Activist charged with assaulting mayor in historic town’s sewage feud


LUNENBURG, N.S. — A simmering feud over sewage sludge that flows into a world-renowned harbour in Nova Scotia took a strange turn after a local fisherman said he was accused of smearing the foul material on the town’s mayor.

Bill Flower, who also runs a charter boat company, says he has been charged with assaulting Lunenburg Mayor Rachel Bailey following a confrontation between the two in mid-August.

The picturesque harbour was designated as a world heritage site by the UN in 1995 and is home to Canada’s most famous sailing ship, the Bluenose II, but recent testing has shown high levels of fecal material.

Flower says the mayor approached him on a wharf in town as he was preparing to head out on the water, and they had a heated exchange over his ongoing lobbying to have the town deal with sewage he says runs into the harbour.

He says he learned recently that he had been charged with assault based on claims that he spread contaminated material from the water on her ankles.

In response, Bailey issued a statement today saying that Flower’s account of what allegedly happened differs from her statement to police but refused to comment or offer any other details.

Flower is vowing to fight the charge, but said he had no comment when asked if he put the material on the mayor.

The Canadian Press