Requests for meeting with Pioneer Coal never reached council members

Published on October 7, 2014
Pioneer Coal
FILE PHOTO

STELLARTON – Pioneer Coal sent an email to Mayor Joe Gennoe requesting to meet with the town councilors of Stellarton and left several phone calls that were never returned.

Councillor Judith MacLellan brought up the matter after reading in Pioneer Coal’s submission to the Department of Environment that their attempts to reach out to the town in regards to their request to blast in the strip mine had gotten no response.

“This troubled me as if you review the minutes for meetings held since May, this was a repeated question to our mayor,” MacLellan said. “We recently received a copy of an email that was sent directly to Mayor Gennoe from Pioneer Coal offering to meet with town council and also indicating that phone calls were made to his office.”

In response Gennoe said he had been having some email problems and never received the correspondence.

MacLellan requested that a letter be sent to Pioneer Coal asking for the opportunity to meet now. She also requested that a letter be written to the Minister of Environment advising that the majority of council continues to have concerns with the request to blast.

“Those concerns are primarily are the effect on already bad dust levels, the close proximity to G.R. Saunders Elementary School, risk to residents’ foundations and town infrastructure and the possible negative effects on the many old mine shafts located throughout town.”

The Department of Environment is expected to make a decision on the matter of blasting in the near future.

At the very least, MacLellan said she believes it is essential for the town to be allowed to have input on the monitoring systems put in place.