Cleanup staff attitude drives people away

In response to a request by the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency to attend a presentation concerning future land-use at the tar ponds and coke ovens sites, I did attend a meeting in Menelik Hall, Whitney Pier, on May 25.

Letter by Kay Sampson
Cape Breton Post
Fri., Jun. 4, 2010

At this meeting we were to view the Ekistics Planning and Design site proposals. After a short presentation by Rob LeBlanc, I listened to his responses to several questions from the audience. He could not answer some, at which time an anonymous female from the sidelines took over the conversation. A question was asked by another person attending the meeting: “What will be put on top of the south pond?” The individual said that she did not know.

It was my turn to ask questions, so I simply asked if it would be safe. Suddenly and abruptly, I LeBlanc told me to go to the back of the room and have my questions answered later. As a senior business person and the matriarch of my extended family in the north end of Sydney, and as a volunteer for many years with community organizations in this city, I felt severely insulted and hurt. I was made to feel embarrassed and left the meeting immediately. At the same time, other people left the building. They said they felt the same way. At no time did the eight or so attending employees of the tar ponds agency show any concern over this incident.

For some years I have heard accounts that people were not shown respect at meetings held by STPA. Now that I have had first-hand experience, I realize why most citizens I know will not attend these meetings.

Kay Sampson