Ac­tivist charged with as­sault­ing mayor in his­toric town’s sewage feud

The News (New Glasgow) - - ATLANTIC -

A sim­mer­ing feud over sewage sludge that flows into a world-renowned har­bour in Nova Sco­tia took a strange turn after a lo­cal fish­er­man said he was ac­cused of smear­ing the foul ma­te­rial on the town’s mayor.

Bill Flower, who also runs a char­ter boat com­pany, says he has been charged with as­sault­ing Lunenburg Mayor Rachel Bai­ley fol­low­ing a con­fronta­tion be­tween the two in mid-Au­gust.

The pic­turesque har­bour was des­ig­nated as a world her­itage site by the UN in 1995 and is home to Canada’s most fa­mous sailing ship, the Bluenose II, but re­cent test­ing has shown high lev­els of fe­cal ma­te­rial.

Flower says the mayor ap­proached him on a wharf in town as he was pre­par­ing to head out on the wa­ter, and they had a heated ex­change over his on­go­ing lob­by­ing to have the town deal with sewage he says runs into the har­bour.

He says he learned re­cently that he had been charged with as­sault based on claims that he spread con­tam­i­nated ma­te­rial from the wa­ter on her an­kles.

In re­sponse, Bai­ley is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day say­ing that Flower’s ac­count of what al­legedly hap­pened dif­fers from her state­ment to po­lice but re­fused to com­ment or of­fer any other de­tails.

Flower is vow­ing to fight the charge, but said he had no com­ment when asked if he put the ma­te­rial on the mayor.

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