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LIFE FORCE IN FLATROCK

by Maura Hanrahan
maura hanrahan

It was my debut outing after a stint in the hospital, complete with emergency surgery. We drove to Flatrock, a few miles north of the city. The day before, succeeding massive walls of water had destroyed a $3 million breakwater there. The federal government’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO, known here as the Dead Fish Office) built the concrete barrier some years ago. Its purpose was to break the force of the waves before they reached the flat shore and the houses and fishing rooms that sit there. The local fishermen told DFO that they were putting the breakwater in the wrong place, and that a big storm could easily smash it to bits in that location. But, in a pattern that is painfully familiar, the powers-that-be didn’t listen to the little people.

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