Minister presumes too much to say people happy with tar ponds cleanup agency
Letter by Debbie Ouellette
Cape Breton Post
Mon., Nov. 10, 2008
I don't agree with Transportation Minister and Infrastructure
Renewal Minister Murray Scott when he says people living around the
tar ponds are pleased with the progress made by the Sydney Tar Ponds
Cleanup Agency (Gosse Calls STPA 'a Mess', Nov. 7).
are being asked of the experts. Marlene Kane had to wait more than
three months to get air-monitoring questions answered, and then only
Some of my questions took months to get a response. Only
after sending the same questions up to six times to STPA
communication's officer Tanya Collier MacDonald did I get a short
and sweet response or not a complete answer.
I believe she is not
getting information out to the public like it should be done. Open
houses are not the way to go. If all the information concerning the
work on these sites were posted on the STPA website in a timely
matter, many of my questions would be answered. I've been told that
because I ask too many questions any further questions will have to
be asked through Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
law which will cost me at least $25 for each request. I'm concerned
when documents that should be made public aren't and have to be
accessed through FOIPOP.
When Ms. Kane reviewed the cooling pond
document page by page she found that a lot of data was missing. She
called it the shoddiest report she had ever seen. After that was
reported in the news, STPA agreed that data was missing and posted
70 pages on its website the next day. Ms. Kane obtained documents
through FOIPOP with parts blacked out. She has requested that those
blacked out areas be released by the freedom of information review
All information should be make public. This is where we
lose trust in the consultants and governments. If STPA can't even
produce a report, what kind of job is it doing in the field?
We should all be very nervous. How many are not doing their job in STPA
or in Earth Tech, a company being paid $30 million?
It's not only
Frank Potter who should be replaced. A complete audit should be done
on how all taxpayers' dollars have been spent and a complete
breakdown should be made public. David Darrow, deputy minister of
public works and infrastructure renewal, should also be looking at
how all the consultants who work for STPA are doing their jobs.
After cooling pond work was done, areas began sinking. The first
week of November workers were seen covering over the mistake, trying
to fill in and level out the holes that were sinking. What can we
expect when work of the tar ponds and coke ovens progresses?
time now that all Community Liaison Committee meetings were opened
to the public. Some CLC members are complaining they get to see
information only when the documents are final. They have no input. A
small number of them have concerns about the project and ask
questions but when the minutes are posted on the STPA website not
all the concerns are mentioned. The minutes are edited so that the
public can't see the concerns raised.
What does STPA have to hide?
Obviously an awful lot.
Former Frederick Street resident: