Monday 17 February 1992

Waste Management Act, 1991, Bill 143 / Loi de 1991 sur la gestion des déchets, projet de loi 143

Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities

Bob Gray, past president

Canadian Auto Workers Local 103

Craig Kemp, chair, waste management research committee

Town of Walden

Terry Kett, mayor

Sudbury Renewable Energy Resource Centre

Lewis Poulin, representative

Phyllis Davison, representative

Clean North

Kathy Brosemer, representative

Ed Burt

Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce

Jeanne Warwick, president

Bill Bradley

Ron Yurick

Earth Day Committee--Sudbury

Céline Audette, environmental education consultant

People Acting for a Clean Environment

Heather Jeramaz, representative

Sudbury Citizens Movement

Spider Alan Asher, representative

Regional Municipality of Sudbury

Dave Caverson, environmental engineer

Linda Lines

Temiskaming Greens

Doug Fraser, representative

Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk

Jake Westerhof, waste reduction co-ordinator

Eric D'Hondt, director, environmental services


Chair / Présidente: Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Sola, John (Mississauga East/-Est L)

Cousens, W. Donald (Markham PC)

Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L)

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie ND)

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND)

O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York ND)

Stockwell, Chris (Etobicoke West/-Ouest PC)

Sullivan, Barbara (Halton Centre L)

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND)

Substitution(s) / Membre(s) remplaçant(s):

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC) for Mr Stockwell

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North/-Nord L) for Mrs Sullivan

Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND) for Mr Hope

Ramsay, David (Timiskaming L) for Mrs Fawcett

Also taking part / Autre participant:

Blackwell, Drew, Ministry of the Environment

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

Staff / Personnel: Richmond, Jerry, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 0903 in the council chambers, Sudbury.


Resuming consideration of Bill 143, An Act respecting the Management of Waste in the Greater Toronto Area and to amend the Environmental Protection Act / Projet de loi 143, Loi concernant la gestion des déchets dans la région du grand Toronto et modifiant la Loi sur la protection de l'environnement.

The Chair: Good morning, everyone. I see a quorum. The standing committee on social development is now in session. I see some familiar northern faces.

I have a couple of housekeeping announcements. We remind all committee members to please keep all their airline stubs. Do not throw them away and make sure you give them to the clerk. They should be attached to the expense reports that are handed in at the end of the week. Did everyone hear that? All expense stubs, particularly the airline ones, but if you get any hotel or other stubs -- taxis, that sort of thing -- they should all be attached to the expense report. If you have any questions about it, please talk to the clerk.

I would like to thank Sudbury for the use of this very fine facility and say that we look forward to a day of very productive hearings. We are all pleased to be here in Sudbury, and I know I speak for all members of the committee when I say we had a good flight in. I think this building is located in Ms Murdock's riding. I know how proud you are as the member to have this wonderful facility in your riding and we are pleased to be here and to acknowledge that.


The Chair: I will call on our first presenter, who has one hour for his presentation, Bob Gray, past president of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities. He is one of those familiar faces I referred to a moment ago. Welcome, Bob, and we would ask if you would leave time, as part of your presentation, for questions and discussion with committee members. I know you have appeared before legislative committees numerous times, so this will be just another easy task for you.

Mr Gray: Thank you, Madam Chair. Appearing before a legislative hearing committee is never an easy task, no matter if you have the wisdom of Job and Solomon. I am assuming all members have a copy of my presentation in front of them. I will be referring to it, in fact repeating some of it and occasionally adding to it with verbal input, which I am presuming will be on the record; some of the things I want to say are not written.

Before I do that, I want to briefly encapsulate my credentials for some of you who do not know who I am. My background is in northern Ontario. I grew up here and I have worked at a variety of interesting jobs which have taken me into every nook and cranny of northern Ontario, including Hudson Bay and James Bay. A lot of the work I have done has been of a community developmental nature, community mobilization activities, and except for sojourns into undergraduate school, law school and graduate school, and a brief effort at trying to work in the juggernaut, I have spent all my life here. Since I have now reached the age of 54, it dawned on me the other day that is a little bit more lifetime than I would probably like to have at this point.

In my work and travel around northern Ontario, I have had ample opportunity to talk with -- and listen to, primarily -- every conceivable interest group and kind of citizen it is possible to find up here. In the last 15 years I have had a number of responsible positions through elected office and also through volunteer boards and commissions. I am presenting this to you because I want you to be aware that I truly do know the north. I would venture to say that I probably know the north in all its complexity and diversity as well as anyone in the north.

Having established that, and you of course may test that in questions subsequently, I want to take an opportunity to expand for you the knowledge references you have with respect to the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities. I should also point out that it says at the beginning of the paper that I am also the chairman of the Nipissing East Community Opportunities program, which is a community futures committee in Nipissing East district.

FONOM is a federation of all municipalities in north-eastern Ontario. As a group it represents approximately 165 municipalities and a population of approximately 600,000 people. Our geographical catchment includes the districts of Parry Sound, Nipissing, Sudbury, Timiskaming, Cochrane and Algoma. It is a vast area, as you well know, containing hundreds of communities. The communities are varied in size and range from sparsely populated and unincorporated townships and hamlets such as Rutherglen, for example, to very large urban regional municipalities such as Sudbury, where we are today. In the south, Parry Sound is 150 miles from Toronto. In the north, Fort Albany is 900 miles away. In the east, Mattawa is 290, and in the west, White River is 600 miles away. It is important to remember that as a federation of municipalities, we are governed totally by the fact of this huge geography and by the diversity of its population distribution and concentration.


Yet another critical fact, which dominates our very existence, is the reality that most of the population lives in single-industry and/or resource extraction industrial regions. Our municipalities therefore face -- and I want to emphasize this for the community -- boom and bust economies with discouraging frequency and despairing longevity. I would put it that we face this far in excess of any other region of this province, particularly of the Golden Triangle.

Do the names Kirkland Lake, Hearst, Kapuskasing, Moosonee, Iroquois Falls, Latchford, Temagami, Sturgeon Falls, Elliot Lake, Sault Ste Marie and Wawa, to name but a few, mean anything to you? Every single one of these communities in the near past has been dealt a major, crippling economic blow through either the loss, shutdown or downsizing of industries upon which they survive. In fact, in the case of Elliot Lake and Sault Ste Marie, communities are facing the very brink of extinction.

Our job is to assist our sister communities and in unity gain strength to achieve solutions to the problems posed by blocks and barriers that hinder the maintenance of our level of comfort and lifestyle. Occasionally we venture forth and engage in lobbying, sometimes even successfully, for development and growth in our regions, with our juggernaut neighbours to the south. When I use that term, I am referring to Metro Toronto and, of course, the provincial government which is located right in the heart of it. A threat to one community in FONOM is a threat to all, and when a threat is perceived, then we expose that threat, or try to. We try to confront it within the parameters allowed to us and to fight tenaciously, obdurately and unceasingly until that threat is removed.

The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities views Bill 143 as precisely that kind of threat.

The elements in the bill that are of major concern to FONOM are, first, respecting the waste management responsibility. There has been a tremendous backlash regarding the lack of consultation in drafting the present legislation. I cannot emphasize too strongly the depth of the anger over the lack of consultation, and it is a kind of anger that is not going to disappear. AMO itself was not consulted prior to the bill being introduced. It is evident that we in the north were not consulted and the GTA was not consulted.

Specific parts of this legislation seem directed at the greater Toronto area. It is a fundamental departure from historic relations between the provincial government and municipalities. This deviation will allow the government to assume unilateral authority for a responsibility that has been traditionally and legally overseen by municipalities.

There has never been legislation introduced by any government which did not become a precedent for future governmental action to assume greater powers or inflict the intent of that legislation on other areas in the years ahead.

The government of Ontario should not be getting into the waste disposal business of this province, whether in the GTA or in northern Ontario. The minister cannot -- and in parenthetical observation, refuses to, perhaps -- specify where the Interim Waste Authority's powers begin and end.

Northern Ontario was not consulted on the implications of this bill. We in the north have problems concerning environmentally safe landfills and these problems are as serious as those faced by Metro. Some of the communities in the north have been engaging in environmental assessments for landfills for up to five years now and have spent three and four and five times their original budgets and still do not have satisfactory responses. Efforts are being frustrated by these municipalities and by a minister who refuses to complete the review of the existing environmental assessment process. Instead, we see a minister who is preoccupied with new legislation, introduced without any rational process we can perceive for submitting it to review for legislation or to the municipalities that will be effected.

I want to emphasize that FONOM cannot and will not accept this as reasonable and equitable legislation.

As far as the act itself is concerned, it has been and will continue to be a difficult and demanding process, at least until we see the results of the ongoing review. However, the act evolved from the need in the province to protect the rights of people and the environment of Ontario.

As a municipal organization, we are astounded that the minister can, with one piece of legislation, attempt to override provisions of the act which have historically provided protection to communities and their citizens. The precedent being established by the minister, or attempting to be established by the minister, in ruling out the evaluation of alternatives for the waste management facilities in the GTA, is unacceptable to any citizen or municipal government.

This committee may note that Bill 143 does not specifically affect northern Ontario. For FONOM, however, to ignore the implications of the bill for northern Ontario would be irresponsible. This is provincial legislation, introduced by the provincial Ministry of the Environment, and it will clearly set provincial guidelines. It is not a stretch of anyone's imagination to hear the minister tell the region of Sudbury in the future, "We made Metro find a site in its backyard, so why should you be any different?"

This legislation's intent rules out the fact that a safe site may not exist within the GTA or the region of Sudbury and also rules out a safer alternative being considered. It flies in the face of what I have previously known as common sense and logic.

We support completely the objections to Bill 143 voiced to date by the regions of the GTA and many other municipalities, because it is just the thin edge of a wedge. The legislation will affect all of the province in the years ahead, and we cannot accept a bill that ensures the removal of citizens' and municipalities' rights. This bill sets a dangerous scenario where legal statutes, such as the Planning Act, the Environmental Protection Act and the Municipal Act, assume secondary influence subservient to this legislation.

Bill 143 is completely unacceptable to FONOM. Its intent is odious; its process is odoriferous. I do not know if I could make that point a little more clearly.

