Muggah Creek Watershed

Click here to sign petition to government
for cleanup to begin January 1, 2000


Whitney Pier residents protest at MLA's office

MacEwan pleads for calm

A group of Whitney Pier residents who protested outside Cape Breton Nova MLA Paul MacEwan's office Saturday said this might become a weekly project for them.

``We may picket there every week - every Saturday - until election time,'' said Anne Ross.

``We might keep this up until he decides to meet with us. We haven't made a decision yet.''

Ross and about 12 other residents gathered outside the MLA's constituency office on Victoria Road at about 9 a.m. to ask him to intervene with the situation facing residents in conjunction with the clean up of the coke ovens.

``We want residents moved out before anymore testing is done. His government is in power, they are the ones that can have the say for this to be done.''

She said he was inside, but refused to meet with them.

``We sent two people in and they came back with a message that he wasn't coming out as he doesn't want people to think this is political.''

Ross said MacEwan didn't even come outside to recognize they were there. After awhile one of his workers came out and informed the group he would meet with them ``one-on-one,'' she added.

``We said no - we're a neighbourhood and want him to face us as a neighbourhood.''

Ross is a member of ``Rescue Our Communities'' (ROC) a group of area residents focusing on environmental issues and health concerns in conjunction with the coke ovens project.

A voluntary buyout offer from the provincial government was presented to 24 families living on Frederick Street and Curry's Lane, which border the site of the former coke ovens - together with the considered Canada's worst toxic waste dump.

The heavily contaminated area is now the target of Canada's largest remediation project.

``We want the residents to have the same buyout as residents of Frederick Street had.''

Ross said when MacEwan sits in cabinet the minister of environment Michel Sampson sits on one side of him and Clifford Huskilson, minister of transportation and public works, sits on the other side.

``We feel instead of Paul just sitting in between them, why not speak to them and tell them we want to be moved before any more testing is done.''

MacEwan said he pleads ``not guilty'' on all counts.

He said he has represented the area for more than 28 years and is available at his constituency office at 823 Victoria Road every Saturday 9 a.m.-12 noon.

``What I am not available for is people who are cursing and swearing.''

MacEwan said he was informed a group was outside his office ``cursing and swearing.'' He said there are three families with children living in his building and a doctor's office across the street.

``I expect people who come here to behave themselves and act like ladies and gentleman. I will not dignify myself to go outside and be cursed or sworn at.''

The group did not submit any document or any other submission, he said. He said he spoke and listened to two representatives sent inside his office.

``The environmental issues these people are raising are serious issues - very serious issues - far too serious for this to be made into a political football game at election time or the political subject of bad language.''

Read about the new
Community Alliance

Next article

Click here to see the similarities between Sydney and Love Canal
See Canada's Love Canal

Back to [In the News]

Nightmare on Frederick Street

Return to Main Page