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Councillor Accuses Sobey Group of Arrogance
(Thursday, December 12/2002)-- Bedford Councillor Len Goucher said today he is appalled by the arrogance of the Sobey's company in its campaign to in-fill historic Moir's Pond.
Councillor Goucher said that Sobey's not only wants to in-fill the historic pond against the wishes of thousands of Bedford and area residents, but it wants to make money at it by accepting harmful pyritic slate from other construction sites, in addition to its own.
The Councillor said Sobey's, through its Atlantic Shopping Centres and Sobey Leased Properties groups, has been trying to leave the impression with Bedford residents that its plan to in-fill the pond adjacent to its 24-hour food store was one of "openness and public consultation."
He said "However, it seems that openness has now turned to arrogance, based on the company's attitude during the past few weeks."
Atlantic Shopping Centres has applied to the federal government under the Navigable Water Protection Act to in-fill Moir's Pond. The public has until January 4th to file written objections to the plan with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
The company has said it intends to in-fill Moir's Pond with pyretic slate excavated from the site of its new store in Fall River. The company is now shipping pyretic slate excavated from one of its shopping centres in Sackville for underwater disposal at the Waterfront Development Corporation site in Bedford. Earlier this year, Atlantic Shopping Centres assumed responsibility year for polluting the Sackville River and killing thousands of fish. Pyretic slate stored on the Sackville site was determined to be the cause of the pollution.
Councillor Goucher said the Sobey's group has failed to reply to a number of letters and e-mails from members of the Bedford Waters Advisory Committee regarding the in-filling of Moir's Pond.
In addition, a lawyer acting for Sobey Leased properties was quoted as saying the company can save money on disposal of its own pyritic slate-which is best stored under saltwater to prevent it from leaching acid-- and make money, by accepting the slate from other construction sites.
"They started out by telling us they wanted to in-fill the Pond to create more land for possible expansion of its Bedford strip mall. Now they want to make it a dump site for every bit of pyritic slate that turns up on every job site in the area. So much for openness," the Councillor said
Bedford MLA Peter Christie presented a petition signed by more than 5,000 Bedford and area residents opposed to the Moir's Pond in-fill at the Spring session of the Nova Scotia Legislature. It was supported by both Opposition parties.
Councillor Goucher urged HRM residents to write to the Dartmouth office of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans before the end of December to register their opposition to the in-filling of the historic Moir's Pond.
Councillor Len Goucher
(902) 476-0021 or 832-8902(h)