Mr Cousens: I do not think you are making yourself clear at all. Madam Chair, this is a good way to begin the Sudbury hearings.

The Chair: There is a rule, Mr Cousens, that you cannot interrupt a presenter. This is the beginning of our week travelling on the road and I would really appreciate it if you maintained the same very good conduct.

Mr Cousens: It is a good way to begin a week, though.

The Chair: Bob Gray always presents to committees in a way that I think is appreciated by all committee members, and the fact is that his use of words and language sometimes is provocative. Having heard him before, I know you will enjoy his presentation much more if you do not interrupt him.

Mr Gray: Madame Chair, I concur entirely, because I would never have the opportunity to interrupt him on the floor.

The Ruth Grier commandments: Perhaps this is unfair, but we in the north have identified Ruth Grier, the minister, as the culprit, if you will, but I do not think she is alone. Other ministers, particularly those from the north, are equally to blame for the present state of affairs with respect to Bill 143. However, the Minister of the Environment, with this proposed legislation, eliminates the evaluation of alternatives for the disposal of waste, specifically incineration and movement to another jurisdiction or community.

Historically the Environmental Assessment Board made these decisions on behalf of the citizens of the province in order to protect our environment and the rights of all the people. Now we see before us a single minister deciding for all the people that the final solutions will be without any consultation whatsoever, and certainly without specific consultation with municipal governments heretofore charged with the responsibility for managing waste disposal under the rigours of the Environmental Assessment Act. This is totally unacceptable.


Indeed, it is incredible to me that this unprecedented invasion of the principles of fairness, equity and due process has proceeded thus far. We are faced with a situation where this bill was prepared by the Minister of the Environment, introduced by the minister responsible for the greater Toronto area and will be implemented, if passed, by the IWA, a crown corporation created by the minister, a corporation with powers she cannot or will not delineate -- an astounding situation. The abuse of power implicated in this legislation, the conflict of interest in its intent, the clear direction that allows for the minister's own agenda and personal priorities to dominate is clearly anathema to democratically elected municipalities in the north, or for that matter the rest of the province.

I would like now to turn to our view of the legislation as a direct threat to the north. This proposed legislation is a denial of the rights of the municipalities of the Kirkland Lake region. It also undermines the economic stability of the Ontario Northland Railway. There is a rejection by this government of new economic strategies that will replace our depleted and depleting industries and relieve the terrible bust economy we are presently trying to survive.

I would briefly like to review, ad libbedly, the following with the committee: You have attached to this a resolution that was passed by FONOM -- I am not going to read it; it is there for your perusal -- which was presented to the AMO resolutions committee and accepted with the amendments noted at the bottom.

Essentially it specifically zeroes in on Adams mine recycling and the failure of due process for those people signing that agreement. This was presented at FONOM's annual meeting in May 1991 here in Sudbury. Many government ministers attended, and after that meeting I, as president, was charged with the responsibility to see that the intent of the resolution was communicated in the most effective way to the appropriate ministers to whom we relate.

Subsequent to the resolution, I had occasion to speak privately and personally with those ministers you see listed below. In fact during the FONOM annual meeting on the last Saturday, when Floyd Laughren came and spoke to us, the proposition was put to him that by excluding the GTA and the Adams mine recycling project, he was denying due process before the Environmental Assessment Act. I want to put on the record that the minister agreed with that statement publicly, and in fact offered what could only be perceived as an apology for his government's handling of the whole affair. We had some hope that he might have taken this back to cabinet and that we might have seen some relief in the antagonistic and entrenched stance against this agreement. That did not occur.

I have had several occasions personally and privately to put the case of FONOM and all the municipalities it serves before the Minister of Northern Development and Mines and I tried to do so in a non-combative and a quiet, interactive manner. In fact, I even said on a couple of occasions specifically to Ruth Grier, the Environment minister -- after AMO's meeting with the cabinet last September, I took her aside and told her I wanted to speak to her privately and quietly, face to face, so that I did not have to go before the media and throw out all this business. I said to her I did not even want to be defensive about it. All I wanted her to do was listen to me and hear what the north had to say to her and for her to look for a way to change her mind and not lose face.

I think that as president I acted very responsibly in not trying to embarrass government ministers. I communicated privately with all of them, and every single one of them clearly understood what I was saying and yet we have no action whatsoever. So here we are. I guess this kind of brief to you was inevitable.

I have done a great deal of work with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission over the years and I have the ear of and access to many of the 14 unions that form part of the labour component of the ONTC. I have access to all its officers, both appointed and paid. I want to briefly comment on some of the notes I have jotted down.

Peter Dyment was a keynote speaker at the FONOM annual conference. At it, he pointed to the historical role of the ONTC in the development of the northeast and indicated the willingness of the ONTC, indeed the desire of the ONTC, to continue to lead and to work in partnership for economic development in the northeast.

My understanding of this agreement, this proposal, this idea on Adams mine recycling and Rail Cycle North is that this would have meant for the first time in history the shipping of new materials or raw resources north, reversing the trend. Over the years, historically, for every five cars that have gone from the north to the south full, one has returned full. The other four have come back empty.

It is not a twist or extortion of historical fact to tell you that a lot of the great enjoyments in the Golden Triangle have been built and supported by the extraction of resources from the north, with little, if any, return on that flow of economy. So the shipping of raw resources would have meant a reversal of that trend, and for economic purposes, I think "raw resources" is the appropriate term.

The Adams mine recycling project was the first opportunity to bring product north for secondary and tertiary industrial development and economic stimulation so that we could break out of this primary industrial and primary economic phase we are in which produces nothing but a boom-and-bust economy and raw-products-extraction industries.

It would have had some significant impact on the transportation infrastructure, on the economic infrastructure and on the research and development potential that I think so richly reposes in the north.


All the elements for this agreement were in place. We had an agreement between the GTA and willing hosts. We had the support of by far the vast majority of northern Ontario. We had an agreement between the ONTC and CN in place. We also had an agreement that would have had a salutary effect on all the communities of the north, in that North Bay, which is presently having a terrible problem trying to find a landfill site -- they found one; they cannot get it approved -- would have been able to access Rail Cycle North, and others of us would have been able to.

The spinoffs of this deal would have included a healthy ONTC, which would not have had to lay off significant numbers of workers as it has had to do in the past few months. It would have meant, I think, about $12 million net to the ONTC. It would have created a research centre whose limits were essentially limitless. It would have contributed to the education and knowledge of environmental protection. It would have enhanced other industries, particularly extraction industries. It would not have been, I think, a far reach to see various kinds of small plastics extrusion industries, environmentally safe, growing up around this whole thing. It would have reconfirmed the ONTC as the hub for rail development in northern Ontario. It would have guaranteed the viability of the north-south rail link, which I believe is seriously threatened at this moment. It would have meant training for personnel to operate various aspects of the program.

The ONTC at present has spent approximately $500,000 dollars on research on this project. It might have had the capability of restoring some of the communities of the north back to their former stability and standard of living. It would have meant a tremendous boost to North Bay in terms of the maintenance and manufacturing capacity of rail cars. It would have established, I think, some very far-reaching possibilities for a northeastern Ontario transportation venture.

The ONTC is of course a crown corporation. As such, they are not politically very smart if they say anything about the negative implications of the failure of this agreement to go forward. But I can say some things. I do not think it is any secret to anybody that the failure to move ahead with this agreement and the restrictions that have now been placed under the aegis of Bill 143 have seriously limited the future potential of the ONTC.

I can come back to page 6 of my prepared text, under "Conclusions." We are aware that there are no immediate short-term answers to the issue of waste disposal or to the real crises facing all of the communities of the north, which are how to stimulate our economies, how to diversify and how to attract new development.

There has been no response to our charges of denial of due process, made last May directly to Floyd Laughren, by circumventing the Environmental Assessment Act in this case and by refusing to allow an EA review of the Adams mine project. What I have seen in the past year is a refusal to discuss this issue in public and I would like to know why there has been no discussion.

The situation has resulted in our appearance before you, hat in hand, asking for justice from this committee. The policies of the Environment minister lead us to this inevitable confrontation. The Liberals and Conservatives who now, interestingly enough, have leaders from northern Ontario have taken the time to review and listen to the merits of the Adams mine, Kirkland Lake project. They are, however, in opposition.

The NDP, including members of this committee, does not appear prepared to listen to legitimate criticism. In my experience, the members of the government ignore information, do not listen to divergent views, yet support borderline opposition from those who have only limited credibility or represent narrowly focused, single-interest groups.

The wishes of the vast majority of municipalities and people of the north are in support of the GTA-Kirkland Lake agreement for the transportation of solid waste. Are the government members of this panel going to vote the party line in clear opposition to these wishes? If maintaining party solidarity is the hidden agenda of the government members of this panel, then this panel will fail to demonstrate the democratic intent of public hearings on bills before the Legislature and will have failed the people they are elected to serve and listen to.

I want to assure you that the north will not accept any recommendations from this panel based on this attitude. We will fight against any member of the government or any minister who promulgates legislation that has been labelled anti-civil-rights, anti-environment, anti-economic-development, anti-scientific and anti-democratic, to paraphrase Eldred King, chairman of York region. I might also add parenthetically that I too strongly believe this bill represents all of those odious features. The reason I quoted him is because he must have been reading my mind. Let me also make it clear to the panel that support for the Kirkland Lake project is widespread in the north. It will continue and even grow in importance to the north if this legislation is passed in its present form.

Attached you are going to see some very specific letters with respect to the Rail Cycle North, Adams mine recycling project. We have a second letter from FONOM, on top of all of the others that have gone forward. We have a letter in support of it from the community at Espanola. I did not bother putting them all in here. We have a letter from the city of North Bay, which as I indicated to you has a serious stake in the whole process. There is even a second letter of support from Sault Ste Marie, and there is a copy of an advertisement from the Canadian Auto Workers union representing Ontario Northland, Local 103. They will be following me this morning. They felt strongly enough about the denial of access and justice that they took this and advertised it through the media, an unprecedented step. There is nothing, in my opinion, that more clearly illustrates how this government has lost touch with northern Ontario than the need for a union to advertise across the north to get support to oppose this legislation.

