Dozens attended a book launch at the Central Library on Wednesday night for Ingrid Waldron’s book, “There’s Something in the Water.” The book was released in April and is a case study in environmental racism.
It’s a term, Waldron herself, was unfamiliar with in 2012 when she was approached to write the book.
“I think what inspired me is that I had already been doing work on Indigenous and black communities and I was a health researcher and it had both of those components in this particular topic.
Since then, the term has become more widespread and Waldron said that she is rarely asked anymore what it is.
“It means that certain communities, black communities, Indigenous communities, communities of colour, tend to be disproportionately located near landfills and waste sites.”
It’s something that persists today in Nova Scotia, with communities from Shelburne to Lincolnville speaking out. It’s also a topic that has been raised in the legislature.
NDP MLA Lenore Zann introduced Bill 111 in 2015, asking for a committee to be created and speak with committees affected, and then work on a report to redress the issue.
“I’ve introduced it one, two, three, four times, and so far, there has not been any will to move it along,” she said.
“But I’m not going to give up, until I can get someone to say ‘yes.'”
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Zann said that the bright side is that more people are starting to understand it is an issue, which is something Waldron hopes the book will help with.
She wants to “use the book as a way to amplify the voices of communities that have struggled against this issue for decades.”
Waldron said one thing she has noticed since first taking up the project and working on the ENRICH project, is that awareness and engagement seem to be growing.
“What I find inspiring is there are various cases of civil disobedience that has been extremely effective,” she said, pointing specifically to the Alton gas pipeline protests which have resulted in the project being halted, at least for now.
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