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Tuesday 17 May 2011

Wiseman's Water Woes Continued...

So apparently the municipal leaders in NL didn't take to kindly to the Minister's comments discussed here. And can you really blame them? On Open Line with Randy Simms today(May 17th) Wiseman tried to talk his way around how he was really supporting towns but that somehow it was still their fault that they weren't running proper levels of chlorine in their systems. Then a mayor called it to say that because of issues with their infrastructure they could not pump enough chlorine into the system to meet the standards so they just stopped doing it entirely. At any rate, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador(MNL), acting on their members behalf issued a press release later in the day and while they were much easier on the Minister then I was, President Harry Hallett still had some strong words for Wiseman.
“Covering the cost of supplying basic services like safe drinking water is challenging for most municipalities in this province,” said Hallett. “With limited revenue tools provided by the provincial government, municipalities are forced to make unreasonable choices such as turning off chlorination systems because they do not have the revenue to maintain trained staff to properly run their drinking water systems.” Hallett continues, “Cooperatively tackling the problems in the system should be the main focus; blaming the volunteers is not the answer.”
President Hallett is also the Mayor of the small town of Leading Tickles, and he is well aware of the reality of the operations in rural NL, even if the minister isn't. Hallett is dead on in his comment that it is the the province that holds the purse strings here, and that is the real cause behind the boil water orders. Minister Ross Wiseman could learn a lesson from Mayor Hallett, blaming the volunteers is not the answer.

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