Finally, this government is wrestling with new industrial strategies for the province as a whole. Its options in the north are extremely limited because of our geography, our population and our traditional resource-based industries. Moreover, the pot is running dry. There is a limit to the amount of money available for the provincial Treasury to bail out or support northern industries and communities. In fact, we do not want it. We want to be able to generate our own industries under the same kinds of access and fairness and equity that exist in other parts of the province.


Please hear me on this point. I do not know how much more emphatically I can state this. Danger signs are growing in the south, with the same implications. You are all too familiar with the present state of the economy. The government must then accept right here today, and tomorrow in Kirkland Lake, the responsibility for denying the north its right to find its own solutions. We have opportunities to be part of a new and growing sector in industry. Kirkland Lake has a firm agreement that will guarantee northern recycling, research and development, job creation and long-term economic stability.

The government has a focus on environmental industries. This is an environmental industry, and the north has the experience, the energy and the initiative to make it happen. Please let us. Take this message to the government, to the minister. Take it to heart, Minister, and take it to heart yourselves. If you deny the north this opportunity to have this project evaluated beforehets legally constituted entity, the Environmental Assessment Board, a project that has been created in partnership with the GTA, then you and your government must accept responsibility for the continued lack of growth and opportunity in the north.

Moreover, take to heart, especially the northern members, that the north, our municipalities and our residents, are more informed on this issue than ever before. We will not forget and we will not accept anything less than an opportunity for this project to be reviewed as it should have been, without imperial intervention, before an environmental assessment hearing. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much for an excellent presentation. As always, we are pleased to have our visitation from FONOM and delighted that you are able to be here this morning, Bob. We have approximately 20 minutes available. What I thought we might do is ask each of the caucuses to take about eight of those minutes and then leave five minutes for Bob to sum up at the end, if that is acceptable to everyone.

Mr Wiseman: That adds up to half an hour.

The Chair: That is not correct; eight is too much. Five is what I had in mind. That will allow him five at the end, too. It is early in the morning.

Mr McClelland: For your information, Madam Chair, Mr Ramsay will be using a portion of our time as well.

Mr Gray, thank you for being here this morning. I have a couple of comments, briefly, that you may want to expand on. You mentioned early on in your brief the lack of consultation with respect to FONOM and input into Bill 143. Then you pre-empted, quite frankly, something I was going to comment on later. On page 7 of your brief you indicated that there would be people coming who would carve out a particular part of the bill, whether it be an anti-incineration provision or part IV, which they would say is good stuff, that deals with the issues of waste management and we believe in that, so therefore it follows that Bill 143 is good.

You pre-empted that, sir, because that has been the pattern we have seen over the past few weeks in hearings that have been held in Toronto. Deputation after deputation comes before this committee and expresses many of the concerns you have put forward today, and then we hear from a group that is brought in in support of the government and says, "Yes, but we do not like incineration, so Bill 143 is good stuff." The whole of the bill is really not being considered.

You talked about consultation. Let me tell you -- I am glad he is here this morning because I do not like to comment in their absence about what colleagues say -- what Mr Martin said in terms of consultation: "We in the north have been very strong about our position in this party. It was not just the decision of the minister not to ship garbage north; we told her, as people who represent most of the north in this Legislature, that we do not want Metro's garbage in northern Ontario. I think that by going there and having discussions on that issue, we are wasting our time, and we have been very adamant about that." That is from a northern member, so you are quite right that you are going to have a really difficult time in terms of being heard. You may be listened to, but I am not sure you are going to be heard.

It does indeed rule out alternatives, as you talked about. You said it very well. When it comes down to the sense of imperial dictate, I think the evidence from not only the minister, but the government caucus is: "We know best. Don't bother. If you agree with us, we will talk to you. If you don't, we don't want to hear about it."

One of the first questions I asked on the day the committee began was: "Do you see garbage as a resource? Is it a resource?" Yes, it is. It would follow, then, that you would be consistent, one would think, and we would talk about garbage or waste as a resource throughout. But it is very curious. When it suits the purposes of the government, it is garbage: "We do not want garbage in the north." When talking about part IV of the bill, which is recycling, "It is a resource and we have got to treat it as a resource." They have real difficulty in having some consistency in terms of application of principles.

That is what I would like you to comment on, the application of principles that you talked about: principles of democracy, participation, local autonomy. We have said in this committee that notwithstanding the fact that this is a GTA bill, or is entitled as such, the implications across Ontario, and particularly for northern Ontario, as we hear today, are significant. One of the great follies of this bill is that the decision-making authority reposes in the minister to do whatever he or she subsequently may want to do. People may happen to think they agree with the government at this point in time. But the great irony is that some time that two-edged sword may come back and cut the other way as well.

Perhaps you could comment on the principles of accountability, local autonomy, the people who are paying the tab, having an opportunity to participate.

Mr Gray: I am just going to reiterate what I thought was a fairly strong brief. There is no question that we view this agreement as the shipment of raw product north, which is going to help us and assist us in diversification and economic development, particularly in secondary, tertiary and research and development areas where the north has been totally bereft. We have an opportunity here that is being denied us.

Okay, I can live with the fact that we are being denied an opportunity we have gone ahead and created and worked out through a very careful agreement, provided the reasons for the denial have any basis in logic and fairness. My assessment of this process is that there is absolutely no logic to the opposition of the government and no fairness in it. I really have a great deal of difficulty expressing how strongly I perceive this.

I want to also state -- you have helped me to open this door; I should have mentioned it -- it is not my style to speak out so strongly in public, and anybody who knows me and the work I have done will agree. I much prefer working cooperatively with people, and I have been damn successful at it. I tried to indicate to you that I tried to follow that approach with the government on this issue through a number of personal and private interventions which had no possibility of embarrassment for either of us. Nothing worked, so here I am, forced to engage in a process I personally do not even enjoy. I had no pleasure out of doing what I feel is absolutely necessary, which is exposing the wrong-headed, anti-democratic, anti-civil-libertarian, anti-anti-anti-anti stance the government has taken on this issue.

Mr Cousens: I had to comment when you were speaking as one who, with the help of the Liberals, helped force these public hearings. There would not have been public hearings. We would not have had a chance to hear from someone such as yourself had it not been for the support of both our parties, as you recognized in your brief.

Mrs Grier wanted to have this passed by last December 19 and over and done with. The precedent-setting legislation that would affect the north and every other part of the province would have been set aside. When I interrupted, it was a sense of, oh, I do not know, understanding that there was someone out there who had something of the spirit, whom I wanted to hear from. I want to say to you and the members of your association of the Federation of Northern Ontario municipalities how much I appreciate your presentation. You have touched on one of the things I wanted to open up a little bit. Dialogue is the way to make it happen. Have you had a chance since to review some of these matters with Mrs Grier or Mr Rae? You have a lot of representation of ministers from the north and I would be interested in knowing your ability to get through to them and talk about it, because to me that is where it has to happen. You are saying it is just not happening.


Mr Gray: I have had personal opportunities to speak privately and quietly to this thing and I do not know how much better access you can get than that. To me that is the most effective way to speak with ministers because you do not embarrass them and you get a chance. They can listen to you without having to adhere to a lot of party dogma, irrespective of what party they represent. They have listened, sure, but as I think Mr McClelland said, they have not necessarily heard. Certainly we have not seen any action on our wishes and we think we are on very solid legal, precedental, ethical ground on this. In fact, everything we have seen is contrary to our efforts to communicate clearly what we stand for and the size of the voice so speaking.

Mr Martin: I want to thank you for coming today, and as a fellow northerner as well. I appreciate the opportunity to have this limited dialogue with you. Before I ask you a question, I just want to lay out a couple of things. In coming to government, we inherited a garbage crisis in the south because the environmental assessment process that was in place to take care of that was not working. The government of the day could not determine the common good, as opposed to the interest of those folks who got into the debate about where garbage should be put or how it should be dealt with.

We also inherited an obvious lack of an industrial strategy for the north, which makes it rather a challenging proposition at best to consider what we might do with what we, like you, see as a potential enhancement of our industry in the recycling business that I think we will eventually get into.

It is important to note as well that this piece of legislation is not the Adams mine waste management proposed legislation package. It is a waste management legislation package that will put into context all that will happen in the waste management business in the next five and 10 years. There is nothing actually in this bill that prevents already sorted product from moving from the south to the north and there is nobody in this government whom I have spoken to who is not interested in discussing the possibility of recycling recyclables that could be brought from southern Ontario to northern Ontario to enhance our ability to extract resources. We are a resource extraction-based industry up here, which is a primary industry, and I suggest to you that even with recycling, we will continue to be that.

Having said that, the question I have for you is, are we not at the present time struggling with our own waste management problems, finding places to put our garbage? Would it not make a whole lot of sense for us to resolve that before we get into looking at accepting the waste of southern Ontario, and putting it perhaps on top of or in with the waste we are already producing ourselves and which we are having a really difficult time finding an answer to at the moment?

Mr Gray: First, you are technically correct in pointing out that Bill 143 does not denotatively impact on the Adams mine. There is however, and I made this very clear in my brief, a very clear implication in Bill 143 for the Adams mine recycling project. In fact, the Adams mine agreement between the Kirkland Lake region and the GTA could not go forward without significant contractual changes because their agreement does not call for recyclables alone; it calls for a component, a product, part of which has some recyclable capability. So obviously the bill does impact on the agreement, because if the bill went through, the whole intent of the agreement between the GTA and the Kirkland Lake region would have to be rewritten.

Second, I have nothing but compassion for the state of the union you inherited when you won the election. As a significant municipal leader, I was probably more aware of the decay in that fabric than many people were and I anticipated you would have a great deal of difficulty. Every single one of my prognostications has come true. I know you had a tough deal, and it is going to be worse. No party can cover itself with glory on this issue and I am sure every one of us here in private moments would acknowledge that.

Specifically the north has had a lot of complaint with provincial governments in the past, PC, Liberal, whatever, in that we do not feel we have ever been equal partners in the transfer of our raw product and our energies south and the limited reciprocal returns. You have inherited a situation and all I am saying to you is, for God's sake, do not make it worse.

