Finger pointing over Tsuu T'ina fire
Published Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:24PM MST
Things are heating up between various levels of government and the Tsuu T'ina First Nation, with Nenshi calling out city colleagues and Ottawa calling out the band.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi is blaming a city council colleague for not inviting Chief Sanford Big Plume to a public meeting about the Tsuu T'ina landfill fire.
Nenshi called the move disrespectful. "It's disrespectful as a leadership style or an effective leadership style, but if that's the one she thinks will make the relationship better, she's welcome to try."
Diane Colley-Urquhart has already received a number of calls, emails, and tweets about the public meeting on Tuesday night and she said in a statement that the strong response will "require considerable work and consultation over the coming weeks."
The Tsuu T'ina First Nation has already responded to the meeting by shutting the site down temporarily.
Chief Sanford Big Plume made the decision after learning the landfill had been operating without a permit for more than three years.
He said that the landfill didn't have a permit because of procedural issues.
Big Plume added that toxic materials were never permitted on the site and he has contracted an environmental firm to test the site.
Federal government officials say the real problem is "unpaid fees, an incomplete survey, and unaddressed environmental issues."
The fire that began on Feb. 8 burned for three days and laid a thick blanket of smoke over several southwest communities.
Ward 13 councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart held a public meeting on the landfill fire on Tuesday night where it was decided that more communication was needed and an environmental assessment would be conducted.
Chief Big Plume said that he was not notified about the meeting and would have been there if he had been.