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Worries rise with approval from Transport Canada to infill Dartmouth Cove

By Caitlin Snow Apr 12, 2024 | 1:19 PM

Dartmouth Cove is one more move closer to getting infilled.

Transport Canada approved a proposal by Atlantic Road Construction and Paving who plan on dumping pyritic slate into the water.

A project that has been on the table for two years now.

Councillor for District 5 Dartmouth Centre, Sam Austin tells our newsroom, it’s been a hot button issue in the community for a while with worries over things like the disruption and the noise.

Now, with this approval, there is a fresh round of concerns.

“This infill is purely to make Dartmouth Cove a dump site and that is really not a great use for this prime piece of waterfront property.”

Austin says the infilling is not in the public interest, it’s only in the benefit of the property owner to make money.

He adds that these historic water lots were created to ensure water access, and no one could have predicted that 100-200 years later we’d be turning them into lands.

“Whatever gets dumped here, has no development rights whatsoever, so it’s likely going to remain just a rubble rock pile which is not going to be pretty to look at for anyone.”

To get a ‘yes’ from Transport Canada on the project, Austin says, is a huge ‘setback’, because there is nothing HRM can do on its own to prevent it from happening.

Austin says it’s also not entirely clear how the company will access the site.

MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Darren Fisher says in a statement he is ‘gutted’ by the news.

“I don’t believe that Dartmouth is a dumping ground for someone’s fill. And I am disappointed to see this infill project move a step ahead at all. However, there is still time to stop this from happening which is why we need to keep working together to protect Dartmouth Cove.”

Fisher adds, just like they did with the Northwest Arm, HRM does have the opportunity to pursue further regulations.

The Department of Oceans and Fisheries still needs to approve the project before it goes ahead.