The Chair: What I would like to suggest in the limited time we have available, which is approximately seven minutes in total, is that each of the members who wishes to ask a question of Mr Gray place his or her question and then Mr Gray can use the remaining time to answer them and sum up.

Mr Ramsay: Bob, I would like to congratulate you on a tremendous brief before all of us this morning. As a northerner, I am especially proud to see such an outstanding presentation from northeastern Ontario. I think it has really opened the eyes of my southern colleagues to see the sensitivity that northern municipalities have to the environment and how well informed we are, as you have said in your concluding paragraph, how well informed northern Ontario is on this issue. Many people in the province would see it as a primarily southern Ontario issue, but the north certainly has taken a great interest in this and is very environmentally sensitive.

I would like to point out again a point you brought forward that is particularly sensitive for people in the north. That is the sense of the hole in the ground that is left in the north after economic development, the sense of our resources fuelling a tremendously strong -- in the past, anyway -- southern Ontario economy. It seems to me this government is not looking at waste in the modern context you have put out before us today, as a resource.

I am not going to make a statement but just say that in the north we have to keep bringing the point home that this is a resource and as northerners it is now our turn to have a shot at developing it for the economic betterment of all of us in northern Ontario.

Mrs Marland: Mr Gray, thank you for a truly dynamic and accurate presentation this morning. I wish you were a voice at Queen's Park, not only a voice up here, frankly, when you talk about embarrassment and no logic and no fairness and all the other things you talked about.

You heard a moment ago the committee member for the government say they inherited this mess. No question, but of course it is now 18 months after the government took office and six months after this bill has been tabled. The government members of this committee still do not know the issue well enough after four weeks of hearings and having the inside track on the bill. Would you be surprised to know that the government members still have to have their questions for deputations written by the minister's own staff?


Ms Haeck: I always appreciate Mrs Marland's sometimes inaccurate responses. We do in fact write our own. Thank you, Mr Gray. I, too, am interested in many of the things you have said. In fact, we had the opportunity to meet on one other occasion and that was in October at the constitutional conference in Toronto. We had two workshops in which we participated.

The one I am going to refer to is division of powers. During that particular one you raised the issue of the desire to have only two levels of government, federal and municipal, and obviously that gives an awful lot of responsibility to municipal governments. If I can follow up on that, particularly, I wonder how you would respond to the deputants we have had from in and around Kirkland Lake, who represented Boston township, and who expressed the view that the referendum held in Kirkland Lake did not in any way represent the feeling of the residents of Boston township.

Mrs Mathyssen: I wondered what the position was of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities on recycling and the 3Rs and what progress you have made on these programs in your communities.

The Chair: You have approximately three minutes, Bob, to sum up and answer the questions that have been placed. As I have told other presenters, if there is additional information over the course of our hearings or points that you want to make that you do not have time to make today, or are not in your written brief, please feel free to communicate with us in writing.

Mr Gray: With respect to the referendum held in the municipal elections and the fact that certain communities may not have had access to that referendum, my understanding of the geography up there is that there are certain unincorporated townships that do not have any legal status whatsoever, are very sparsely populated and have access to voice their views through the media and have done so. I do not think their inclusion in another municipality's municipal referendum, which would have required a separate act of Parliament anyway, is an issue.

I am just astounded that my remarks made at the Ontario in Confederation conference have been placed before you. I do not recall having been so adamant as I was represented to be on that point. Certainly that issue was discussed by a number of people. However, I think the point I want to emphasize here is that we strongly and indelibly believe that we have not been dealt with fairly. We certainly do not think that clear and articulate voices, which have represented our view, have been heard.

We feel that for one reason or another the government has acted from a very peremptory -- I have used all the terms, anti-democratic, anti-scientific, anti-logical -- point of view. I want to put on record, and what I have done this morning is to put on record, notice that we are not going to accept any kind of legislation so generated. We are just not going to accept it. We are going to continue to fight and I want the government to know this. One way or another we are going to continue to fight this and it will not die. This issue will not die. I do not care if the subject is garbage or social policy or a social charter, if we in the north feel we are not being listened to, you are going to hear from us loudly, clearly, unifiedly and with passion.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before us today. We very much appreciate your taking the time, Bob, and I know all members of the committee listened intently to your presentation. I look forward to seeing you again.

Mr Gray: Thank you, Elinor, very much. Thank you, panel, for your attention.


The Chair: I would like to call next CAW Local 103. I ask you to begin your presentation by introducing yourself to committee members. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation. Just for the information of anyone who is watching, I am using a small, different timer than the big clocks on the wall, so there may be some discrepancy --

Mr Cousens: There is always a discrepancy.

The Chair: -- in differences of time. I just want you to know that I am using this clock.

Mr Cousens: You are a very tough taskmaster.

Ms Haeck: She is good.

Mr Kemp: My name is Craig Kemp. I am with the CAW Local 103 and chair of its waste management research committee.

Most people we have talked to concerning Bill 143 and most people in today's society are aware of the 3Rs only by the blue box program. They have heard of reduce and reuse but have no time for that just now, thank you anyway. The atmosphere for a conserver society has not been developed yet and if the minister forces an acceleration of programs because it suits her vision of tomorrow, they will be met with blank stares and indifference.

This bill does nothing to address the need for an educational and practical demonstration of what each individual can do to make a difference. This bill should have set up a waste authority mandated to set an example and explain the principles of a conserver society, instead of chasing after landfill sites that had already been run to ground.

Remember, we are not dealing here with people who have spent the last five to 10 years studying environmental issues. These are people sweating out their mortgages and trying to set aside something for later in life. People will take responsibility for their waste only when they feel the decision is right and when they are aware of what actions fully meet the needs for a given result. The wasteful habits of a lifetime will not be changed quickly by this bill or any other legislation. Only information and education will alter the course of waste generation.

Our position is that willing cooperation among municipalities and their residents will accelerate that change through mutual benefit, whereas unconsulted decrees will cause resentment throughout this province, impeding consideration and implementation of effective waste reduction action.

We would be interested to read a study about how conserving the people are who reside next to a landfill site, or if in fact the proximity of a disposal site encourages waste generation due to the convenience it affords. Their attitude would be that since they have to endure the eye, ear and nose discomfort they might as well get some benefit from it. Some would say "out of sight, out of mind." We would counter with "familiarity breeds contempt."

The development of a person into a conserver is a mental process that has no bearing on the proximity of a garbage dump. If it did, then we would expect Keele Valley to have encouraged an incredible reduction of Metro Toronto's waste. It would seem that the recession has had more of an effect than the landfill site, yet one is led to believe that locating the next site even farther away in York region will somehow change everything.

Let us examine the basis of this "out of sight, out of mind" principle. What it seems to imply is that if a landfill for an area's waste is not close at hand, then people will abrogate their responsibility for it through ignorance or negligence. The premise of the cliché is a fallacy because modern communication and media coverage can readily bring issues before the public eye and stimulate the questions and answers of debate, sustaining public awareness of their situation and responsibilities. These hearings are a perfect example of the information accessibility that was never possible until recently.

Concurrently the nearness of something nowadays appears to lower its importance because it is considered against the scale of provincial, national and world perspectives. It is a condition of human thinking to equate distance with importance and increased cost. Terry Fox's run received massive publicity because of his courage and his cause, but it received sustained world attention because of the distance contemplated. If his run was only across Ontario, do you think it would have been treated as seriously as it was? The aspect of distance is what excited the public's curiosity.

Our intention is to point out that the "out of sight, out of mind" argument is an out-of-date throwback to a time when very little was being done to address environmental concerns. The vast majority of municipalities intend to address their landfill needs within their own areas but the issue of nearness should not be allowed to prohibit regions from cooperative ventures, especially when such undertakings, as in the case of St Thomas and the surrounding communities, are concerned with replacing a number of small, inefficient landfills with a single, more productively managed and environmentally sound program. Kirkland Lake is currently trying, through a cooperative venture, to establish the first modern state-of-the-art landfill site in northern Ontario.

Our point is that if people do not want to know or pay attention to something, then they will not, no matter how nearby it may be placed. Men can see their wives everyday and still forget their anniversaries, and so can the ladies. It is the personal awareness of each individual in daily activities that will create a conserver society, not the nearness of a landfill site. Landfills were never intended to foster conserver ethics. They exist because of the failure to use those ethics. Their location is totally immaterial.


When the issue of proximity is addressed by the bill we find that nearness matters to the exclusion of all other considerations. The IWA is mandated to establish a landfill for and in each of Peel, Durham and York-Metro regions, whether the best site is available there or somewhere else. We view this situation as like wanting the safest car possible but being able to buy only a Ford because they have the only dealership in town. They may have a safe car, but not necessarily the safest one on the market. Similarly, placing artificial constraints on the search area may be expedient but is it really the fulfilment of a region's responsibilities? We think not.

Also we cannot agree to a principle that prohibits municipalities from exploring their areas of mutual benefit and will not allow the exchange of assistance for their common welfare. It is an affront to the integrity of all municipalities and their residents when they are forced to accept the dictation of their waste management without consultation or public review.

Although it is a minority of residents who participate within the framework of an environmental assessment, they do so from a sincere desire to help build a better community. Theirs is the conscientious glue that holds a society together.

The minister's reasoning with this bill is that in the interest of expediency she must expropriate the people's rights as well as their land. She believes it is in the common good to take the decision-making process away from communities and place it in the keeping of an individual or small group of people. Our present laws were formulated to prevent just such an occurrence where a single group could hijack the process and push through its point of view to the exclusion of any others.

This safeguard applies to everyone, be it a developer, resident, interest group or an elected leader. The reasoning is the same as the basic premise for expropriation in that the public need cannot be held hostage or capitalized upon by any one individual. Similarly, you cannot allow a few people to force the deprivation of an entire region's right to self-determination, because no matter how you cut the cloth, it will result in an ill fit for someone. Nobody wants a landfill near them, whether they live in King township of York region or the 24 people of Boston township of Timiskaming region.

