History destined to repeat without new approach

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To the editor,

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George



Reading this quote on an email recently got me to thinking our politicians are perfect examples of the “those.”

I offer a short walk through history: Back in the days when the steel plant ran into problems, the government of the day was trying to decide which way to go, shut it down or prop it up?

At the time, I urged the government to choose a number of years for the employees to be eligible for a pension and to pay all of those who qualified a certain amount and to pay the rest to retrain paying them their salaries while they did this.  My suggestion was that, in the end, the taxpayer of Nova Scotia would come out far ahead.

And now we come to the Northern Pulp Plant. My recommendation for this is the same as for Sydney Steel. Take a conservative estimate of how much the Liberal government (the party that campaigned on stopping funding big business) will pay out to Northern Pulp over the next four years.  Now, imagine them putting a couple of million into a pension and/or retraining fund or business start-up fund so present employees could continue to have an income while getting a new start.  That would be learning from our past. Anyone willing to bet the store on the outcome of this fiasco?

Just in case someone is interested, my suggestion for the retiring steel plant workers was one million. Check to see how many billions it cost the taxpayer before it was finally shut down.


Jim Harpell

Shortts Lake

Organizations: Sydney Steel

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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