Tired of Cliffs seeking more public money – by Cody Walter (Sudbury Star Letter – November 25, 2013)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

For the last two years plus, we’ve been listening to carefully designed propaganda from Cliff’s Natural Resources, attempting to manipulate public opinion and convince taxpayers that we should give them our money. Now Cliff’s has shelved the project indefinitely, and they would have you believe it’s everyone else’s fault. It’s time for a reality check.

Cliff’s cites “difficulty negotiating with First Nations” as a reason for closing up shop. Yes it’s true, that after 500 years of genocidal torment under (continuing) European occupation, Canada’s Indigenous peoples have won the right to be consulted about developments which will affect them. This is a great thing (if more than a little late), and if Cliff’s finds this “difficult,” then I say: “tough luck.”

Cliff’s wants a break on hydro prices? That’s actually unsurprising, because so does everyone else. But if we agree to sell hydro to them below market price, guess who picks up the tab for the difference? That’s right, it’s you and me.

Likewise with the road they wish to build. They want “help” from the government (read: money from working people) to reduce start-up costs and allow them a more profitable business. Is it such a radical notion these days that businesses should cover their own costs?

In 2010, Cliff’s then-CEO, Joseph A. Carraba, took home $5.6 Million in compensation. Does it sound like he really needs money from our paycheques to foot his company’s electricity bill, build a road, and make his enterprise (even more) profitable? After we pay the bills and his shareholders are made happy, who do you think gets the fat bonus cheque? Again, it’s socialism for corporations, and capitalism for everyone else.

Don’t let yourself be bamboozled by confident-sounding media spokesmen; they’re trained to deceive you and to represent the people who are paying them. Let your own common sense decide what’s right.

So, like a histrionic 16 year-old at her own birthday party, Cliff’s is throwing the cake on the ground because daddy won’t buy her a pony. If developing the Ring of Fire is not profitable under current market conditions, then the world obviously doesn’t need chromite that badly right now. As Christmas approaches, take a look around you – are we really consuming the Earth’s resources too slowly? The Black Thor deposit has been there for millenia; it’s not going anywhere. Forget Cliff’s, we can afford to wait for a big girl who is willing to pay for her own party.

Cody Walter

For the original version of this letter, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/11/24/tired-of-cliffs-seeking-more-public-money

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