YARMOUTH - The Municipality of Yarmouth is going to continue pinging the federal government for a Doppler radar weather system to service southwestern Nova Scotia.
The municipality informed the federal environment minister in 2014 about the need and recently revived the subject by contacting other municipal units in the region for support.
The municipalities of Clare, Argyle, Digby, Annapolis, Shelburne and Queens, plus the towns of Annapolis Royal, Digby, Yarmouth, Digby, Shelburne and Kentville were on board as a Nov. 22 municipal council meeting.
Last February the federal government signed an $83-million contract to purchase 20 modern radars that will have extended severe-weather detection range to 240 kilometres per radar from the current 120 km. The new radar sites will be built across the country over the next seven years.
Decisions on the locations for the new radars are still pending. The contract contains an option to install up to 15 additional radars by March 31, 2023.
The nearest Canadian Doppler radar sites are in Halifax and Chipman (near Fredericton).
Yarmouth municipal council member Gerard LeBlanc and others on council say Doppler radar systems in those locations don’t cover this region. He asked fellow councillor Daniel Allen his opinion at the Nov. 22 council meeting
Allen has been a fisherman for 27 years.
“Right now, Transport Canada is imposing a lot of rules and regulations to try and make things safe,” he said.
“Our main thing is our weather. We need to know when we can go and when we can’t. In all honesty we rely on the United States weather stations and buoys.
“I think if you polled the 1,000 lobster licences in District 34 alone, 90 per cent of them would probably say Environment Canada is one of the last sources they go to.”
At the end of the discussion, council approved a motion to arrange for a meeting with Environment Canada officials to discuss the issue.