‘I’m look­ing to her as Lisa from Whit­ney Pier’

MacLel­lan pushes fed­eral coun­ter­part for MV Miner help

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAURA JEAN GRANT

De­spite the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s re­peated rejection of pro­vin­cial re­quests for fi­nan­cial help with the MV Miner cleanup, pro­vin­cial min­is­ter Ge­off MacLel­lan says he’ ll con­tinue to push for a change of heart.

While in Syd­ney this week for a cou­ple of an­nounce­ments fed­eral Trans­port Min­is­ter Lisa Raitt, a Whit­ney Pier na­tive, has re­it­er­ated her stance that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment isn’t re­spon­si­ble for any part of the clean- up bill. She’s also stressed that the bulk car­rier wasn’t an im­ped­i­ment to nav­i­ga­tion, and there­fore Trans­port Canada is not in­volved — sug­gest­ing MacLel­lan di­rect his re­quests to the fed­eral en­vi­ron­ment and fish­eries de­part­ments.

MacLel­lan, the min­is­ter of trans­porta­tion and in­fra­struc­ture re­newal, said Thurs­day he re­mains dis­ap­pointed in Raitt’s po­si­tion on an im­por­tant is­sue for the is­land.

“I’m look­ing to her as Lisa from Whit­ney Pier,” he said. “This isn’t about the trans­port port­fo­lio specif­i­cally, this is about the MV Miner that re­ally was an ex­treme cri­sis that could have been, had we not re­moved it.”

The MV Miner, a 12,000tonne, 223- me­tre bulk car­rier, ran aground off Scatarie Is­land af­ter a tow line snapped in rough seas dur­ing transit to Tur­key from Mon­treal in Septem­ber 2011.

The cleanup of it was orig­i­nally forecast to cost $ 11.9 mil­lion.

“We crafted a ten­der based on in­for­ma­tion we re­ceived di­rectly from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that said there were no con­tam­i­nants on board,” said MacLel­lan. “We found sig­nif­i­cant as­bestos and sig­nif­i­cant diesel, which pushed not only the timeline back, but also there will be a mul­ti­plier of a few mil­lion dol­lars min­i­mum on the ad­di­tional cost be­cause of those con­tam­i­nants.”

MacLel­lan said the fi­nal price tag for the MV Miner cleanup is still be­ing de­ter­mined and when it is, he plans to once again seek fed­eral help with the bill.

“I still haven’t given up hope,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s en­vi­ron­ment, I don’t care if it’s fish­eries, I don’t care if it’s trans­port — the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has a role to play here and we ex­pect them to live up to that.”

MacLel­lan

Raitt

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