Council will seek Atlantic Gold fireworks donation

·2 min read

ST. MARY’S – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s will ask Atlantic Gold for $2,000 to help them stage Canada Day fireworks this year, council decided at its regular meeting April 12.

The matter first arose at council’s committee of the whole meeting the week before, as district representatives voted to request a donation from the mining company, even though they acknowledged the move might spark local opinion against them.

“Somebody is going to see something bad in it regardless of whatever we do right now,” Deputy Warden James Fuller said at the time. “I vote that we take their money.”

Warden Greg Wier had explained that Atlantic Gold Communications Manager Dustin O’Leary had told him that the company would be willing to support such a venture if council made a formal request of it through proper channels. Atlantic Gold’s plans to build an open pit mine at Cochrane Hill northeast of Sherbrooke has sparked controversy among many residents concerned about the environmentally sensitive St. Mary’s River watershed.

At council last week, Fuller again emphasized, “It is not an endorsement, not a recommendation in any way of the Cochrane Hill project any more than is [accepting] Atlantic Gold’s donations to the food bank makes that an approval [by the food bank]. It’s just trying to find a little funding.”

Chief Administrative Officer Marvin MacDonald explained that while Atlantic Gold “didn’t really put a price tag” on its offer, the district has generally spent between $1,800 and $2,000 on Canada Day fireworks.

“Great, so we will make an amendment to the [committee of the whole recommendation] to ask for $2,000, which is what we would normally spend,” said Warden Wier.

In other council business, Municipal Clerk Marissa Jordan was appointed as an additional signing authority for the district, and former long-time councilor Debbie Findlay was appointed as the new public representative on the municipal audit committee.

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal