LETTER: “Environmental Discrimination” Must Be Addressed in Cape Breton

Every day we learn more and more about the pollutants that persist under our municipality due to past industrial activities and oil spills that have been cleaned up and buried under our towns that make up the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (MRCB) .

Now I would like the community to know that the Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness (NSEF), the group that has long fought against the unfair distribution of the annual equalization payment the province receives from Ottawa, has not put up this fight. on the back burner in any case.

We will be getting more involved in the legal aspect of this matter in the new year and we are looking at a class action activity to move this matter forward. Work has already started on this front.

Environmental discrimination as well as past economic and fiscal discrimination must be addressed next. We have been told that politicians on the mainland say, ‘It’s not the coal in the ground that we want, it’s the hole in the ground that we want’.

The sinking of MV Kurdistan in 1979 was enough to open our eyes to this new form of discrimination. We have learned that between 800,000 and 1,000,000 bags and barrels of carcinogenic bunker oil have been buried in our landfills and other places in the city.

Lately, we have been hearing discussions on the abolition of the fiscal “CAP” in the MRCB, but I assure you that to achieve this equalization, we have to tackle the province-wide. Equalization is sent to Nova Scotia so that we are not overtaxed as Canadians, and we strongly believe that the cap was imposed by the province many years ago so that Equalization can be misused and abusively by the politicians of the time.

Now here we are in a bad situation that is about to get worse because of past political tinkering and interference with a federal program designed to help us avoid being overtaxed.

The CBRM council and the mayor will be seen as negligent by the NSEF if they continue to ignore the equalization issue as they attempt to remove the tax cap. Mayor Amanda McDougall is now president of the Federation of Nova Scotia Municipalities (NSFM) and is now in the best possible position to formally lobby other struggling Nova Scotia municipalities to come together and are working together to bring equity to the rest of the province as well.

I promise the NSEF will continue to fight for our fair share of funding and we will continue to educate residents on simple facts as is the case in Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia that generate the total transfer for the province. It is important that we fight all the injustices that we have faced for many decades to heal and correct the bad deeds of the past.

Rev. Dr Albert Maroun


(on behalf of Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness)


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