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Unfair to blame Mayor Kelly for Harbour Clean-Up Funding Shortfall
(Friday, September 20, 2002) "The allegations made by some Halifax Regional Municipality Councillors that Mayor Kelly is to blame for the gap in funding for the Halifax Harbour Clean- Up are both unfounded and unwarranted", said Deputy Mayor Bob Harvey earlier today.
The Deputy Mayor added, "The statements which have been made by some members of Council are very reckless in that they could potentially undermine the public's confidence in this very important project".
"The Municipality has stepped up to the plate from the beginning, with two-thirds of the funding to clean up Halifax Harbour", Harvey says. "It was assumed when the other partners came to the table that they would pay for the remaining one-third." Due to the federal government's greater resources it was assumed that they would pay the larger portion of the outstanding one-third for the harbour clean-up bill. The working figure for the Province of Nova Scotia was always understood to be around $30 million, dating back to the previous HRM Council.
"There have been no secret deals or agreements made, contrary to allegations made by some HRM Councillors", Deputy Mayor Harvey says. "If it's 50 cent dollars the Federal government is talking about, then it's time for the Province and the Feds to sharpen their pencils and come up with a workable formula to produce the remaining one-third of the funding required. Already we have the example of the New Brunswick provincial government and the upgrading of the Trans-Canada Highway with the federal government providing half of the funding, so our Province should rethink its position on this project!"
Deputy Mayor Harvey concluded "We decided to go ahead with the harbour clean-up with two-thirds of the funding in place. Regional Council made this courageous decision and went with it. If we had waited to secure funding we wouldn't now be at the advanced stage we are, which is almost ready to break ground. Another positive is that the project has just received a great boost with guarantees from both levels of government. We are now $60m ahead of where we were 3 days ago. This is a project of national implications, not just local implications and the other governments should step up to the plate. It's time we unite behind the leader of Council and the Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality on this project and get it done!!"
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Deputy Mayor Bob Harvey