HALIFAX — A woman leading a case against the federal and provincial governments over Cape Breton’s notorious tar ponds says her seven-year fight to have it approved as a class-action lawsuit has finally paid off.
Anne Ross praised a decision by a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge Wednesday that gives the green light to a legal action involving decades of contaminants spewed from the former Sydney Steel Corp. plant.
“It’s wonderful,” she said from Sydney, N.S., where she has lived in the same home for for 51 years. “I’m ecstatic over it. It took a long time — seven years — but it’s well worth the wait.”
Ross, who launched the case with three other lifelong residents from the area, is seeking compensation for property damage, exposure to industrial toxins and funds to establish a medical monitoring program.
Many of the people who have grown up around the heavily contaminated site are suing to have their properties cleaned up, their lawyers said.
Justice John Murphy said the lawsuit will include two groups: current homeowners in Whitney Pier, Ashby and the north end of Sydney, as well as people who lived in the neighbourhoods for at least seven years between 1967 and 2000, when the plant was in operation.