When the Federal government announced their plans to inject $100 million into the Boat Harbour Remediation Project the news was met with applause from all sides.
Environmentalists, First Nations and other concerned parties saw the influx as a smart move, one that would certainly help the cleanup project at the Nova Scotia effluent treatment facility.
But with the project’s price tag still up in the air, how substantial of an investment Ottawa has made remains to be seen.
“It is good news,” said Nancy Anningson, the Ecology Action Centre’s Coast Adaptation Senior Coordinator. “That is a significant contribution.”
“I’m somewhat skeptical,” she added. “Typically when we go into something like this the things we find don’t speed up the project they slow them down.”
At this point $217 million is the project’s estimate.
Premier Stephen McNeil called the federal money “a great start”, indicating more will certainly be required to sufficiently fund the endeavor.
Anningson says after decades of use and a lack of understanding of exactly what damage has been done accurately estimating the cost of the project isn’t a short order.
“I fully anticipate that it’ll cost more,” she said. “When they begin the testing and it actually stops operating and they really dig in and see what’s there I think it is probably going to cost more than that.”
“I don’t even know if we know the full extent but we know it’s some really awful stuff in there.”
Still, even with the details far from clear, the Ecology Action Centre expects the project can and will be completed one day.
“It’s going to be a big complex project but yes I like to believe it can be restored to the beautiful tidal estuary that it once was,” said Anningson.