Sunday, October 18, 1998 The Halifax Herald Limited
Lawyers work on battle to move residents of
By Jocelyn Bethune
Sydney - Frederick Street residents are hoping to see their legal challenge enter the courts before the end of the year.
Juanita MacKenzie, spokeswoman for the group of Sydney residents who want to be relocated away from a neighbourhood they say is toxic, says the wheels are in motion for a court fight.
"It takes a while to put something like that together. It's not an open-and-shut case. We've got three levels of government, and we have to figure out who is ... the culprit," she said from her home Saturday afternoon.
She and other residents of the neighbourhood adjacent to the former coke ovens, are preparing for a meeting later this week with Raymond Kay, an associate of Halifax lawyer Rocky Jones. Last month, the Sierra Club of Canada retained Mr. Jones on the residents' behalf.
Since then, he has undergone open-heart surgery, but Ms. MacKenzie says he is still on the case.
"Rocky Jones is still our lawyer. He might have had a setback, but he had quite a lot of work done on our behalf before he had surgery."
She said the lawyers are compiling a number of reports, including a Cantox study and the preliminary reports by an independent reviewer hired by the Sierra Club.
The government hired Cantox Environmental Inc. to conduct a full health assessment in the neighbourhood, but the Sierra Club said last week that the Cantox study showed a number of inconsistencies.
"We've had all these tests done, and everything has come back over the guidelines, and yet still we have the government saying there isn't a problem," said Ms. McKenzie.
Environment Canada tests conducted last summer found levels of arsenic in a nearby brook were 13 times higher than guidelines established by environment minister and two to three times more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than is acceptable for residential properties.
The residents' fight for relocation will get national exposure on Tuesday when their story is highlighted on the CTV newsmagazine W5 at 8 p.m.
NIGHTMARE ON FREDERICK STREET, Broadcast nationally on W5, produced by Maxine Crook
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