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LETTER: Why is province on the hook for toppled crane?


The building crane that collapsed on South Park Street in downtown Halifax during hurricane Dorian is seen from the nearby Trillium condominium building on Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2019. - Ryan Taplin
The building crane that collapsed on South Park Street in downtown Halifax during hurricane Dorian is seen from the nearby Trillium condominium building on Sunday morning, Sept. 8, 2019. - Ryan Taplin

Why is the province acting as the insurer to remove the damaged crane on South Park Street in Halifax? Should developers and contractors not carry insurance to cover damages and cleanup for construction problems? Should legislation not require this? Should the developer who hired the crane operator not be responsible for cleaning up this mess?

Erecting a tall crane in a busy city centre is an inherently dangerous activity, so the developer's liability should be absolute. Developers would complain that this would drive up their costs. But, really, it would be making them face the true costs of building skyscrapers, rather than externalizing some costs to taxpayers. If fewer tall buildings wound up being built in Halifax, many of us would be pleased.

J. S. Martin, Halifax

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