Premier watching street situation
MacLellan insists residents' health will not be jeopardized
BY CHRIS HAYES
Cape Breton Post
MacLellan assured Frederick Street residents Thursday the province won't
leave them in jeopardy if test results show their health is at risk from
Street spokesperson Debbie Ouellette was waiting for the premier as he
arrived at the University College of Cape breton for a meeting of his cabinet
offered the premier her copy of a report released last week showing levels
of arsenic, lead and PAHs in soil samples were higher than the Canadian
Council of the Ministers of the Environment guidelines.
were conducted after a yellow goo was found oozing out of a brook bank
near the street earlier this year. the province is awaiting results
of tests of hair and blood samples taken from residents.
told Ouellette he would be reading his copy of the report this weekend
but would await the results of further tests expected by mid-August before
his government reacts.
"I fully intend
to keep everyone informed as we proceed every step of the way and no one's
health is going to be jeopardized if the information tells us there will
be a health risk, I assure you, no matter what it takes."
Street residents want to be relocated by the province no matter what the
test results reveal, Ouellette said after her encounter with the premier.
which way they come back, we are still fighting to be relocated because
it is still a toxic site. It is a human health hazard for animals,
people and kids.
"All we ever
asked from the beginning was to relocate the kids to a safe area where
they can go out and play and we won't have to worry about their health
in the years to come."
Street has been visitted by representatives of all three political parties
in Nova Scotia including Public Work Minister Clifford Huskilson, who is
the lead cabinet minister responsible for the issue.
said she wanted to invite the premier to tour the street and to ensure
he had a copy of the latest report.
Dr. Jeff Scott,
the province's chief medical officer, has said based on test results so
far, he doesn't believe residents of Frederick Street are facing any immediate
health risk from toxic contaminants. The premier expressed concern,
"I have tremendous
concerns for this whole question but we have to allow the process to go.
We are going to get some further information before too long. We
have to let Dr. Scott do the analysis."
He was reluctant
to tour the street, however, saying he knew it well as an MP when it was
in his former federal riding. The premier expressed reluctance to
politicize the issue.
parties can do that. We're not going to do that."
Premier awaits pollution
By TERA CAMUS
Cape Breton Bureau
by a Frederick Street resident got Premier Russell MacLellan's sympathy,
but little else, before a four-hour cabinet meeting began here Thursday.
nothing to say until the reports come in," he told Whitney Pier resident
"I know the
situation, I know Frederick Street. I've been there, I've knocked
on doors there every election," he said.
But Mrs. Ouellette,
who found yellow ooze in the ground near her back door three months ago,
told the premier his silence on the matter has been deafening.
"We were just
wondering if you've seen the site," she said.
said he has telephoned the resident's official spokeswoman Juanita McKenzie
but hasn't gotten through to her yet.
"I don't want
to politicize this," the premier told Mrs. Ouellette.
"I want an
answer that is going to be the right answer. The last thing I want
to do is use this for political purposes.
parties can do that, we're not going to do that," he said, referring to
recent visits to the street by New Democrat and Tory politicians.
week, the latest round of tests by Environment Canada found 13 times higher
than acceptable levels of arsenic and elevated levels of several other
chemicals and heavy metals.
and the premier are now waiting for results from hair and blood samples
taken by the provincial Department of Health.
health is going to be jeopardized if the information tells us that there's
a health risk. i can assure you. No matter what it takes,"
the premier said, before going into the cabinet meeting.
Minister Don Downe said earlier this week if those results confirm a health
hazard for the dozen or so families living on the street, the province
will consider moving them out.
runs parallel to the nation's worst toxic site - the coke ovens and nearby
says residents want out and she doesn't understand the province's delay.
more do they have to read or take samples of to prove we're on a toxic
site?" she said.
Dr. Jeff Scott,
the province's chief medical officer, is expected to deliver the test results
next week. But whatever those results are, some of the residents
say they need to be relocated anyway.
ever asked is to relocate the kids to a safer area where there's a safer
place to play. They really have to relocate us. We would not
want to come back to a toxic site," Mrs. Ouellette said.
In the meantime,
the group overseeing the cleanup of the toxic site refused to take a position
on Frederick Street.
During a meeting
of the Joint Action Group on Environmental Cleanup, a motion to call on
the province to move residents out was defeated by a vote of 22 to 6.
"I'm not comfortable
with this (motion)," member Michelle Gardiner said, "I think the government
has acted very efficiently."
may, president of the environmental group Sierra Club, argued the Frederick
Street situation is in the group's mandate and it's time to take a stand.
Vigil on Frederick Street, August 2, 7pm