Town of Oxford undertakes geophysical testing

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Analysis to determine risks of sinkhole to downtown business district and the surrounding area

April 26, 2019 – Oxford, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Stable commercial and community infrastructure is critical to ensuring Canadians have safe access to quality services and business opportunities. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting the Town of Oxford as it undertakes an important study to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the Town.

Recognized as the wild blueberry capital of Canada and home to the world’s largest wild blueberry processor, the Town of Oxford is conducting geophysical and geotechnical testing on a growing sinkhole in its downtown district core. The analysis will identify the boundaries and structure of the sinkhole, and will help determine any risks related to other potential sinkholes in the area. This project will help the Town understand potential impacts on public safety, infrastructure stability and the local business community, and will help identify measures to mitigate those impacts.

Today, Bill Casey, Member of Parliament for Cumberland – Colchester, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced Government of Canada support to the Town of Oxford for geophysical testing of the sinkhole and surrounding areas.

Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity and sustainability in the region. This non-repayable contribution is one of many strategic investments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces to help communities become more sustainable, modern and innovative.

“Our government is creating the right conditions for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in the Town of Oxford will help this rural community take steps to ensure the safety of its citizens and its business community, and maintain a strong economy with good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“This investment will help the Town of Oxford better understand the potential risks posed by this natural hazard. It is critical to properly analyze, assess and address any issues it may cause so that Oxford can remain connected and its business community and residents can continue to live, grow and do business safely here in Nova Scotia.”

– Bill Casey, Member of Parliament for Cumberland – Colchester

“Today is a good, good day! On behalf of Town Council, I am extremely pleased that the Town of Oxford is receiving the financial help that is needed to determine what is beneath the sinkhole. It is imperative that we get these answers as this situation has heavily impacted the Oxford and Area Lions Club along with the entire community, and has created uncertainty around public safety and the stability of critical infrastructure in the Town. There is a tremendous feeling of relief now that we can finally start to move forward towards potential solutions.”

– Patricia Stewart, Mayor, Town of Oxford

Quick facts

  • The Town of Oxford sinkhole is surrounded by several commercial businesses including one of the region’s largest employers.

  • The testing will focus on the critical areas of interest with surveys completed along all sides of the sinkhole and will provide a vertical depth of investigation, approximately 20 meters below the ground’s surface.

  • The Government of Canada invested $68,500 in this project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).

  • The Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in Atlantic Canadian communities.

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