SYDNEY, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says Premier Dexter needs to get on with the job of removing the MV Miner wreck off Scaterie Island before hurricane season arrives and it’s too late.
The MV Miner ran aground in September 2011. Earlier this week, media reports indicated a pre-demolition site survey is now occurring, but the remaining hold up lies at the feet of Premier Dexter who initially, to avoid scrutiny, said he would be prepared to act if it was necessary.
In the October 7, 2011 Chronicle Herald, Dexter said, "We don't want to allow it to languish over questions of who is responsible for it. It is not good enough to simply pass this back and forth. ... I'm not ruling out anything, including taking on the job, if necessary."
"Premier Dexter has a duty to remove the risk to the ecosystem and the local fishing economy," said Baillie. "It's time to show leadership and take control of the cleanup and instruct the other parties that they will be billed for their fair share. Cleaning up the site must take priority over bureaucratic infighting and only the Premier can make that happen."
Cape Breton West MLA Alfie MacLeod says after nearly a year, it's time for the NDP to act with the best interests of the residents of Main-a-Dieu and surrounding area in mind.
"Instead of taking action, Premier Dexter has just pointed the finger at others," said MacLeod. "As the fall storm season approaches, this embarrassing episode must be brought to an end. This is a viable local fishery the Premier is putting at risk with his inaction."
The PC Caucus has been vocal in advocating for the removal of the MV Miner. Yesterday, Baillie and MacLeod visited the MV Miner site with Victoria-The Lakes MLA Keith Bain and Cape Breton North MLA Eddie Orrell. MacLeod has previously met with NDP Natural Resources Minister to offer suggestions about next steps. He was also part of a delegation that met with federal Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher to encourage cooperation between all parties to ensure the timely removal of the ship.