Tag Archives: pollution

I wish I could do more about the stench of crude oil but it may take the efforts of the next generation


As I laid awake again for another night of clanks, bangs and grinding steel, metal and horns I wondered when it would happen. I wondered when the explosion would occur and I would be running beside Chris carrying Willow amidst an inferno so grotesque that there’d be no use of even trying as we wouldn’t survive the explosions to begin with. We’d likely be incinerated and scientists would be identifying us through use of dental records.

I spoke with Chris about my fears this morning. He carries the same ones. We live somewhere where the trains carrying toxic crude oil and natural gas outnumber humans five to one. And we live 500 meters from the end of the line where all the tanks are unloaded of their black liquid gold which is then pumped to the Irving Oil Refinery a few kilometres away for refining.

Neither one of us would have purchased homes back in the old neighbourhood that we grew up in had we known there were going to be HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of freight trains unloading there oil in our backyard for Irving to refine.

The stench is more than we can bare at times. It permeates our home and makes it impossible to breath outside or open your windows when the wind is calm and humidity high. Old women and children plug their noses on public transit buses as they near the intersection of Bayside Drive and the Courtenay Bay Causeway and it sickens me that I need to pull the buzzer and step off in the thick of it. The smell has been so bad on occasion that I thought there was an oil leak in my home. I have dashed down and into the basement to check the tank for cracks on more than one occasion. How ironic that my home is heated with oil and that it is some of the most expensive oil to buy in Canada even though it is refined right here in my backyard.

I feel angry and cheated out of the peace and quiet that used to pervade this neighbourhood. The noise pollution level has risen to the point that we rarely sleep through the night anymore. And what is this doing to our six month old daughter.

I’d like the end of the line to be moved or for Irving to buy my home and my boyfriends home so we can relocate at a minimum 2KM away from the end of the line if it’s to be here permanently. I’d like the refinery shut down and converted to windmills but that’s akin to wishing the Pacific ocean clean of plastic debris. These things will not happen in my lifetime.

There are people who tell me to shut up and not say anything because if I want to sell my house I better be quiet about it. WHY be quiet about it… This is everywhere. You.can.not.escape.it. This industry dominates the skyline of of the City of Saint John.

I tire of living in fear, on a constant alert that an all out oil apocalypse is going to happen and no amount of new overpasses and evacuation routes will save my family and I, living here, at the end of the line.

If the Plutocracy can spend billions on retrofitting DOT-111 tanks they can certainly move the end of the line to the refinery or purchase the neighborhood so we can all move. We were duped into thinking a park would be where the terminal is.

They say things happen in three’s. Lac Magentic, Plasterock… The end of the line?

Photo Credit – (Selfie) My daughter Willow and

Traffic noise amidst the winds of change

The life was sucked out of me on 12th Avenue. The incessant traffic noise I wrote about on more than one occasion in my journal. It didn’t ebb and flow there but rather marched no cannon balled and madly screamed back and forth along that magnificent tree lined East Vancouver Street.

I remember mere moments of stillness when the traffic did stop for a light or for a pedestrian brave enough to cross through Continue reading

About turning soil in the backyard sunshine

Today I’ll be working outside in the dirt. Dad and I turned half the garden last night removing any weeds still growing underneath from the previous soil turning two weeks ago.

Gardening on the ground is not the same as gardening in containers. Holy weeds! It’s really not that bad. I’ve dawned Dad’s old work clothes and Mom’s old sneakers and am getting dirty raking in last year’s bagged maple leaves and will be adding peat moss to the mixture later today. It’s cool outside even with the sun shining. The air is fresh and smog is a distant memory until mid-summer when the annual Quebec forest fires and Eastern United States Coast pollution migrate, combine and settle over New Brunswick when the winds are just right.

Many of you may feel it is late for planting and I tend to agree, however in recent years, the summer season in the Maritimes extends into October because of the many Huricanes pushing warm air up the Coast from Florida. It’s been too cold at night for seedlings to survive until this past week in Saint John.

The three day long fog lifted overnight. Birds are chirping. Yellow finches, sparrows, starlings (of course), robins and two morning doves call the adjoining backyards home. The grey morning doves mate for life and sound as owls when speaking. Missy is beside herself with all the activity on the ground. She remains fearful of the green oceanic lawn, nipping just at it’s edges, she walks on anything other than it, happy to stare at the birds while dreaming of catching one.

It’s good to be here. It’s good to be alive today.