Obviously to grant everyone their wish would mean no new landfill sites. Therefore, the degree of imposition is a critical factor when determining the location of a new landfill, with the current direction in the world being away from urban areas. That is why the issue of being a willing or an unwilling host is best dealt with at a municipal level, and should be subject to confirmation or withdrawal only after an initial criteria evaluation if there exists reasonable encouragement or concern upon which to base a commitment.

I would now like to refresh your memories with a quote from the presentation of Ellen Schwartzel of Pollution Probe when talking about the use of the Adams mine near Kirkland Lake as a possible landfill site for Metro Toronto. She stated: "This suggests a fairly perverse vision of northern Ontario transformed from a land of forests and tourism to a region of colossal garbage dumps and endless caravans of garbage trains. I think few people would recommend this be the preferred form of regional development for northern Ontario."

One can easily infer from her statement that her preference would be to suggest a fairly perverse vision of southern Ontario transformed from a region of residence and agriculture to a region of colossal garbage dumps and endless caravans of garbage trucks. It is all a matter of perspective. Her assumption that the situating of a landfill site anywhere in northern Ontario will automatically create more is a misleading fabrication. The Adams mine site does not oblige any other community, north or south, to accept a landfill, period.

In the back of the presentation, you have three appendices. The first refers to a petition that CAW Local 103 placed in the North Bay Nugget on January 23 of this year. It was to allow the residents of North Bay to voice their concern about Bill 143 and the lack of consideration given to the Rail Cycle North proposal.

Subsequent to that, it was decided to approach our other brothers and sisters of the CAW Ontario rail division, which we did, and due to time constraints we had a one-week period to do it. I would like to place before you now the 610 ballots we received, which are basically the rail division of CAW Ontario's response to not only the bill but to the consideration of the Adams mine as a landfill site or at least to get it before assessment.

Appendix 2 deals with the deletions and amendments to the bill. We have just made some suggestions for your consideration later on when you are going over, not necessarily the final wording but how the wording would approach the situation as we see it.

Appendix 3 is a proposed landfill site selection process, which basically is a recommendation to use the IWA criteria. We found its draft approach was an excellent document -- very well done. It could be used as a blueprint for any municipality. The only thing we want to see in it is public review, of course. If you initiate a six-month acceptance period of any proposal or alternative and allow the commission or works department of whatever municipality to cull those proposals and get rid of the exotic, get rid of the eccentric and come down with a basic long list of five or six based on the size of the municipality, I think you can pursue it with the IWA after that, including public hearings after, say, a selection of the short list. Then, after the selection of the final list, just review it and make sure nothing has been missed.

The advantages of railhaul have already been set forth by Canadian National Railway in its presentation. We would like to add our perspective of its benefits to the northeastern corridor. At present, North Bay trucks its recyclable material to the GTA for processing. As you are aware, the use of trucks is less fuel-efficient and creates seven times as much air pollution as comparable tonnage by train. This situation will be magnified as a fuller recyclable collection system is developed similar to Mississauga's.

Railhaul would substantially lower the costs, not only to North Bay but the towns and cities farther north that do not have blue box programs at this moment. They will have prohibitive costs that may well curtail their full involvement with recycling. That means continued dumping in their own non-state-of-the-art landfill sites.

The acceptance of the Adams mine as Metro's site would rationalize the capital expenditure necessary to purchase the specialized equipment required by the waste railhaul system. At that point it becomes economically feasible to ship recyclable material north for processing, supporting the plants that would use the northeastern recyclables at greatly reduced shipping charges, encouraging growth and material collection and the closing of a 3Rs loop while retaining all the benefits of the programs within the area where they are needed now and even more so in the future, because the use of recyclable lessens the demand for virgin material, such as wood pulp and ore, eliminating more jobs in the north.

Keeping and fostering sustainable recycling jobs will help offset the detrimental effect of the very program that would create employment. Hopefully a balance or gain could be achieved. Using trucks to accomplish that purpose would make such plants economically uncompetitive with the south and either close them or create an artificial situation where public money is used to support them. Railhaulage was how the north was originally developed and nothing has changed the need for it since then.

Developing a self-sustaining loop is ideal but the northeastern regions' quantity of material may not be enough. Hence the railhaul advantage which unfortunately will not appear unless the Adams mine is allowed to proceed to an assessment. Some say this is not the preferred form of northern development. Then what is? Lacking any other options, it is only common sense to make business where you can. If the landfill and job loop were in York region, we cannot imagine anyone raising a voice against it. Yet solely because it concerns northeastern Ontario and would allow people to ship their waste out of their area, which they will be doing anyway, the hue and cry is raised about desperation being the fuel, when in reality intelligence is the driving force. Well-travelled garbage may not be better garbage, as Pollution Probe has said, but it can certainly be made into more productive garbage.

The use of trains over such distances is then questioned, because even after the elimination of the expanded truck fleet to service a York site and the hidden costs involved with that proposal, it seems that the railhaul system would expend a greater amount of fossil fuel. During the Adams mine's 20-year lifespan it was never questioned that the burning of train diesel fuel was an acceptable fact because of the benefits the mine had for the area. But now when it is proposed to burn fuel hauling less tonnage to create a new economic development, it is portrayed as questionable.

Why are people trying to keep jobs and business out of the north? We can also only wonder how much greater would be the amount of fuel used by trucks to create the same economic benefits. It makes no sense. The environmental impact of the trucks alone is hard to accept when the railhaul alternative is available. Plus, having a waste railhaul system allows the carrying of recyclable material from anywhere in the province to anywhere else because of its road interchangeability, fostering mutual benefit and development. That will further reduce the use of fossil fuels by trucks and the resultant greater air pollution and road damage.

In addition, if the markets for the recyclable material go slack periodically, the containers make excellent storage sheds until such time as the material is required. Ask an independent trucker to leave his trailer for a few months and you can guess the answer he is going to give you. Railhaul has the ability to motivate a greater emphasis on the diversion of waste from landfill by mitigating the all-important financial considerations.

Recently a Ministry of the Environment spokesman, Mr Gerry Merchant, replying to a question concerning clause 29(2)(b) of the bill dealing with one municipality having to accept another's garbage, said, "It is only for emergencies, for example when any kind of contamination at an existing landfill site threatens the public environment." It is assumable from such a scenario that the nearest landfill with any capacity would be forced to accept such emergency waste because trucking costs would preclude any other consideration. With railhaul's lower expense, a site with extra capacity that a municipality might wish to trade for cash could be used even though it is at a greater distance, creating an equitable balance instead of shortening the lifespan of a neighbour's landfill that cannot afford the reduction.

In closing I would like to say that the democratic principle is how we elect our leaders. The same principle is how we decide the actions and activities that we do as a community. We cannot condone the abandonment of this principle for the sake of expediency. We are not at war with garbage, and the draconian tone of this bill is unpalatable to us. So we at CAW Local 103 are vehemently opposed to this environmental emergency measures act in the form of Bill 143, Waste Management Act, 1991.


The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation this morning. We appreciate your coming before the committee. There are about two minutes remaining. What I would like to suggest is that members briefly put their questions and then you could respond and sum up in the minute or so remaining.

Mrs Marland: Could you tell us, Craig, who signed the petitions, just to confirm that it was an ad in the paper with the coupons mailed back in?

Mr Kemp: Yes.

Ms S. Murdock: I want to thank your for taking the time to come before us. I agree with you that the conserver attitude is not something that is going to change overnight, although we are seeing massive changes with our children within the school system. I know my nieces and nephews keep telling me that I should not leave the water running when I am brushing my teeth etc, so it is changing on a daily basis.

The question I want to ask you is, because you spent quite a bit of time on it in your presentation, in terms of the first modern state-of-the-art landfill site, what exactly would that consist of? In the context of a statement by Canadian National Railway on the last page of its presentation, and I will read it to you because I do not think you have a copy with you --

The Chair: Ms Murdock, we are out of time. Please let him answer the question. If you want to pass that along to him you can but he will not have time to answer the questions. Do you want to respond? Just pass that along to him.

Mr Kemp: In answer to Mrs Marland, we put it in the paper in North Bay on January 24. It was meant as a mailing campaign where they would send them down to the standing committee. After that it was brought to me that we should be giving the same opportunity to our brothers and sisters so I phoned around and mailed out some petitions to them. They photocopied them and had the members sign them, and probably their spouses as well. Basically it is a very localized sort of thing within North Bay. Some came from outside. There are a few from Kirkland Lake because when they heard about it they wanted a copy and they photocopied it. It was basically a word-of-mouth campaign.

As to the landfill in the Adams mine, it was unfortunate but you must not have seen Mr McGuinty's presentation because he would have laid it out. My understanding of the Adams mine is that it is going to be state of the art. Based upon the assessment, of course, they are going to put in a liner, the same kind of liner you would have in a southern landfill site. They are going to have the water leachate treatment. They are going to have the gas filtration, the processing of the gas, whatever the technical aspects are. As well, they are going to have a sorting facility in front so that as much of the recyclables can be taken out as possible.

That to me is an improvement on anything I have heard proposed for southern Ontario. It seems to me not only the first modern landfill site with all the state-of-the-art technology at the day of building -- not today's, whenever it would be accepted -- but also, with the sorter in front, that would give more recyclables for use by plants up there where our initial volume would be low, to sustain them. It seems to be an incredible benefit that I do not think has been given very much consideration.


The Chair: I would like to call next the town of Walden. Would you please introduce yourself, mayor, for the committee. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation and we would ask you to leave a few minutes at the end for questions.

Mr Kett: My name is Terry Kett. This is a momentous occasion for me, because this is my first formal presentation as a new, but not so young mayor. It is on two topics I am really interested in: first, the environment, although I must admit my knowledge is limited but I have a great concern for it, and second, the relationship between the province and its municipalities, for which I have great concern.

As a mayor of a lower-tier municipality that sees problems with this large landfill site, I appreciate that there is a need for the provincial government to take action to improve waste management in this province. Bill 143 does take action, but at great expense to the environmental and democratic rights of the people of Ontario.

Bill 143 was drafted with no consultation with any municipality or with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Why, when these municipalities and AMO collectively have many experts and years of expertise in waste management? I realize the minister has strong views on the environment. However, she must consult with others, and the resultant bill must contain a positive balance between the need for action on behalf of the province and the rights of the people of Ontario.

