Layton mistrusts feds' tar ponds promises
TERA CAMUS / Staff
Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton and Cape
Breton-Canso candidate Shirley Hartery go
dockside in Glace Bay to meet a few residents.
Incinerating waste worries federal NDP leader
By TERA CAMUS / Cape Breton Bureau
GLACE BAY - A drunken Glace Bay man was first in line to deliver a big stinky
hug to Jack Layton on Friday afternoon, soon after the federal NDP leader
touched down in Cape Breton to campaign for votes.
The ever-smiling Mr. Layton grimaced and stood back but kept his sense of humour
as the unidentified man turned to the cameras to whoop it up under the watchful
eyes of plainclothes police.
"I'm a diehard New Democrat. . . . Vote for this man!" the man shouted, shaking
Mr. Layton's hand as the leader laughed.
Later the watery-eyed man, who smelled of stale beer, told this newspaper he and
his buddy had been drinking all day but went to the dock to meet Mr. Layton as
he walked with Cape Breton-Canso candidate Shirley Hartery.
Other, slightly more sober folks also met the leader in Glace Bay and at a
ceilidh a few hours later in Sydney.
Mr. Layton said Nova Scotians shouldn't be fooled by pre-election goodies
announced by Paul Martin's government, mentioning the $400-million tar ponds
cleanup announcement earlier this month.
"The good news is, it's a figure that's been announced; the bad news is that
it's a Liberal promise," he said. "The record of pre-election Liberal promises
hasn't been good."
More troublesome, he said, is that incineration is being considered to deal with
the worst of Sydney's toxic industrial waste, something he says will put people
"The process might be unravelling as we speak, as the province begins to look
again at an idea that was rejected in the past," Mr. Layton said of
incineration, adding that he's opposed and helped close several incinerators in
his political career.
"I don't blame the community for being concerned that what they might face is
the combustion of up to 50,000 tonnes of materials that have PCBs dumped into
them," Mr. Layton said.
"Even the tiniest quantities of PCBs airborne can be particularly toxic
according to all of the studies. That's a real concern to us.
"We want to make sure all the best approaches have been taken, that the various
biological approaches that are emerging are being considered."
Mr. Layton said he's confident his party will do well in the province on June
28, noting the NDP has benefited from previous leader Alexa McDonough's 20
years work at building support.
"We put together a stunning group of candidates," he said.
At a rally, he repeated his platform address, delivered earlier this week - that
it's time to invest in the community, stop tax cuts to big business and
eliminate income tax for people earning less than $15,000 annually.
"It's time for some pro-action, time for some investments," he said. "It's not
time for more tax cuts."