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Councillor Concerned Survey May Be Skewed
(Friday, March 21/2003)-- Councillor Len Goucher said today he is concerned that a public opinion survey underway in the Bedford area may be skewed to leave the impression that residents are in favour of in-filling historic Moir's Pond.
Councillor Goucher said he personally had been contacted by the survey company and he has had many calls from residents who are upset with the order, and the way, many of the questions were worded. The company does not reveal the name of the client commissioning the poll.
The Councillor said "The survey could leave the impression with some people that there is widespread support for in-filling Moir's Pond by the Sobey's group. At the very least, the survey should be asking residents at the outset, whether or not they support in-filling the Pond. That issue was positioned in the middle of the survey, following a number of questions about how the respondent felt about development, in general, in Bedford."
He added "Many of the questions could leave the impression with some that in-filling the Pond is good for development and the survey asks residents how they think the new land to be created should be developed-- once the Pond has been in-filled. "
Sobey's, through its Atlantic Shopping Centres and Sobey Leased Properties companies, has applied to the federal government under the Navigable Water Protection Act to in-fill Moir's Pond.
Councillor Goucher said the company 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 company has said previously that it intends to in-fill Moir's Pond with pyritic slate excavated from the site of its new store in Fall River. During the past Winter, the company had pyritic slate excavated from one of its shopping centres in Sackville trucked to the Waterfront Development Corporation site in Bedford for safe disposal under saltwater. Last year, Atlantic Shopping Centres assumed responsibility for polluting the Sackville River and killing thousands of fish. Pyritic slate stored on the Sackville site was determined to be the cause of the pollution.
Councillor Len Goucher