Development on the Chaudière Falls? No!

Albert Dumont

Chaudière Falls illustration

The Chaudière Falls – so many thoughts come to mind when I see and hear them. ‘The Kettle of Boiling Waters’ for me, always provokes thoughts of life and its purpose and of the world waiting for us after our hearts have ceased to contract their muscles.

Mine is a spirituality which honours sun, earth, wind and water, for without their presence, human beings could not live. Water, who among us would not give up life and prosperity if doing so confirmed that fresh and pure water would always be present for their future generations? The Chaudière Falls was once a place where people went to pray and make offerings of tobacco, not only to request safe journey on the river but also to pray for the health of the waters everywhere. It is truly sad and disheartening that such rituals and ceremonies no longer occur at the place which was once the most sacred site of my ancestors, the ‘People of the Great River’ (Algonquin).

Today, at a time in history when the voice of ‘money’ is louder and more powerful than ever before, a developer makes plans to construct condos 12-storeys high on a sacred space. Holes will need to be drilled into the shale rock before the foundations of the many high-rises can be poured. The earth will scream in agony and I believe our ancestors too, will sing a long mournful song, released into the wind but who will hear it – only the spirit of the Falls. And after the condos are built, who among us possesses the fat bank account necessary to afford a home where a world wonder sits in your back yard?

I beseech you to take the time to go to the Falls, take a long and careful look at the ‘Kettle of Boiling Water’, close your eyes and imagine what it was long ago and what it might be today.

Let us ask ourselves what we lose as a community if condos are built around the Falls. We will miss out on a rare and precious moment in time where we could have created a glue capable of bonding the emotional, psychological and spiritual domains of the citizens of Ontario and Quebec. As the Falls were long ago, they can once again become a gathering place where all peoples can come to pray, to understand purpose of life and to build on things which unite them. Imagine a park which would no doubt become the envy of all world capitals because we are so blessed to have as a neighbour, the Chaudière Falls, a natural world wonder.

Many politicians are nothing more than well-greased mistake-making machines. The mistake they make allowing development around the Chaudière Falls will be a mistake our descendants will condemn all of us for a couple of generations from now. Mark my words!

The common folk should decide what happens to the Falls. Together we must demand a referendum (Ottawa and Gatineau) on whether or not we want condos to be built on land Creator placed on earth to guide our way to a better place after death takes us away. Our sacred sites are not for sale.