The remains of a rotting whale on a popular beach in Nova Scotia has turned into a political football.
While residents of Sandy Cove in Digby Neck and tourists are holding their noses, both local and provincial politicians are claiming it’s not their responsibility to bury or remove the stinking corpse that has been there for well over a month.
Sandy Cove is considered one of the finest beaches in Nova Scotia and attracts thousands of tourists drawn to the Bay of Fundy every year. Having a rotting whale there is not exactly what the glossy brochures portray.
“It’s a smell and an esthetics issue for people who want to use the beach,” said Jimmy MacAlpine, deputy warden of the Municipality of the District of Digby, adding the cash-strapped community simply can’t afford the cost of looking after the carcass.
“We had written a letter to the province saying that we felt they should be dealing with this issue. We didn’t feel it was municipal concern because it is on provincially owned land,” he told the Star Tuesday.
MacAlpine said the municipality has taken on the expense of removing or burying washed up whales before but decided it was time to say no.
“It’s expensive to do that and we just felt . . . that’s not really our responsibility,” he said.
MacAlpine said a letter from the province basically said as long as the decomposing whale was not a health and safety issues it would just let nature take its course.
“The local residents in the community are quite upset the government hasn’t done a cleanup on this,” he said.
The province’s natural resources department could not be reached immediately for comment.