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Mayor Says Socio-Economic Status of Host Communities Not a Factor
(Thursday, March 21/2002)-- Selection of the proposed sites for wastewater treatment plants for the Harbour Solutions Project was based on engineering and design criteria-- not the socio-economic status of the host communities, Mayor Peter Kelly said today.
"I can clearly state that at no time during this very lengthy and open process to move forward with the Harbour Solutions Project was there ever any reference made to, or even consideration given to, the socio-economic status of any community of these host communities. It never entered anyone's mind, " the Mayor said.
Mayor Kelly was commenting on news reports today that opponents of the proposed treatment plant to be built on municipally-owned land near the corner of Barrington and Cornwallis Streets in Halifax planned to file a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. They allege the decision to locate the plant violates the human rights of many of the area's low-income and black residents.
"I find these allegations very hard to fathom, and frankly, to be somewhat disturbing. What about the other communities that will be hosting the other plants, such as the former Coast Guard lands on the Dartmouth waterfront and the Hospital Point site in Herring Cove? We even negotiated for land to construct a fourth plant in Halifax's south end. All of these sites have surrounding communities. My community of Bedford has been host to a treatment plant for more than 20 years, and its located on the waterfront next door to $200,000 and $300,000 condominiums," he said.
Mayor Kelly said HRM has resumed consultations with the Community Liaison Committee for the Brunswick/Barrington Street area and has even assigned a community development staff member to help facilitate talks with area residents. The consortium proposing to undertake the Harbour Solutions Project will be meeting with the CLC to discuss the design, construction and operation of the treatment plant. Also, the local community will be asked for its recommendations on how it would like the Community Integration Funding earmarked for the treatment plant host community to be spent.
Mayor Peter Kelly