The province is wading into the Otter Lake Waste Management Facility discussion, and it may have killed any chance of public consultations.
A resolution was unanimously passed in the legislature Wednesday to reject proposed changes by Halifax Regional Municipality to the facility.
To take it one step further, Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau wrote to the mayor and councilors saying both the front-end processor (FEP) and the waste stabilization facility (WSF) will stay open.
Councillor Steve Adams, who never wanted a review of the two sites, told News 95.7 it’s good the province stepped in.
“Not only was the WSF and FEP a commitment to the local communities, it was part of the Department of Energy regulations, so seeing how council didn’t see fit to proceed accordingly, the province had to step in and rightly so,” he explained.
He added that pretty much puts an end to any review process.
“The letter from the Minister is quite definitive and that’s what’s put this process to an end,” he said.
Adams pointed out it’s not just a municipal issue.
“My big concern with this now is that HRM has lost a huge opportunity to look at efficiency because this whole process has been shut down instead of just putting the FEP and WSF aside and looking at other ways,” he said.
Councillor Waye Mason points to the election as a reason why the government is getting involved.
“This is posturing,” he insisted. “The intention of HRM, and it was made clear at council, is that we are going to go forward with the public consultation process that will engage the people. Many of the councillors, including myself, who voted for the consultation, were not in favour of necessarily closing the front end processing at Otter Lake.”
Mason sharply told News 95.7 ultimately, the province can do whatever it wants.
“I share their concerns that we need a full engagement with the public similar to what happened before; I just wish the province would get back to us this quickly on all our other legislative requests.”