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COMMENTARY: N.S. government still hasn’t provided timeline or cost estimate for crane removal

Click to play video: 'Progress slow but steady at site of collapsed crane in Halifax' Progress slow but steady at site of collapsed crane in Halifax
There is tangible progress being made at the site where a crane collapsed in September. Some residents are being allowed back into their homes after they were evacuated over a month ago. But questions about costs and timeline continue to go unanswered. Alicia Draus has more – Oct 15, 2019

Over a month after a construction crane was toppled during post-tropical storm Dorian, removal efforts finally got underway. Over the Thanksgiving weekend crews began cutting up and removing parts of the crane that dangled over the side of a building under construction.

Crews say the next step is to remove the tower which has been leaning against the building since Dorian. That work is set to take place on Saturday but before that can happen pieces need to be added to one of the cranes which will take part in the removal process.

READ MORE: Halifax fire partially lifts evacuation order for some properties near downed crane

Crews are currently working to add an attachment on the boom so it can reach over the Trillium building.

Due to the location of the tower, two cranes will be required for removal efforts.

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While the progress is now visible to those visiting the site, the provincial government is still not providing any estimated timeline.

“We’re going to work through in a safe manner to get it completed,” said Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines.

READ MORE: Crew begin dismantling pieces of toppled crane in Halifax

The province has also not given any indication of how much this is costing since it took on liability in September.

“It’s a variable kind of situation because it depends on the kind of equipment that’s being used,” said Hines.

But the lack of transparency is raising concerns from opposition parties.

READ MORE: New crane brought in to help remove toppled crane in Halifax

“The primary matter is to make sure that the people of Nova Scotia are going to be repaid the money they are owed dealing with this problem” said NDP leader Gary Burrill.

“So we want to know how that’s going to take place and when it’s going to take place,” he added.

PC leader Tim Houston says once everything is completed the government will have a lot to learn from how this was handled.

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“It’s just the file’s been mismanaged from the beginning because nobody really took accountability for it, a variety of ministers were involved but nobody was responsible for it,” he said.

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