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La Brea MP, residents cry neglect
La Brea Member of Parliament Fitzgerald Jeffrey took part in a public march in his constituency yesterday to demand that state-owned Petrotrin provide medical attention to those affected by the oil spill for the next 25 years. He said people stopped going to the “shabby makeshift medical centre” provided by Petrotrin despite their symptoms since all they were being administered were panadol tablets.
He drew reference to the spills in Mexico and Alaska, where the deadly Corexit 9500 were used and has results in residents suffering from cancer, kidney, and other organ failure years later. He also warned beach lovers not to bathe at the Coffee, Carat Shed or Point Sable beaches. “To do so, you will be signing your passports to Belgroves, Choy’s or Guides (all funeral homes).”
Jeffrey said these beaches are laden with little black nodules, which are actually the particles of the oil mixed with Corexit 9500 sprayed to contain the spill. These nodules, he said, are more deadly than the dispersant, and exposure to it could lead to death. The public march did not attract the numbers Jeffrey anticipated, especially in the aftermath of the oil spill—what he sees as a threat to privatise Lake Asphalt, the closure of public buildings and offices, and other ills, chief among them, unemployment—affecting residents.
Nevertheless, constituents comprising members of the La Brea Environmental Protectors Association and the La Brea Development Foundation marched from Point D’or Junction to bring awareness. The Opposition MP said the PP Government continues to disrespect the people of La Brea, pointing out that without any warning or courtesy for him or the elected councillor, both the library and District Revenue offices were shut down.