Tar ponds a priority: MacKay

Cape Breton Post
Mon., May 8, 2006

SYDNEY - Federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay says the government remains committed to the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds, Saturday.

MacKay was in Sydney at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavillion for an infrastructure funding announcement for communities within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

With joint panel hearings on the cleanup of the tar ponds happening just up the street, MacKay responded to recent claims by Sydney-Victoria Liberal MP Mark Eyking that there's a lack of commitment to the project from the Conservatives.

"Clearly we have priorities that we're moving on. The Sydney tar ponds is a commitment, is a priority and we're going to deal with it," he said.

MacKay said he's spoken with Environment Minister Rona Ambrose about the issue and hopes to have her visit the region in the near future.

He noted there's a number of important environment-related projects in the region like harbour cleanup projects in Halifax, St. John, New Brunswick and St. John's, N.L.

"But, none in my mind is more important than finally, finally putting to rest this issue around the Sydney tar ponds so they'll be some movement on this very soon," he said.