Often I’ve heard comments from people that it makes no difference who we vote for in the upcoming federal and provincial elections, and that there aren’t any honest politicians.

But there could be — if we just paid a little attention to the process!

Politics should not be like a game where you throw in your sticks and pick a team for the sole purpose of screaming “we won, we won!”  and then forgetting the whole process for another four years.

So I would beg of you to hear the candidates preach, ask them questions, and demand answers — but more importantly, hang around and hold them accountable.

This is a very critical time for Labrador, and so we need leaders now more than ever! I look at Labrador’s past and don’t want anything even close to that as our future.

Much is wrong with how things have been done in Labrador. Just off the top of my head: We developed Churchill Falls to send power to the states and royalties to Quebec, we pretty much built the town of Sept-Îles on ore dug out of Labrador West, and thousands were hired to build a massive plant on the Avalon to process our rocks from Voisey’s Bay.

Then there is Muskrat Falls, and I could go on for days about the wrongs associated with that project! Nine rivers killed at the scene, methylmercury for Lake Melville and the ocean, and methane for the atmosphere. A transmission line, half a kilometre wide and being kept clear with the use of toxic pesticides, south across another 500 or so rivers.

And what do we get — the killing of one of the most beautiful pieces of wilderness left on the planet?!

No, we get free power for Nova Scotia and some cheap industrial power to “Dannyland”. And the short-term jobs, I suppose.

But then they stick the bill to the good citizens to pay for the damn thing!

I won’t bother to mention the fishery, only to say adjacency seems be a foreign word there also.

So as they come looking for your vote, I beg you to please engage, ask questions, demand answers and stick around for the accountability! I talked with a friend recently who reminded me it was just a few short years ago that Aboriginal Peoples and women were beaten for just demanding the right to vote!

For me, I would like to ask those hoping to represent us on the national level their stance on an independent Labrador. Will they demand more than just a few jobs for the destruction of her (Labrador’s) lands and waters? What about Bill C-51 and our freedom lost? What about Canada’s support of Israel’s slaughter in Gaza? And do they feel it wise to be chasing Uncle Sam’s war machine around, invading countries and creating immigrants and terrorists?

If it’s change we want, it must start within — we must become it!

Dennis Burden / Port Hope Simpson, Labrador

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