream; winds that carry the fallout around the planet. The Fukushima facility has had three explosions. Two, reactors, numbers 1 and 3, were claimed to be hydrogen explosions and the cause of the third, in reactor number 2, has yet to be determined.

Chernobyl had two explosions; the second was more explosive than the first and like Fukushima, is also believed to have been due to a build up of hydrogen gasses.

Even with this very basic knowledge, the international community easily could have been honest and stated this was worse than Chernobyl. Three reactors in a major state of distress each with associated explosions versus one reactor. It would appear the fear factor of governments and international organizations is employed only when they are completely in control and the fear works to their benefit in some manner.

Today, boarding a plane, we are subjected to terrorist fears whether they are unfounded or not. The American and Canadian governments continually use fear to motivate the population to accept their economic reforms. It begs the question, and this is most serious, why wouldn’t the governments, those we entrust to protect us, to ensure our communities and lives are safe, take even the most minimal steps to determine if radiation was falling, and why would they first say there was no issue to be concerned with when they had no idea as they didn’t even take the most basic step and measure the air and water?

The Canadian Government went into election mode immediately after this disaster took place in Japan. When the vote was taken after the Steven Harper Government was found in contempt of Parliament; a first in Canadian history, rather than an election being called the Governor General had another option.

First we are at war. Yes, Harper declared this and it is with Libya; and a Canadian General is leading the NATO forces. And the world was facing the worst nuclear disaster in history, even though it was still unfolding. This was not a time for an election; it was time for a responsible active and responsive federal government. The Governor General had as his duty to ask the official opposition if they thought they could form a government. This is the way our system works and in a time of disaster combined with a war it was not just the responsible thing to do it was a necessary thing to do. Like the last Governor General Michelle Jean, it is almost as if these individuals have no concept of how the Canadian's Parliamentary Democracy works.

While Canadians living in Japan; while Japanese Canadians suffer with their compatriots, while Canadian soldiers engage in warfare, Canadian Politicians travel across the Country laughing, glad handing, host grand parties and media events, which have nothing to do with the reality of today.

In an interview with Member of Parliament (MP) Nathan Cullen at his Campaign office opening in Terrace, we asked about this situation. Cullen stated there were 7 or 8 stations on the west coast that measure the potential for fallout. We waited. He stated there was one in Alaska. We waited again. He then said most of the stations were down south, the lower mainland. We then asked if there were any on Haida Gwaii or Prince Rupert. These are his specific areas of responsibility, his Riding; the region he wants to represent again after this May 2 election. He then stated; “Well they would have to tell me if I asked.”

This isn’t just a Nathan Cullen issue it is an issue with almost every individual involved in the governance of our Country. None seem to take their job more seriously than a pay cheque so they can get home to their families and the TV set. Many use it as a stepping stone to get into a higher position of office such as the Senate or a diplomatic appointment.

John Disney, a small town native band manager, is one of the few who takes his job responsibly, he actually cares more about his people than the money it would take to protect them. On the other side of the ocean is a gentleman who works writing and translating for the Japanese Government. He risks his career to inform the politicians on the west coast. Cullen has all but ignored the alarms he raises; the details of the disaster that are not being reported, the details which will impact the citizens of his Riding first, before any other region of Canada. You would think a special interest would be paid to these details.

Even Health Canada had dropped the ball and only when Disney issued a “Don’t drink the water order” and exposed the spike in measurable radiation did Health Canada take the time to talk to him. First however it was to tell him he was not reading the reports correctly. Disney had to get the Nuclear Radiation Chemists to straighten out Health Canada. Now they are actually going to cover the costs of the testing.

Why is it, we ask, that those we pay to do a very specific job, fight those who step up and do the job they are not doing. Why did the Canadian Government go into an election at this most critical juncture? Why didn’t a government authority, Federal, Provincial, Regional (health or district), Municipal or any other not immediately go into action after the first explosion at Fukushima?

Why did it take a small First Nations Band Manager? This might be the best example yet as to why the entire Country of Canada should abandon the Parliamentary Democracy system, patterned after the British, which we have now. We could take a lesson from Haida Leader, John Disney, and let him show us how a compassionate governing system works; a Government that cares for the people, not the quick buck and promotion for prestige.

Today Canadians in Japan can not get assistance from the Canadian Government. Even MP’s do not reply; possibly too busy electioneering. Today radiation has fallen all across Canada and no authority is taking the lead.

There is a flotilla of broken homes, garbage and dead bodies floating across the ocean. Much like the glass balls of Japanese fishing nets, this debris will soon be littering our west coast shores. After this arrives one can be sure large plumes of radioactive water, heavily contaminated with two of the worst elements man has ever faced, Plutonium and Cesium, will coat the foreshore and seabed from Alaska to Argentina.

But don’t listen to us, tune into CNN, Fox, CBC and CTV for the latest fear factor update on some foreign incursion or an economic meltdown. The nuclear issue, as one Fox news reporter called it is just a “Teeny, Tiny” worry.
It takes the people to stand up for what is right.
Comment by A Heidl on 11th April 2011
I would like to thank John Disney for taking action and caring for the community. It is people such as him who make a difference in this world. It is very sad that the government is extremely late to even consider testing the water to make sure the population is safe.
How are we supposed to believe in our government when they are only out for the paycheck and do not care about the people.
How embarrassing that in a crisis Canada decided to avoid getting involved by calling upon an election.
I have always had people say that it is up to the next generation to clean up the mess of the previous generation. I find this to be a very irresponsible statement. It is time for everyone to take responsibility and help in which ever way possible. It is evident that the government is part of this "not our responsibility" generation, as they continue to steer away from issues that can be transformed into action for positive changes.
Comment by Pat on 9th April 2011
Good on you John Disney!

You raise very many good points Merv...why is this not frontpage news from all other media outlets??!!

I, for one, will not be beachcombing any time soon.