On Monday, several elected officials in Moncton pledged to help the residents.
“Your message has been received loud and clear and we will do everything in our power to help you,” Mayor Dawn Arnold told Lantz and the others in council chambers.
Shawn Crossman, the city’s deputy mayor and ward councillor representing the neighbourhood, called for a committee to be formed that could look at what can be done.
“We need to look at a way to make sure that they can operate correctly, but relocate them to another part of Moncton,” Crossman said during the meeting.
Crossman said the committee should include residents, businesses and representatives of the municipal, provincial and federal governments.
Lantz welcomed the proposal.
“I think I can confidently answer that there would be at least a few individuals who would be happy to help out with that,” Lantz said.
Daniel Allain, the Moncton East Progressive Conservative MLA, attended the council meeting and signed the petition from residents.
Allain told reporters he supported American Iron and Metal halting operations while more information is gathered. But he wouldn’t go as far as calling for it to be relocated.
“The operations were suspended in Saint John, so in my opinion, we should seriously be looking at that as we speak,” Allain said.
Officials acknowledged that the scrapyard is in an area that’s been industrial for decades but said they are concerned the issues residents have raised seem to be getting worse.
Acting city manager Nick Robichaud told council that staff are “very seriously” looking into complaints from residents and whether there have been violations of municipal bylaws.
“As active enforcement files, we can’t really discuss particulars of that, but it is something that we are looking into now, currently,” Robichaud said.
American Iron and Metal did not respond to an emailed request for comment on Monday.
Last week, AIM pleaded guilty in provincial court to operating the Moncton scrapyard without provincial approval in May. It was fined $292.50.
The provincial Department of Justice and Public Safety didn’t say last week if the company had since received approval to operate the scrapyard.
“As of today, the AIM Moncton site is licensed under the Salvage Dealers Licensing Act and an approval to operate from the Department of Environment and Local Government,” spokesperson Allan Dearing said in an emailed statement Monday.
“AIM is subject to the various conditions under the act and the approval to operate. When a complaint is received the department responsible follows up and responds as necessary to ensure compliance.”
The statement did not answer several other questions, including what conditions the company must follow.