My theme for the presentation is simply that under Bill 143 the environmental and democratic rights of municipalities and their citizens are being usurped, centralizing power into itself. Therefore, I think this bill should be scrapped and we should start again, this time working with AMO.

For many years we have had protection with regard to waste disposal through the Environmental Protection Act and its Environmental Assessment Board hearings; the Environmental Assessment Act and its reviews; the Planning Act and the Ontario Municipal Board hearings; the Municipal Act; regional acts -- for example, the Regional Municipality of Sudbury Act -- where the regional council can prohibit any person or municipality from using regional land for a waste disposal site, subject to OMB override, and where local councils such as my own can refuse to consent to hosting of waste disposal facilities, subject again to the OMB.

The democratic rights of the citizens have been protected under existing legislation. But in this bill under part III, especially sections 17 to 20, every one of the protections described before is, or may be, arbitrarily removed. Clause 17(8)(c) of the bill overrides bylaws adopting official plans and amendments passed under the Planning Act. Our EAA and EPA protections are removed in this bill. In subsection 17(7) the EAA will not apply to any undertaking established or carried on in order to comply with the ministerial order. Therefore, once the bill is passed there will be no environmental assessment review or EAA hearing for any short-term needs seen by the minister.


Previously we could protect our territory with the Municipal Act and regional acts by refusing to take another municipality's waste. With subsection 17(4) of the bill we have to obey the minister's orders and either transport waste outside or accept waste from outside municipalities, while subsection 17(5) deems a municipality's consent to have been given to any action to implement the order.

Under subsection 19(1) of the bill, a person whose land is injuriously affected as a result of a municipality's compliance with the minister's order has the right to be compensated "in the same way as if the municipality expropriated the land from the person." Yet under subsection 19(3) the right to compensation does not apply to municipalities whose land is injuriously affected. In effect, the municipality is forced to subsidize a waste disposal facility imposed against its will. I say that if the province wants to take control of the location of waste disposal facilities, then it can pay for them.

Section 64 of the Ontario Municipal Board Act does not allow the commitment of funds beyond the term of the present council unless approved by the OMB, and that is a good idea. It has been around for a long time and it works. Subsection 17(10) provides that section 64 does not apply to waste disposal site works undertaken to comply with the ministerial order. Thus, municipalities can be forced to assume long-term debts without the approval of their elected representatives, and that is unfair.

Under Bill 143 you have a director, an unelected provincial employee, who now will take over the powers presently held by municipalities. Subsections 18(1) and (2) allow the director to amend and attach conditions to a certificate of approval for a project which override terms and conditions negotiated by elected officials. Thus in the future the director -- I am not quite sure whether the minister has already said she is going to amend this part or not, so I put it in -- or the minister will order us to build, or not build, waste management systems or disposal sites regardless of the wishes of local people or their democratically elected representatives. That is pretty centralized government.

This bill also seems to jeopardize any kind of positive relationships that have been built up among municipalities. Clause 17(8)(a) overrides waste management agreements and contracts made between municipalities. Why go to all the work and the trouble to make an agreement with another town when any benefits that result can be defeated by regulation?

Subsection 33(2) of the bill allows cabinet to make regulations re part V of the EPA dealing with waste management. Clauses 136(4)(k) and (l) allow the cabinet by regulation to order "municipalities and other such persons as may be specified in the regulation to establish such waste disposal sites or waste management systems as may be specified in the regulation" and provides that those persons may be ordered by regulation "to maintain, operate, improve, enlarge, alter, repair or replace the waste disposal sites or waste management systems in such manner as may be specified in the regulation."

The net result of these two clauses will be to allow the government by regulation to expand throughout the province these central-powered measures without going back to the Legislature for approval whenever a garbage problem comes up. I believe that government by regulation or government by centralization, which is really the same thing, reduces the powers of a local government and, may I add, also the Legislature. It is nothing short of usurpation.

The NDP used to have as its foundation the concepts of consultation and cooperation. I think the government should wake up to the fact that it is making the same mistakes it accused previous governments of. I emphasize that since municipalities are the local level of government, and because they are responsible for solid waste management, they should have been consulted before the provincial government introduced Bill 143.

The government should adopt consultation with municipalities as a standard practice for all environmental legislation policies and regulations that may be introduced and will have an impact on municipalities. This consultation should take place before the legislation, policies or regulations are introduced.

It is my opinion that Bill 143 should be withdrawn, as it is premature and ill-conceived. The minister should work with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario on a new Waste Management Act that would address the waste management and landfill problems faced by all municipalities, not just three in the greater Toronto area. This new Waste Management Act should replace the Environmental Assessment Act process for landfill sites and would apply equally and fairly to all municipalities.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your excellent presentation.

Ms Haeck: I have a question I would like to direct through the parliamentary assistant to ministry staff. In previous discussions we have heard about the lack of consultation, but I understand documents provided by the ministry as a result of a question we asked of ministry staff before outline how broadly the initial consultation documents were in fact distributed. I would like them to be more specific as to whether they came to areas in and around Sudbury and farther north.

Mr O'Connor: Thank you, Ms Haeck. I assume you are referring to the initiatives paper produced by the office of waste reduction. The appropriate person to talk about the consultation that went into that process would be Drew Blackwell. Unfortunately, he does not have a microphone. Perhaps, if you come up to a microphone, you can answer the question.

Mr Cousens: You can be a Liberal.

Mr Blackwell: Yes, thank you. I believe there were 10,000 copies of Initiatives Paper No 1 sent out across Ontario, and they were certainly sent to the clerks of all the municipalities.

Mr McClelland: An interesting point.

Thank you for being here today. I understand it is your first presentation as the newly elected mayor. You did a more than credible job.

What we see here is a sense of rationalization: "Well, we did consult. We are going to tell you that we consulted even if we didn't. We consulted in another matter, but we'll take that to mean we talked to you about 143." We have heard the same line from AMO, from representatives of the major regional municipalities: Durham, York, Peel, Metro. They all said the same thing, but they were told by the government: "You must be mistaken, because we believe that we consulted with you, even though you don't. You've been consulted with because we're telling you that we talked to you." It is a very curious state of affairs, where the people who are apparently consulted with do not know they have been consulted with, but they are told that they were, so it must be okay.

In any event, part of Bill 143 removes the authority, local autonomy, and makes you pay the tab, so to speak, and is very significant in that respect.

You referred throughout your presentation to regulation and the impact that has. Basically after the fact, you as a mayor, indeed myself and my colleagues as legislators, unless we were privy to it by being part of the executive council, would not know what is going on. It is consistent with your theme about lack of consultation and lack of communication, but I wonder if you might want to comment on the impact it has in terms of the Planning Act, the Ontario Municipal Board Act, the Municipal Act.

Why bother, one would ask, to have you charged -- supposedly charged -- with the responsibility of waste management, charged with the responsibility of paying the way through the local rate base, through local taxation, and yet have everything dictated to you by an organization that is set up somewhere in Toronto that is not even linked directly with the Legislative Assembly.


Mr Kett: I was thinking this morning about the historical background of all this and which came first, the chicken or the egg, the municipality or the province. My history background tells me that I came first, and yet according to the Municipal Act, I am a creation of the province and the province is the boss, so it is interesting, is it not?

But what really scares me is just the fact that if you want people to be involved in politics and you want people to care from local council through, that if you want people to care, then you have to give them a say. The more you take power away from the municipalities, the less people care about politics. The last election I went through was the worst election in my life in terms of apathy by people. The more you skim away our responsibility and our power, the less people care. The more remote is power, the less people care. This is one of the ways we can stop it. This is why I am here today. I am a lower-tier mayor. I did not have to come here today. I am not the regional chairman.

Mr Cousens: I congratulate you for your presentation and appreciate receiving it. I think it comes from someone who is right out there in the field where it has to happen. On your practical suggestions, I am going to go back with our staff to see that we have addressed them in our own amendments to it. I think you have touched on a number of points. I think it shows the value of these hearings, that we give a chance to people to come and make their presentation.

I worry about one of the points you make. The latter part of section 8 has to do with the consultative process. The government members immediately say, "Well, we sent out 10,000 copies of something." I am concerned that governments of all parties are afraid of what the municipalities are going to say. What I would like to do is to challenge you and suggest that you keep it up. It is more just a comment than anything.

Do not just wait for them listen. Make sure you are sending unsolicited proposals saying, "Here is what you could be doing to clean up the environmental assessment process." You are saying this kind of thing now. I happen to believe there is a problem in the failure of this government, and possibly some others, in not listening enough. I challenge you to keep it going because this whole system is going downhill right now. If you want to comment on it, I would value it a lot.

Mr Kett: I can just add a little bit on this. I understand that the municipalities of Ontario are supposed to have all their comments with regard to the employment equity bill in by tomorrow. In the town of Walden, we have received nothing from the provincial government with regard to employment equity. If this is the way we are being treated, we are not very happy.

The Chair: There is about a minute remaining, if there is anything you would like to sum up with for the committee.

Mr Kett: No, I am going to quit while I am ahead, Madam Chair.

The Chair: We appreciate you taking the time and coming to the committee this morning.


The Chair: I would like to call our next presenter, the Sudbury Renewable Energy Resource Centre. Please come forward and begin your presentation by introducing yourselves. You have approximately 20 minutes. We would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions.

Mr Poulin: I will begin by introducing myself. My name is Lewis Poulin. I am an environmental awareness entrepreneur now living in Sudbury.

Ms Davison: I am Phyllis Davison, also from Sudbury. I am an educator and a folk performer.

Mr Poulin: When I heard the government would be travelling around listening to public input on this bill, I thought it would be interesting to maybe provide a different angle to the committee on how important what we are doing here is and what kind of message we are sending to our kids. I personally do not have children right now. I am putting it on the table that I am not a parent, but I am sure quite a few of you are.

I do, however, have the privilege of earning my living by going in front of large numbers of school children to tell them what we can do at home to help our environment. I did this last year and I have stopped doing it right now, because I was tired of going in front of kids telling them what we should be doing. Kids do not need "shoulds." Kids need role models. They need actions. We as adults have a responsibility to act in a meaningful manner towards our kids. I am sure many are in school right now learning about the degradation of our environment as we speak. So I am approaching this whole process as what we can do as adults through our actions to convince our kids that we as adults are serious about protecting our environment.

