It was supposed to be a Progressive Conservative Party campaign rally in Port aux Basques, but one person turned the event into a Q and A with Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale makes a speech at a campaign rally at the Odd Fellows Lodge in Port aux Basques on Sept. 27. Aethne Hinchliffe photo
As about 60 people were about to disperse for lunch after speeches from local candidate Colin Short and the premier last Tuesday, an audience member spoke up.
“I’ve got three environmental questions,” said local business owner and former PC party candidate Greg Sheaves.
He said his first question concerned the tire levy. The government is charging $9 for 17, 18 and 19-inch tires. He said this is the same as a large truck tire.
“Why is that?” he asked. “Because the tires aren’t any bigger. The rims are bigger.”
Premier Kathy Dunderdale, who attended the rally at the Odd Fellows Lodge, said she would have to look into the tire levy.
He said his second concern regarded having recycling shipped on tractor-trailers to Corner Brook.
“That’s a big issue we’ve got in terms of regionalizing services,” said Premier Dunderdale. “Sometimes the cost of doing that kind of work on location is far more expensive than bringing it to a regional site.”
Mr. Sheaves’ final question concerned oil spills.
“Why is it that large oil companies that have all kinds of contaminated properties all over this island don’t have to clean them up unless they’re going to sell them?” he asked.
“Because that’s what the legislation requires them to do,” responded Premier Dunderdale.
She said companies have to remediate sites before they leave. The general public has to deal with oil spills immediately because houses aren’t industrial sites and aren’t meant for that kind of use, said Premier Dunderdale.
“That’s why we do environmental assessments, and that’s why there are limitations with what you can do in certain areas,” she said.
Using the example of fish plants and shipyards, she said companies are allowed to do certain kinds of work as long as there’s a remediation process.
When Mr. Sheaves completed his questions, Premier Dunderdale met and greeted other supporters.