In late August, I called on the Conservative government to take a leadership role and ensure that the wreck of the MV Canadian Miner, Scaterie Island, Cape Breton, is removed as quickly as possible.
Over a year ago, the MV Miner, was grounded on Scaterie Island after its tow line broke. The ship, a decommissioned Great Lakes bulk carrier, was in the process of being towed to a scrap yard in Turkey.
The Conservative government refused to take a leadership role in the clean-up effort and Transport Canada has been extremely slow in granting approvals to the company contracted to dismantle the ship. In contrast, the provincial NDP government gave approval to the company contracted to dismantle the ship within 24 hours. It was hoped that this work would be completed before the September hurricane season. The ship remains a threat to local lobster fishing and a risk to the ecosystem and needs to be removed as quickly as possible.
As of Sept. 15 and when this column was written, I am pleased to learn that work on the MV Miner has begun.
Congratulations to QEII Diamond Jubilee Recipients
On Sept. 13 I hosted a presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals at the Eastern Passage-Cow Bay Lions Club in Eastern Passage. Constituents of Sackville-Eastern Shore received medals from His Honour Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret'd), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia to honour their significant community contributions and achievements. Several other constituents have been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal by other organizations and at other events throughout the year. Congratulations to all recipients.
The commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
NDP Calls for Increased Federal Infrastructure Funding
Last month the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) issued their first Canadian Infrastructure Report Card. The report shows that the roads and water systems in many of our big cities and towns are deteriorating and that the federal government needs to commit adequate funding to tackle our aging infrastructure.
The report confirms that 21 per cent of Canadians roads are in poor condition. As well, many communities face aging water treatment plants and piping, making water quality a major concern. In fact, more than 200 communities across the country suffer from water quality problems and more than 100 of them have boil water advisories in place. The NDP has called on the federal government to commit to adequate, predictable, long-term infrastructure funding for Canadian municipalities.
Update on Quality of Food for Camp Hill Veterans
In August, I met with veterans living at Camp Hill disappointed with the quality of food served to them at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Hospital. I also toured the facility to better understand the process of how Capital Health prepares and serves its food for the veterans at Camp Hill.
I found that Capital Health staff put a lot of care into preparing the food but there were some logistical and infrastructure deficiencies.
I have since met with staff from Veterans Affairs Canada and the Minister of Health for Nova Scotia. I am pleased that the Veterans Affairs Minister will review the situation and that the provincial government has committed to make improvements where needed. I will continue to do periodic checks at Camp Hill to ensure that veterans' concerns with food quality are being addressed.