You might ask, "Where is this guy coming from?" I am coming from seven years of work with Environment Canada's Atmospheric Environment Service. I have a music tape, by the way, in case somebody wants to listen to songs about the degradation of our environment. I guess I became convinced of the seriousness of our atmospheric pollution in Toronto by studying ozone holes. I have obtained a master's degree and I am continuing my work here in Sudbury, with Trent University. I wanted to show that it is possible to bring employment in the north in other manners if we have the vision to open other types of roads, in this case, electronic roads. I do not think we talk enough about other options, so I am telling you that in the north we are working right now studying the ozone layer using computers and electronic communication.

I felt I had a moral responsibility when my work showed me how much we in the developed world are screwing up the environment. Sure, it makes a great research project and I can get a lot of money to keep on telling how we are hurting our atmosphere, but I decided to try and play a more educational role in this, which is why I decided to go talk to the kids. That is why I am keenly supporting any legislation that puts a limit on incineration. We cannot continue, each one of us, to trickle small amounts of garbage into our atmosphere. We have to take care of our own community ozone holes, to use a metaphor.

People talk about hijacking the process, but we seem to conveniently put the boundary around Ontario. To me, the developed world, living in the manner it does, is it not in a way hijacking the process on a planetary scale? Let's be careful about pointing fingers here.

Really, we have to lift the importance of education in our priorities. That is why we wanted to come this morning to talk to those who are involved. I am quite surprised that not many more educators are here. I think that speaks loudly of some faults in our system. People who are responsible for educating our kids: Where are they at these points in discussion? Why do we only hear from the business community? I want to underline the importance of education and we hope to share with you some of the basics we should remember in our education process.

Ms Davison: I appreciate this chance to be here and I applaud the minister, the ministry and the committee for the work they are doing on this. I realize the bill has come from a crisis perspective in the greater Toronto area, but I really appreciate the fact that it is trying to take a look at the future and have a visionary approach to policy and guidelines, because I think it is absolutely necessary that we have some vision for the future and work towards it. I am speaking from that point of view of the bill rather than the crisis in the greater Toronto area.

I go into schools and do theme presentations as an educator. My background is education. I perform and do songs and stories in celebration of our earth and what we can do. I also do workshops with teachers and I would like to share with you the 3Hs that go with the 3Rs that have been developed with teachers.

The first one is "H" for "hands on" and it reinforces what Lewis said about being models and finding just one thing that we as individuals can do to help the environment in our own area. This way we get a feeling of being involved and a power to do something. However small it might be, it is not insignificant because it brings about understanding and awareness. Comments have been made this morning about the need for education and information and I think this is where it starts, each one of us being able to tell the story of the one thing we have decided to do, on our own -- not the blue box; on our own.

The second "H" stands for "heart." I mean this quite seriously and I hear it coming through this morning from other presenters that we do not have a good positive feeling about dealing with waste yet. People do not feel they are being included in decisions. Somehow we have to bring about a feeling of celebration, rejoicing in what we can do rather than going at it from a sort of economic fight or money and development fight. I think we have to work as a team on this. We are all part of the problem; we are all part of the solution; we are all part of Ontario; we are all part of the problem of Ontario, and somehow we have to work, feeling that way, positively.


The third "H" is for "head." With our heads we question and we get information and we research and we have this vision from which I think this Bill 143 is coming, and for that I am very grateful. The model I am using for approaching this is a model of the theory of learning, looking at the development of learning for young children, moving out from being very egocentric to being global. We are at a very initial stage in dealing with these problems, and as people have said before this morning, we need to learn. The first way we learn is to look at this egocentric way. What can we do right here? What can I do at home? What can I do at school? What can I do in my community?

We really have to be very serious about our definitions when we talk about reduce, reuse, recycle. You go into a school and say, "Which is the most important to do?" "Oh, recycle." We talk about that. You smile; those of you who think reducing is the most important thing to do are on my side, but we have not got our definitions quite right yet, because we do not agree on what recycling means, and I hear that this morning, too.

For me, recycling is made up of a great deal of things. The first element is collection and sorting, and that is what our blue box does. I know I sang at the opening of the blue box inauguration here in the region and I questioned the name "recycling depot" because it is a sorting depot. It is the first step of recycling in my definition of the word "recycling." With the Kirkland Lake project, probably some of the questions that are being asked about it deal with that too. Are we talking about collecting, sorting, finding markets for processing or not? We really have to break this whole stack down and look at it on a developmental level.

Children can be given a bunch of mixed buttons and sort them. We at home can be given a bunch of garbage and sort it. Who is responsible for what level of garbage? Your waste analysis efforts are excellent because they indicate where responsibility lies. The organic waste, which is the smelly stuff, by the way, that is being referred to, the smelly stuff is produced by us individuals. We have to take care of that right here, so the organic waste is a very local responsibility.

I am stressing a really serious look at those 3Rs at the local level of collecting and sorting and taking care of the ones that are predominantly produced from residents and the taxpayer. But at the same time as we grow in our learning we realize that the paint we use to paint the room and make it look nice, the medication I have to take for my headache, is not produced here in Sudbury, so I am tied into the great GTA as well. How can we feel that we are responsible for that, too?

I have a vision of a great big pie. The Toronto area is the centre of this pie and we cut the pie into wedge shapes. Even if you live in the farthest north of Ontario, you tie into the centre of that pie, Toronto. You have huge wedge shapes, and we all have just a little teeny bit of Toronto that we tie into. If we could work in regional or geographic pie shapes and barter off some of our problems, we would feel much more positive. I would feel much more positive, and I think that is a kind of learning model that I want to superimpose on all this.

The word "stakeholders" comes into a lot of the material we read these days. It scares me because it has a dollar sign in front of it. I prefer responsibility, and I think your waste analysis and a theory of learning can indicate where we can all take that responsibility.

Mr Poulin: Another basic point in education is farming. How can we plan for the long term when our farming resources are dwindling? I think there is an opportunity here for northern Ontario, when we have legislation that encourages backyard composting, a return to the earth. Let's go visit Farmer Brown again and let's learn how to start generating our own clean food in our clean soils. I really believe there is an opportunity here for northern farmers maybe in little pockets to push sustainability through the farms.

Let's become leaders. We are world leaders in wasting energy and creating garbage. When I go in front of hundreds of kids to sing songs and talk very serious talk -- the reason I am not singing a song this morning is that I feel a lot of people do not take song and music seriously at all, but believe me it is a very powerful and informative tool. Let's turn our wasteful lifestyle into an advantage. Let's seriously become leaders so that we can share. Let's share our lifestyle with everybody on this planet. Our planet right now could not absorb billions of people living in the manner we in Ontario do. Let's be creative and develop the lifestyle parts of which could travel around the world and help a global planet.

I have one practical solution here. Last year I got tired, like I was saying, of telling the kids what we should do, so I picked one problem, the problem of the waste in the food courts of shopping malls. I took one year and my own money to do a business plan for a new business, which is ready to go and which I have been trying to implement here in Sudbury, because I think one way to go for northern Ontario is to be innovative and intelligent about problems and to experiment with solutions up in the north so that we have business tourists coming up here to learn how to do things.

As a meteorologist, I understand the water cycle. I understand we can use water to help clean ourselves and our dishes and use nature's plants to clean it if we should happen to dirty it. So I put together a business plan for a dish rental and dishwashing project in the food courts of shopping malls. It is all laid out here, ready to go. I worked my way up the hierarchy of mall management and ownership. I am telling this to you this morning to let you know that you can present sustainable ideas, in this case on a nickel platter, being from Sudbury, yet the will is still not there, and that is what I learned. I wanted a yes or no from management and the owners, and I obtained a no. Actually what I was told by an élite business person in town is that it is not a crisis situation yet.

This is to let you know that while you are planning this legislation, as I have heard this morning, you are not going to have business people on your side because they do not see -- I must admit my small surveys are maybe not scientific, but from my own personal experience the ground is not ready yet in terms of people who are in positions of power locally. That is what I have learned. That is what I am sharing with the kids. I would like you to keep that in mind as you are preparing legislation that I believe can promote sustainability.

Ms Davison: If we look at section 23 of the bill, it opens the door for money to be directed to some of these projects that I feel should be reinforced, and our notes indicate some that I have noticed around me in the province. A building project down south in Burlington years ago used recycled bricks from demolition sites. Too bad how much it costs to start with. I am not talking about it being economical or anything. This is the direction that should be encouraged and reinforced, the reuse of materials.

Also I remember back in Scotland that when I was growing up, people who lived in row houses and apartments and flats had access to squares of land near the parks that were divided into small fields. You could go out there and farm or garden your own little allotment. I am explaining what that means because it was a really effective way of taking the compost back to the land. You went out with your little pig's bin of junk and set up your own compost in your little allotment. For people who do not have their own backyard composting, there is one.


I noticed in the paper this week that home renovations are going underground. This does not mean the basement. It means that people are getting these services now on the underground; they are not being up front because they want to avoid taxes. We should be encouraging home renovations and the redoing of homes. I think there should be some tax relief for people who are using recycled materials.

I paid more to get my iron repaired than to buy a new one a month ago but I still did it. If that man who is a very skilled repairman did not have to charge GST or PST or whatever, it might be cheaper getting my iron repaired. I have had it for 10 years, so it it a good quality iron as well. We have to stress those things and reinforce projects that talk about quality and repairs. We are going to lose if we do not. I think I will stop there.

Mr McClelland: I think everything you have said is laudable and we are to be encouraged by it. The one thing I want to say by way of comment is that what you have said, and having taken no issue with what you have said and what you believe in and what you want to translate into a mindset and work with young people, I find entirely incompatible with your statement that you support or like this legislation and applaud it.

Yes, there is a part of it, part IV specifically, that seeks to move us in that direction. When you talk about role models, when you talk about being visionary -- quite frankly I do not think we want to tell our children, or have a role model that says, we do not believe in democratic rights and we do not believe in maintaining environmental legislation and we do not believe in people such as yourselves participating fully in finding the best environmental solutions possible. That is the role model. I agree with what you say but I do not see that what you say necessarily supports Bill 143.

