Comment 60932

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted March 13, 2011 at 15:49:00

Because it keeps coming up whenever we discuss Randle Reef, let's look at Sydney, Nova Scotia, our unofficial toxic sister city. Sydney is having its infamous Tar Ponds remediated at a cost of up to $400m total (2004 estimate) – the province is to pay $120m max, feds to foot the $180m balance. This arrangement is due to the fact that the polluter (Sysco) was state-owned for decades. This is a case where the liability is far less ambiguous and the guilty actor a Canadian holding in no uncertain terms, and yet the chosen course of remediation is still cap-in-place.

Given this sort of precedent, what politician would judge a perfect pie-in-the-sky solution to be "hold-on-a-minute-I-have -a-flash-of-innovative-genius" attainable? Especially when, as most will agree, this toxic mass is a problem that resulted from our own city's deal with the devil (eg. give us city-building industry and high-paying jobs and we'll turn a blind eye when the harbour becomes so toxic that the shores are lined with fish and fowl by the thousands).

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