Letters: Shirley says ‘no’

Letter writer likens events to story of the Emperor's New Clothes

In the midst of the holiday season, with its fairy tales and entertainments, the community of Shirley, on Saturday, Dec. 6, was treated to an English pantomime of sorts, entitled “The Emperor’s New Clothes or A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.”

The play, in one act, was presented by a Mr. David Laing.

The subtext concerned a young man called David Laing who, after searching high and low for a whole year, chooses a parcel of land above Sandcut Beach Regional Park to build his newest and shiniest Victoria garbage processing plant.

Early on, the young man attempts to engage the audience with all sorts of photos, charts and graphs. He further tries to win over the audience by promising them the acrid, putrid smells, the noise, constant truck traffic, the leftover toxic sludge to be dumped in nearby forests, the poisoning of the air, watersheds, wells, rivers, streams, and animals, the rat and other poisons to be used, will all be magically mitigated by the planting of some lovely new trees, somewhere in the area.

Well, as is expected from the very best pantomime audiences, ours, too, quickly pointed out the villain.

And brava!/bravo! to those who participated amongst the overflowing crowd, whose career and life experiences, skill sets, levels of education, information and intelligence, made the young man at last reveal that the Emperor is indeed naked, and beneath the sheep’s clothing is the big bad wolf.

Before the finale, our Mike Hicks rose up to defend our democracy, and, one assumes, by extension, the Charter of Rights.

The finale began when a member of the audience asked Mr. Laing if the audience was against his plan, would he then walk away?  The crowd cheered when he said “yes.”

Another member then called a straw poll, “yes” or “no” to the plan, and the audience rose up and held their hands up high in what can only be called a unanimous and resounding “no”!

Mr. Laing was then asked if he would continue to push for this facility, and he said he would not.

The Shirley community waits with baited breath to find out if this was the final curtain for the garbage dump; stayed tuned.

On behalf of everyone who lives here I hope there will never be an act two.

Helene Harrison

Shirley