Di­lap­i­dated fish plants prompts Ser­vice NL to in­ves­ti­gate

For­mer fish plants in Isle aux Morts and Rose Blanche–Har­bour Le Cou in­spected, but MHA An­drew Par­sons says prob­lem is a pro­vin­cial one

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front page - BY ROS­ALYN ROY

You don’t want to do some­thing in haste and put your­self in a sit­u­a­tion where you’re ac­tu­ally caus­ing your­self trou­ble.

– Bur­geo–La Poile MHA An­drew Par­sons

The MHA for Bur­geo–La Poile main­tains that the prob­lem of di­lap­i­dated, pri­vately owned fish plants is a pro­vin­cial prob­lem that needs to be ad­dressed.

“What we’re deal­ing with here, this is not just iso­lated to these two spots,” An­drew Par­sons said.

The two lo­ca­tions Par­sons is re­fer­ring to are in Isle aux Morts and Rose Blanche—Har­bour Le Cou, within his elec­toral district.

The MHA has been work­ing with the may­ors and coun­cil­lors of both towns to ad­dress their con­cerns sur­round­ing the crum­bling fish plants.

To that end, Par­sons has reached out to Ser­vice NL, which re­cently sent out in­ves­ti­ga­tors to ex­am­ine both sites.

“They have vis­ited both sites. They did a com­plete in­ven­tory of the dif­fer­ent types of wastes and haz­ards,” con­firmed Par­sons.

Par­sons says Ser­vice NL, along with his De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment, will next de­ter­mine what spe­cific ac­tions they can take from an en­force­ment per­spec­tive.

“This is a prov­ince- wide is­sue,” he said. “There’s a long list that ex­ists of ba­si­cally aban­doned or derelict fish plants.”

Deal­ing with these two fish plants in par­tic­u­lar will serve as sort of a test, says Par­sons.

“What do we need to do in terms of a leg­isla­tive frame­work or a le­gal frame­work and cost­ing frame­work, be­cause my is­sue all along has been it’s very ex­pen­sive and un­for­tu­nate that a town has to take it on, but nor do I think that the tax­pay­ers of

the prov­ince should be tak­ing it on,” he said.

“So what can do we do to help rem­edy that is­sue, but at the same time re­spect­ing that they’re eye­sores in the com­mu­nity, they may have en­vi­ron­men­tal or safety haz­ards, so ac­tion has to be taken.” Le­gal con­sid­er­a­tions Par­sons won’t com­mit to a time­frame just yet, as the in­spec­tions have only just been com­pleted.

“It will take some time,” ad­mit­ted Par­sons, cit­ing the re­cent Em­bree de­ci­sion. “You don’t want to do some­thing in haste and put your­self in a sit­u­a­tion where you’re ac­tu­ally caus­ing your­self trou­ble.”

On June 8, the Town of Em­bree was found neg­li­gent by the Supreme Court of New­found­land and Labrador af­ter di­rect­ing a con­trac­tor to de­mol­ish and re­move a di­lap­i­dated build­ing af­ter the owner re­peat­edly re­fused to com­ply with re­peated or­ders to clean up, re­pair or re­move the struc­ture.

“Right now, the sys­tem we have doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily work, es­pe­cially when you have — some of the build­ings are owned by dis­solved cor­po­ra­tions. The le­gal process just to deal with that tan­gle just is amaz­ing,” said Par­sons.

Oth­ers are owned by ac­tive cor­po­ra­tions, and it gets dif­fi­cult just to even de­ter­mine own­er­ship. Par­sons says no two sit­u­a­tions are ex­actly alike, which com­pli­cates mat­ters even fur­ther.

“I also think my other de­part­ment, JPS (Jus­tice and Pub­lic Safety) will be in­volved, be­cause we’re go­ing to need to get some le­gal back­ground on what our op­tions are, what we can we can and can­not do, and in some cases what do we need to do to change leg­is­la­tion to as­sist us?” Wait­ing on re­port Par­sons does in­tend to reach out to May­ors Clay­ton Durn­ford (Rose Blanche – Har­bour Le Cou) and Nel­son Lilling­ton (Isle aux Morts) about the in­spec­tions. The de­tails of the Ser­vice NL find­ings are cur­rently un­known, and Par­sons does not know if a re­port has even been drafted yet, but he hopes to hear more soon.

He’s also promised to share it if he can.

“I’d love to see it (made) pub­lic be­cause I think that helps spur ac­tion.”

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ROS­ALYN ROY/THE GULF NEWS

Bur­geo–La Poile MHA An­drew Par­sons

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