David Coon, Green Party Leader calls for action on blue-green algae

CTV Atlantic
Published Friday, August 14, 2015 1:19PM ADT

Jana McCormack tries to visit the beach a couple times a week, if weather permits.

But the daycare operator says visits have been fewer this summer because of blue-green algae.

“People stopping by, kids, locals, just aren't coming down here at all for fear of what they've heard on the news and fear of the unknown,” she says. “But it's been really, really smelly and we've lost a lot of fish in the lake."

Harvey Lake is one of seven tainted by the algae. New Brunswick’s Department of Health issues advisories warning people not to swim in or drink from the contaminated waters.

"Some cause respiratory or lung conditions, some cause skin irritation, and some can affect the gastro-intestinal system," says Dr. Na-Koshie Lampte, the Regional Medical Officer of Health.

Since a growing number of lakes are seeing algae blooms, New Brunswick Green Party leader David Coon says it’s time for the province to act.

Coon wants existing freshwater quality standards implemented. He says the regulations were passed as part of the province’s Clean Water Act in 2002, but never put in place.

Coon hopes the Gallant Liberals will change that.

"I see no reason why they wouldn't and finally implement those water quality standards that would help protect our lakes and our rivers overall, and not just from the nutrient pollution that's creating this scum,” he says.

Coon is calling on environment minister Brian Kenny to act now.

For video please click here.

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