Councillor Martin E. Bell
District 2 - MODL
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LaHave River Straight Pipe Initiative

The prospect of a straight-pipe-free LaHave River has been a priority for me for several years. I have always found it difficult getting the support at the municipal level to try to remedy this problem. I have always been told that at the municipal level we should just worry about an "education and awareness campaign". The main issue here is that this is a provincial environmental issue covered by provincial regulations. I have had limited successes with rebuilding the Riverside Heights Wastewater Treatment Plant and installing a new system for Shore Drive residents. Stella Bowles I also promoted water quality testing by the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation and we have found that fecal contamination in the river exceeds acceptable levels in order to maintain health standards. As a council, we championed a resolution asking the province to change legislation so that straight pipes are corrected when a property is sold.

The issue became more real when a young student by the name of Stella Bowles highlighted the issue in her school project where she posted water samplings of the river using social media. No one stakeholder can fix this situation alone. Council approved an education and awareness campaign in 2016 to help bring attention to the issue and to engage stakeholders.

I will continue working with those who have straight pipes seeking solutions on how these properties can be corrected without placing financial burden on the homeowners. I think it is important to seek environmental solutions and seek funding opportunities or grant initiatives from wherever it is possible. We have to find solutions to this problem but not shift the financial burden on to those who are not offenders to the environment.

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