Just a couple years ago the industry shills were bragging up their success, and gloating over the piles of money they were pulling in. Environmental concerns were pooh-poohed, and dissenting voices brushed aside as malcontents who were against progress. The provincial Agriculture Department, and Annapolis County council, were eager to get new mink mills started wherever possible.
I seem to remember one person, though, who repeatedly wrote letters to the editor, and entreated council, suggesting that maybe we should take steps to put some controls in place and proceed cautiously, given the abysmal environmental record of this industry and its history of boom-and-bust economic cycles.
Oh, wait, now I remember...that was me.
Just kidding - there was, of course, a large group of us, who spent a lot of time and effort in trying to get somebody, somewhere, to slow down and examine the whole issue a bit before getting too excited and putting mink mills on every corner.
We even managed to get council to appoint an advisory group of citizens to recommend municipal bylaws to help protect the environment and communities threatened by this ethically shabby industry. Remember that? And remember what happened? Council, by a thin but controlling majority, refused to act on any suggestions whatsoever. Makes you wonder if they ever had any intention of doing anything in the first place, and just struck the advisory committee to shut us up.
If they had put in some restrictions, maybe some new mink mills wouldn't have been started up, or wouldn't have expanded, and some of that $30 million might be going to struggling farmers (I mean real farmers, you know, the folks who grow food that people eat). Health care, services for veterans or education, I suppose, might also have been good ways to spend it.
But, hey - our politicians know best, don't they?