Ottawa appoints tar ponds negotiator
Ottawa has appointed a negotiator in the final round of talks with the province
on cleanup costs for the Sydney tar ponds.
Alphonse Cormier, an assistant deputy minister with Public Works and Government
Services Canada, has extensive management and negotiating experience and an
excellent relationship with the province, the federal government said in a
Planning for the cleanup began in 1996.
"The community has been very patient throughout this process and I encourage
all of the partners to continue to work together as quickly and carefully as
possible, so that we can put the tar ponds and coke ovens behind us," said Mark
Eyking, MP for Sydney-Victoria.
In March, Ottawa set aside an additional $500 million for work on contaminated
sites such as the tar ponds.
In February, Environment Minister David Anderson said Ottawa is responsible for
just 40 per cent of the site but would pick up half the cost of the roughly
$400-million project. He warned there could be less federal money for other
Nova Scotia projects if Ottawa gives too much to the tar ponds.
Premier John Hamm has argued there is already a deal for a 70-30 split stemming
from an agreement in 1999.
Anderson said he looks forward to reaching an agreement on cost-sharing and
related issues that will lead to the cleanup of the 700,000 tonnes of toxic
waste at the site.