Neila Dealt With On Remediation - But Shabbily

By Neila MacQueen - Weekend Feedback
Cape Breton Post
Saturday, March 29, 2003

Recently on Talk Back I heard the expression, "Neila was dealt with." Yes, I was dealt with, like this.

Soil sampling in the northend was to be used to define the natural environment condition of my property. Five people came from Public Works and Government Services Canada. Outside, samples were taken in my backyard only. They took a picture of me on my lawn, and took pictures in my basement under my store without my permission.

They said it would take only a month for my results. After many promises, nine months later I received my test results.

Parker Donham of Sydney Tar Pond Agency came to my house, results in hand. He stayed for only a few moments, and left without any explanation.

At an information session at Dorchester Street Legion I was astonished to find that there is a possibility the contamination came from chips of paint in my back yard.

Lead concentration on my property is 976; the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guideline is l40. Arsenic concentration is 123; the CCME guideline is 12. I was offered no remediation, yet a house was remediated on each of Intercolonial, Havelock and Amelia Streets.

What about the rest of the houses on those three streets?

Now I live in a house with my basement air vented out. No children are allowed to play in my back yard. My property value is down to little or nothing.

Yes, I was dealt with very shabbily.

The Joint Action Group was formed because of failed attempts to clean up the tar ponds, not to cover over the problem. Safety and health were to be their first priorities.

Now I find out that dear little children have the responsibility of filling out the workbooks in school to determine what options to use to cleanup The tar ponds. One must be 18 years old to loin the Joint Action Group.

Neila MacQueen
Dorchester St.