11 June 2005
Open Letter From Former Councillor Pat Landers!!!!
City of Saint John
There is a saying here in the Maritime Provinces which goes, “He who has … gets.” And, isn’t is coincidental that when we refer to the conglomerate called the Irving Empire we refer to them with the all-encompassing word “He”, even though the empire is run today by sons, grand children and soon, great grandchildren?
I would like to pose a few questions that have recently come to mind and which, in all probability, have long ago been forgotten by most people in Saint John.
The Irvings received a 30-year subsidized water rate to their pulp mill and today, long after those 30 years have expired, is it true that they still pays less than any other commercial user in this city?
The Irvings had a $2 million pipe line installed by the City from Spruce Lake to the Irving mill, which was never uitilized, and is it true that $2 million has yet to be repaid?
Now, how about the frigate program for the federal Defence Department, were there not start-up grants from us, the taxpayers? And, after the Irvings reaped personal gains of just shy of $1 billion, we the taxpayer gave them another close-down subsidy? And, were some of these subsidies used to break union shops within the shipyards?
We all realize the and pillage of our crown lands (notice I use the word “our”?). After we gave the Irvings permission to utilize that land to realize yet more wealth, is it not true that we ended up giving them another subsidy to reforest those same crown lands so that they can harvest them another time for yet more personal profit?
On the subject of the property owned by J.K. Irving in Rothesay, known as the Netherwood Land, is it true that no property tax is paid by this family because there is a tax-exempt Chapel on that property?
On another point, is it true that the city of Saint John closed its gas pumps on Rothesay Avenue and now city employees must use Irving credit cards?
Perhaps the citizens of Saint John should have the Irvings contracted as consultants to our mayor and council to show the ordinary people of the City how they could benefit from tax breaks.
I am of the opinion that the Irvings are laughing all the way to the Bermuda bank on the backs of the people of Saint John.
Would the Irvings accept such scandalous deals from other business people if the shoe were on the other foot?
Jim, Jack, Arthur and Kenneth Irving, you “look into the eyes” of the loyal taxpayers of Saint John and tell them when ‘enough is enough’.
Shame on you. Shame on us. Shame on the mayor and council. Shame on the “Lord” government.
There are but a few people who are aware of the full extent of subsidies that have been afforded this wealthy empire.
We are not just dealing with the richest people in Saint John. We are not just dealing with the richest people in New Brunswick. We are not just dealing with the richest people in Canada. We are dealing with one of the richest families in the world.
The Irvings are one of the last empires which requires a tax break from the people who can afford it the least.
With personal regards.
Patricia (Landers) Murphy
Former City Councillor