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Residents Oppose Infilling of Moir's Pond for a Variety of Reasons
(Monday, January 21/2002)-- The giant food chain Sobey's and federal officials should not misinterpret the "politeness" of residents attending a public meeting last week in Bedford regarding a plan to infill the historic Moir's Pond as acquiescence, Councillor Len Goucher said today.
Councillor Goucher said "Just because the crowd was polite at the meeting does not mean that they concur with the plan to infill the pond. The vast majority of the residents who attended that meeting have some issue with the proposed infilling. However, because it is a highly technical issue, many people did not feel comfortable asking questions about the federal approval process or specific environmental data."
The meeting in Bedford on January 14th attracted close to 200 residents. Chaired by District 15 Councillor Russell Walker (Fairview-Clayton Park), it was attended by Mayor Peter Kelly, Councillors Len Goucher and Gary Hines, Community Services Minister Peter Christie, Halifax West MP Geoff Regan and representatives of the Bedford Water Advisory Committee (BWAC).
Sobey's Leased Properties Limited wants to infill the historic pond, which is located next to its 24-hour store in Bedford, in order to dispose of pyritic slate from the site of its Fall River shopping centre. It hopes to eventually use the newly-created land for future development
Councillor Goucher said the main concerns expressed by residents attending the meeting included environmental issues, loss of view plane, increased traffic, destruction of a wildlife habitat and further commercial intrusion along the Bedford Highway.
He said the Bedford Waters Advisory Committee is waiting for the environmental screening information from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans before making any official comment on the plan to infill the Moir's Pond.
In the meantime, Councillor Goucher, District 2 Councillor Gary Hines (Waverley-Dutch Settlement) and Community Services Minister Christie will be directing correspondence on the infill issue to the Honourable Robert Thibault, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
Councillor Hines, who is also opposed to the infilling, said "I don't want my District to be dumping its environmental problems (pyritic slate from the new Sobey's Store site in Fall River) on our neighbors."
Both Councillors Goucher and Hines said they were hopeful that MP Geoff Regan would lend his full support to residents opposed to the infill of Moir's Pond and lobby vigorously in Ottawa to have the plan rejected by federal fisheries and environmental officials.
Councillor Len Goucher
(Note: Copies of the minutes of the January 14th Public Meeting are available by contacting Councillor Goucher or on his website at firstname.lastname@example.org)