Tuesday, September 29, 1998                                          The Halifax Herald Limited
            No promises on toxic woes

            By TERA CAMUS / Cape Breton Bureau

            Sydney - Frederick Street residents got Premier Russell MacLellan's sympathy but
            little else following a meeting here Monday.

            "We didn't accomplish much," Juanita McKenzie said.

            "We're fighting for our lives here. But we're getting exhausted."

            The premier wants more studies before deciding what to do with the Frederick
            Street folks.

            "We are doing further study. I want to be absolutely sure that I have all the
            information that I could possibly get," Mr. MacLellan said.

            He couldn't say when those studies will be complete, when the province will
            respond or what the cost would be to move the residents out.

            But all options are still on the table, he said.

            "When the results are there, no amount of money will be spared to protect the
            people who need that protection," he said.

            The province's decision to stand by is based on a recent Cantox study that ruled
            there was no long-term danger to the residents despite elevated toxins found near
            their homes almost eight months ago.

            The Cantox study, conducted over several weeks this summer, has received
            widespread criticism saying that its methodology was flawed.

            But the premier backed the findings and the province's chief medical officer, Dr.
            Jeff Scott, who endorsed the study.

            "We've analyzed that study and found that it seems to be in order," he said.

            Among the toxins found within metres of homes on Frederick Street that exceed
            Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines are naphthalene,
            arsenic, lead, heavy metals and polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons.

            Cape Breton the Lakes MLA Helen MacDonald said the premier should have at
            least temporarily relocated the Frederick Street residents until the province knows
            for sure that they are safe.

            "It's shameful for a government that gives millions of dollars to its corporate friends
            to refuse aid to families that are afraid for their health and the health of their
            children," the NDP member said.

            But the premier said the NDP is jumping the gun.
Death study adds urgency to cleanup

Copyright © 1998 The Halifax Herald Limited

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