Thursday, August 11, 2011

Letter to the Premier David Alward about Letter Writing Campaign

August 9, 2011

Hon. David Alward
Premier of New Brunswick
Centennial Building
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

Originals sent under separate cover

Dear Mr. Alward:

Attached you will find a few samples from over 40 letters of support from people in Bathurst who have shown their objection to the filming of "The Phantoms" movie in our city after only one day of our letter writing campaign. These letters are being sent to you in digital format so you can see we are serious about stopping this movie from being filmed at any time or any place in Bathurst. (Hard copies of all the originals will be sent to you separately).

In February 2009 Ana Acevedo and I met with you personally in Fredericton when you were in Opposition. At the time we had a chance to speak to all the members of the Conservative Caucus about the upcoming May 2009 Coroners Inquest into the death of our sons. Later, we also met with MLA's Claude Williams and Carl Urqhuart, and we believed that you supported us in our struggles with the Liberal government. You even spoke up in the Legislature when then Attorney General, Kelly Lamrock tried to charge the victims' parents nearly $4000 for a transcript of the coroners' inquest. When we were right about winter tires on the Multi Function Activity Buses, your party was more than happy to say so to the media. It seems that when it was to your advantage politically, you were on our side.

Now that you are in power, you have forgotten about the little people who believed in you when you said you would change things in Fredericton. We see the same lack of consultation and silence when it comes to the big issues of the day. To us in Bathurst, this movie is a big issue. The so-called consultation that took place in Bathurst over the course of nine days from July 28 to August 5 was a farce and is open to severe criticism for the sloppy and unprofessional way it was conducted. I and other parents have yet to receive a phone call from the producers, whom we understand told the Superintendent that they would be contacting all the parents. And we have been waiting for a response from you for nearly two weeks but you cannot seem to find the time in your day to call us and explain why you are allowing your Minister of Education, Jody Carr, to approve a decision by the District Superintendent, John McLaughlin, that allows shooting of a film which only serves to torment and hurt the very people who were most affected by the Bathurst tragedy.

I am asking you again to put a stop to this movie in Bathurst. You can reverse District 15 Superintendent John McLaughlin's decision to approve shooting on location at Bathurst High School. You can say "no" to one quarter million dollars in tax credit to Dream Street Pictures.

Your legacy in Bathurst will be shaped in large part by the decision you make about this film. It is up to you to do the right and honourable thing and honour the wishes of victims' parents who have asked you to stop this film. This movie is not a "happy story" despite what the Mayor of Bathurst might say. It is not a "family film" nor will it generate long term economic development in the north - even though Dream Street Pictures would like you to think so. And it IS about the Boys in Red - for without our sons' deaths, there is no story. Try to tell this story without the death of seven boys: it cannot be done.


Isabelle Hains and Ana Acevedo

cc. Hon. Trevor Holder, Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport
Hon. Jody Carr, Minister of Education
Hon. Claude Williams, Minister of Transportation / Supply and Services
Hon. Brian Kenny, MLA Bathurst
Ryan Riordon, MLA Nepisiquit
John McLaughlin, District 15 Superintendent
Stephen Brunet, Mayor of Bathurst