Time runs short to express opinions on cleanup options

By Jim MacLeod (Deputy Mayor- CBRM) - Letter to the editor
Cape Breton Post
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

One of the frequent comments I hear throughout the Whitney Pier area is that we need to get rid of the mess in the tar ponds and the coke oven sites. I also hear about the attractive cap that has been placed over the old city dump and how much better looking the coke ovens property has become now that the old byproducts building, the two stacks and much of the debris are gone.

I am very aware that many in our community are anxious to see the rest of the cleanup get underway soon so that we can forget about those sites and the ugliness they present in our community.

The Joint Action Group has been seeking our input to determine what cleanup options are acceptable to us so that JAG can make a recommendation to government to move forward with The Big Cleanup. No other community in Canada has had such an opportunity to be involved in determining what is the most acceptable method of cleanup for a contaminated site.

Those of us who live in Whitney Pier find ourselves close to both sites, and in one way or another we will be affected by the activities associated with the cleanup. It is for that reason that I, as councillor for the area, appeal to all residents of Whitney Pier to take the opportunity to complete one of the community recommendation workbooks, Choosing Acceptable Options, before April 24. This workbook contains six cleanup options for the tar ponds and four for the coke ovens site.

The workbook is available at the JAG office, at libraries, on the JAG Web site (www.muggah.org) or by calling 563-5584. It is also possible for groups or a number of residents to arrange a workshop where the cleanup options are presented. These workshops take two hours and are facilitated by an independent facilitator. All questions are answered by a technical expert. There is also a one-hour workshop video available which can be bor rowed by calling the JAG office. The video will also be shown on the cable Channel 10 tomorrow, Thurs day, April 17, at 7 p.m.

I often hear the statement, "No one asks for my opinion." Now, for one of the most significant activities that will affect all of us, our opinion is being sought and it is up to all of us to take advantage of the opportunity. It really is our future and your choice. Please complete a workbook and indicate which cleanup options you find acceptable so we can send a clear message to government on what kind of cleanup we want.