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LETTER: Lack of progress with Hantsport aboiteau 'a sad state of affairs'

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

On Sept. 10, 2018, the citizens of Hantsport again met with Royden Trainor, (executive director with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure) and Hants West MLA Chuck Porter regarding the Hantsport aboiteau, and still nothing completed but excuses from different departments of the province.

Any work requires approval from a variety of provincial and federal agencies and departments. Now we wait for consultations between the Department of Highways (the Province of N.S.) and consultations with First Nations. These were expected to continue until the end of September, which has passed, and reports of that will be passed to Mr. Schmidt, the owner of the Hantsport and Windsor Railway Company.

The above was a follow up to the meeting of Aug. 8. 2018 — months after the aboiteau structure at the Halfway River collapsed.

The residents from the community and surrounding area came to a meeting at the church to hear from provincial government representatives and ask questions about what’s being done to address the issue. Nothing was resolved at that meeting except to have another meeting.

Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines stated, and I quote, “if we see any specific or precipitous process or development that would cause difficulty, we'd have to move to another stage. Currently we don't see any precipitous considerations there at the present time."

So there we have it sort of, because an environmental study needs to be

completed. Other interested groups wish to leave things the way they are and that will be months.

The court case on Aug. 28 between the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure was stayed in favour of Mr. Schmidt’s company. No surprises there, the judge made the proper decision.

So the common thought from the residents is why does the province not fix the aboiteau and then go after Mr. Schmidt legally for the cost? Why do we have to go through all this buck passing?

What will not go past us is the winter months and the ice creating more damage. Why does the Municipality of West Hants not step up to the plate? They have been rather silent, since sending a letter to Mr. Schmidt and the meeting with the Province of Nova Scotia on Jan. 23,2018.

Will we be having another meeting to update the residents of Hantsport? There does not appear to be anything in the works for that. It has taken a year and we have come full circle with nothing accomplished — it’s a really sad state of affairs.

Bill Preston


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