Sunday, November 11, 2007

A town on death row: A community based on cod was left reeling by the federal moratorium on the fishery. Its population has plunged by 95 per cent and residents now fear that the place is dying before their eyes. Those who remain look old beyond their years, eking out an existence foreign to most Canadians. is so scarce that many people use “honey buckets” instead of installing septic systems and empty their waste at the town dump or in the harbour.

The island has no water distribution system and the treatment plant is several kilometres from town. There are also no trees, so residents must travel 50 to 80 kilometres to fetch firewood. There is no fixed link to the mainland and the coastal ferry can't run year-round.

It's too expensive to “eat from the shops,” so people fish and hunt for food, although nerves become frayed when the stores run out of cigarettes.

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