Tar ponds cleanup on agenda of session

By Greg McNeil
Cape Breton Post
Mon., Oct. 22, 2007

SYDNEY - The tar ponds site and the potential role of the local African Nova Scotia community in its cleanup will highlight the agenda of today’s information session at Menelik Hall in Whitney Pier.

The session was initiated by the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency in conjunction with the African Nova Scotian Employment Centre.

Officials with the employment centre hope the day-long meeting will help to build upon an already positive relationship between the two groups. "We’ve been working with them in partnership and there have been developments," said Karen Green MacIver, executive director of the centre. "However, there is still more that needs to be developed. We need to get this message out to the contractors to say ‘how about looking at your equity policies and make them a little more inclusive to include us.’"

The session will review important events within the local African Nova Scotian community, such as the history of their arrival in Whitney Pier.

Hopes and aspirations for the future and ways to build upon the current relationship will also be discussed. "We will express some of the present challenges in order to place the session in the present context of development."

After similar discussions with the local aboriginal community, the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency approached the African Nova Scotian Employment Centre about the sessions. "It is for information purposes to learn more about the culture, their history and the connection to the site," said communications officer Tanya Collier-MacDonald. "It will help us be more aware of issues facing African Nova Scotians."