Ottawa ready to move ahead on big cleanup

Letter to the editor from Environment Minister David Anderson
Cape Breton Post
Monday, Mar. 31, 2004

Nova Scotia's minister of energy, Cecil Clarke has asked whether Ottawa is ready to begin the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds. I can assure him and all residents of Sydney that the Government of Canada has been at the table and is committed to the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds.

We have been supporting the province in the remediation and will continue to do so because it is the right thing to do.

In fact, on March 23 the federal budget stated clearly that "an immediate priority for the government will be to conclude discussions with the Government of Nova Scotia and the city and citizens of Sydney to establish an effective approach and a fair division of responsibilities and costs for the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds."

In my view, the public does not want to hear more arguments between governments. Co-operation between the federal, provincial and municipal governments is essential for an effective solution to this long-standing issue.

I encourage people who are involved with this issue at every level to adopt a spirit of co-operation so that we can move ahead as quickly as possible.

David Anderson
Minister of the Environment, Ottawa