Sisters pen letters to Premier on health-care, environment

Georgia and Ellen Rudderham are not happy with what is going on in the province’s health-care system and with some environmental impacts from contentious projects in the province. So the Miller Lake West siblings wanted to do something about it. They wrote letters to Premier Stephen McNeil. (Healey photo)

MILLER LAKE WEST: The Premier of Nova Scotia is getting two strongly worded letters from a pair of Miller Lake West sisters, who hope he will give some serious consideration to their concerns.

Georgia and Ellen Rudderham are not happy with what is going on in the province’s health-care system and with some environmental impacts they foresee from Northern Pulp in Pictou County; and the possibility of brine being put into the Shubenacadie River by Alton Gas.

So they wanted to do something about it.

“We asked our mom what could we do,” said Ellen, 11. She and her sister are students at Holland Road Elementary School. “She suggested we do letters.”

Within an hour Georgia had her letter to Premier Stephen McNeil all finished.

“I knew what I wanted to tell him,” said Georgia.

The letter written by Georgia Rudderham. (Healey photo)

Some of the letter to McNeil said “If he had a broken leg, he would have to go to the hospital and wait there for hours and hours, and probably be sent home without being seen.”

“I asked him if he’d rather have a hurt foot or a doctor,” said Georgia, 9.

She also mentioned about McNeil’s 2015 promise of a doctor for every Nova Scotian.

“I know when you make a promise to someone you have to keep it, and that he promised everyone in N.S. a doctor and he didn’t keep that promise,” she said.

At the start of the letter she told him she knew once he saw her last name he would probably want to put it down without reading it. The girls mom, Stacey, has made correspondence with the provincial government over the Fall River Quarry; the teachers strike; and Northern Pulp in the past.

“I told him if he made it to the end of the letter, it was the one thing he did that wasn’t a mistake,” said Georgia.

She said she’s hopeful McNeil will have a change of heart.

“He’s heard a million grownups say it, but I’m hoping after he reads a letter from a little girl that he will change his mind on health-care and fix it,” said Georgia.

Ellen, who’s letter is still being finalized, is about the environment.

“I’m happy I am writing because he might listen if it’s from someone who is younger and my age,” she said.

She hopes her letter, coming from one of the youngest of voices, will see changes that help save the environment, and not continue to destroy it as she feels the projects she wrote about will.

“If he wants an Earth that he wants to live on he might want to think about it,” said Ellen, 11.

Ellen is hoping other kids will become engaged in their surroundings and take a stand.

“I hope they do because he (McNeil) doesn’t listen to adults, so maybe he’ll listen to kids,” she said. “We have to grow up with the health-care and environment the way it is.”