Imagine it’s the year 2036 and the Government of Canada is bankrupt.
This is the stage Norm Hamilton has set for his first novel, From Thine Own Well. The book is a pertinent piece of eco-fiction, dealing with the aftermath of unrestricted mining and hydraulic fracturing.
As the story goes, in 2012, the federal government signs “The Agreement,” which is a 31-year lease on Canada’s land that gives Chinese businesses the right to sue us if anyone tampers with their ability to profit from resource extraction.
The Chinese government allowed the majority rights to resources like gas and oil to be sold off. This includes huge areas, and includes the Peel Watershed.
Wildlife, birds, and fish become scarce.
People are not allowed to grow their own food; they buy their water – and a few have died from poisoned water.
An entity called the Coalition runs the country after the Government of Canada’s bankruptcy. In Whitehorse, population has dwindled down to 10,000, but here, a small group of people including a First Nations young man, seniors, a nurse, a couple, and a man with his dog unite to find a solution and resist the Coalition.
“I created this book from my imaginations and fears,” says Hamilton, a Yukoner now based on Vancouver Island. “We need solutions and more communication from the government.”
Hamilton’s book is fiction, but one wonders if we are close to such a future scenario.
“I am excited about what is going on right now in the Yukon; people come together to protest,” the author says. “I don’t want to be prophetic with my novel, I want to open people’s eyes to see what is going on. People should stop being apathetic and start standing up for themselves.”
Water plays a large role in From Thine Own Well, and water issues are close to Hamilton’s heart.
“We need clean water and clean air; we need to take care of the resources,” he says.
in March Hamilton will start donating proceeds from his book sales to Water.org, which is a nonprofit organization co-founded by Gary White and Matt Damon.
“I believe our planet needs more people who spend their time caring for it than spending time fighting over who created it or plundering it with no regard to consequences,” Hamilton says.
“They said it couldn’t happen here, but it did,” – that’s the slogan on Hamilton’s book website.
Now we wait to see how prophetic Hamilton’s book could actually be. Norm Hamilton’s self-published book From Thine Own Well is available at Mac’s Fireweed Books, Coles, and Well-Read Books in Whitehorse. It is also available online through Amazon and Hamilton’s website www.NormHamilton.ca