Mr Cousens: What you are saying -- Mr McClelland's comments -- is the education, and it has to go to everyone. Every one of us has to understand when you talk about the 3Rs and ask which one is most important. I just have to say, keep it up. I would love to get you to comment on the ozone layer and what you are doing in this area and what we are doing that is causing the destruction of that. Perhaps you can take a moment at the end and tell us some of the things we can do to help protect for the long term, beyond Ontario in the world but here especially.

Mr Martin: We are unfortunate in not being able to hear you sing and present your message in that format. Nevertheless, I am really heartened by what you are saying. I think it all has so much potential. You may or may not know that I am going to be venturing out with a group in the north to look at the question of recycling and waste management. We will be looking to you for just such notions so that we might put some format to it.

Ms Davison: I will respond to the first point made. I think we are heading into a future where we have to move slightly away from being such self-centred people and think of ourselves as children of the earth, as Lewis points out. That is one of the messages. One of my songs says we are all earth children here today and we share it. I think we can keep that at the right level as children learn.

Mr Poulin: I have one final comment. The Sudbury Renewable Energy Resource Centre is open to all parties if they should like to learn more about the ozone layer or how to save 30% on their home costs by being energy efficient, and basically how to practise being green, which speaks louder than words.


The Chair: Clean North is our next presenter. Please come forward and introduce yourself. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation. We would ask if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions. My advice to committee members is that in the time that is allotted to you, ask your question first and then if there is time make your statement. If you make your statement first, there may not be time for your question after. Please begin your presentation now.

Ms Brosemer: My name is Kathy Brosemer. I am from Clean North, which is a small grass-roots environmental group in Sault Ste Marie. We formed it in 1989 and we have been incredibly successful for a small grass-roots environmental group. Our most recent success was chipping 4,300 Christmas trees in a city of 80,000 people, and this is only in the second year of our operation, an entirely volunteer operation. We have more than 350 members and I am here to represent them in what I have to say.

The first thing I want to say is that I am from the north, I live in the north and I am at present unemployed. I am a microbial ecologist, and I do not want a garbage job. I do not want a job studying the microbial ecology of the garbage of the greater Toronto area, and I am not alone in the Sault. In Sault Ste Marie in May 1990, which I must insist that you understand is that after the most recent difficulties with our major employer in the Sault, my friend Mr Martin's predecessor, Karl Morin-Strom, the MPP from the Sault, conducted a survey of Sault residents in which he had 1,200 responses -- I am sure that is statistically significant, in a sample that size -- in which 86% of Sault residents said that northern Ontario communities should not accept and dispose of garbage from southern Ontario. I wanted to let you know that, because I did not think you had heard that before.

Garbage should not be exported from where it is produced until the people where it is being produced get serious about the 3Rs. Reduce, reuse and recycle have to be exhausted before another place to put the garbage is found. This has not yet happened in Metro Toronto.

Last December I had to go to Toronto several times on business. At the time I was employed. When I was in Toronto, I did a lot of walking up and down Yonge Street in the evenings. What I saw on Yonge Street in the evenings was garbage being put out by residents of apartments, residents of homes and people in stores. That garbage contained plastic bags full of garbage put out by the curbside, right alongside big corrugated boxes. Sometimes the bags were stuffed into the boxes. Corrugate is one of the most readily recyclable things. We sent corrugate, for God's sake, from the Sault down to Toronto to be recycled. Why the heck is Yonge Street not doing it?

Another example down on Yonge Street: You walk into a pizza parlour and you try and get a pizza and a pop. You cannot get a pop in a refillable container. It is not available. Once you drink that pop, what are you going to do with the container? You ask them, "Have you got a blue box?" "No. We've got a can to throw it out in or you can take it with you and put it in a blue box somewhere else."

They are not serious about it in Metro Toronto and I do not think they should be allowed to export garbage to the north until they get serious.

I want to tell you we have our own garbage problems in the north. We do not need the GTA's garbage problems. We have problems of unorganized townships having dump sites that catch fire Our provincial water bombers that go to put out forest fires have to go to put out dump fires. We have problems of landfill sites filling up. North Bay has a landfill site that has already had an extension to its life. We have the problem of long-distance transport of our goods, meaning extra layers of packaging we have to deal with. We have the problem of long-distance transport of recyclable materials back to the markets. We send our glass cullet from Sault Ste Marie down to Consumers Glass in southern Ontario, with the added expense of that. We have tremendous garbage problems in the north and we do not need the GTA's garbage problems.

I want to tell you a story -- another one you have not heard -- about our sister city, Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. In September 1989 this town of about 10,000 people, which is across the river from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, opened a recycling depot with grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan social services. They had wonderful press on it. They had articles in the papers, articles in our papers on the Ontario side and they had radio spots. They were hiring mentally handicapped individuals to run this place. They had a wonderful setup and were teaching these people as well. They had sheds out back where people could drop materials off at any time, day or night, weekends, whatever; always available, always open. They take white fine paper -- I am going to take my brief to them to be recycled after we get back -- corrugated cardboard, plastic milk bottles and metals of all shapes and sizes.


They struggled along for two years by word of mouth, trying to get people to bring their things. Last summer a remarkable thing happened. The landfill closed. There was a leachate problem in that landfill and they had to shut it down. They were not collecting the curbside garbage any longer. The people were watching the bags pile up and were told that they could not leave the bags at curbside, that they had to take them back into their homes or put them in their backyards. People carried them back. This went on one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, and a remarkable thing happened about the middle of the third week. People started opening up the bags that had been sitting there for three weeks and pulling out the stuff that could go to that recycling depot and cutting down on their garbage. This depot had been there for two years, but until these people had no other place to put their garbage, they were not using it.

It is time that we gave the same message to the greater Toronto area. There is no more place to put your garbage. Reduce it, reuse it and recycle it. The time has come now, because garbage is not just a landfill problem. Solving the problem of where to put the stuff is not going to solve all the other problems associated with it. We have the problems of transportation: transporting all this stuff, transporting the oil that goes to make the petrochemicals that go into making all those plastics that go into our landfills. How many tankers do we have to have on the seas and how many tankers do we have to see bust up on the reefs before we say we are transporting too much oil and we are making too much plastic to throw in a hole in the ground? We have transportation issues to get things to market and then to get things to landfills.

We have the issues of styrene, for God's sake. Styrene is being produced in factories and we keep on using it and people say, "Oh boy, it's recyclable now. Polystyrene foam cups and clamshells are recyclable now," but styrene is carcinogenic. It has been proven to cause cancer in the workers in these plants. It is time to stop making the stuff.

We have all these problems associated with garbage that finding another hole in the ground, whether it is in Metro Toronto or in the greater Toronto area or in Kirkland Lake, is not going to solve. Reduction, reuse and recycling, in that order, are going to solve the problems. It is not just a landfill problem.

I want to tell you something else. We have been talking a bit about refillable container legislation. There is room in this Environmental Protection Act for addressing that, but we have been hearing that people will not buy refillable containers and that we should reduce the amount they are supposed to be producing in refillable containers.

Last August, I did a little study of my own in Sault Ste Marie. In the four-week period I did the study, refillable containers were mentioned in the advertising that was promoting the sale of single-use containers. We were talking about Coca-Cola and Canada Dry. A case of 24 tins, with coupons -- coupons, of course, are the most promotable item out there. When you want to promote a subject, give people coupons to turn in. They think they are getting a deal. Then they point out, "Oh, the 750 ml bottle is available too, at a higher price per 100 mls." This happened every week of the four weeks I was looking at the ads, coupons for Pepsi-Cola or 7-Up in a two-litre bottle, "Buy one, get one free." This is five cents per 100 millilitres. By the way, the 750-ml refillable bottle is 9.2 cents per 100 mls. It was right there in the ad. I have four ads. You can take a look at them. This is during the same period of time we were hearing, "Most Ontario consumers won't buy pop in refillable bottles, even when they believe those containers are better for the environment." That is a load of crap.

I intend to recycle these. I will not put them in the landfill. I just want to tell you that we have to have some more action. We have to have some more action on reduction, reuse and recycling and we have to deal with this stuff seriously before we start pushing it away and pushing it aside, out of sight and out of mind.

Mrs Marland: Ms Brosemer, you talked about the fact that you could not go into a pizza parlour on Yonge Street and buy pop in a refillable container. I am wondering how familiar you are with the current Bob Rae socialist government's Minister of the Environment, Ruth Grier, and her policies, because she has chosen, in a year and a half in office, not to take any action on increasing the percentage of required refillable containers. She has the power through regulation to tell the industry what kind of containers it has to sell its pop in. I wonder if you are aware she has that power, through regulations. She does not even need legislation to do it. Do you know what her powers are and that she has not done anything on that item you are concerned about?

Ms Brosemer: Yes, of course I know that.

Mr Ramsay: Kathy, I particularly enjoyed your presentation. As a northerner, I am very sensitive to the idea that we have to recycle more in the north. As you know, in many smaller centres in northern Ontario we do not have any recycling. It is one of the reasons I have kept an open mind on the Kirkland Lake proposal, in that it seems to me you need a certain economy of scale to do some viable recycling. It seems to me that whether greater Toronto area garbage comes to the north or not, it might be nice to have some sort of regional recycling centre, maybe for the northeast. Since you are an activist in this community, I want to get your views on that. Maybe we need regional centres for recycling in the north. Will that make it more viable for the small towns?

Ms Brosemer: I do not think regional centres for recycling will be an answer. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe what you are talking about is a regional sorting centre, and I must come back to what our previous presenter said about that. What we need in the north are industries that are actually going to do recycling. We need things like a paper mill in Thunder Bay that is going to do de-inking, which we have just got. We need Algoma Steel to take steel cans. We need as many opportunities of those types as possible, but no, we do not need more sorting facilities.

The greatest costs of recycling in the north are in collection. We expect to send trucks around to pick everything up. I do not think we need to do that in all areas. Depots make sense, open sheds make sense, but some of our municipalities are against those ideas because they are afraid of them. We have seen that it works in our sister city. The depots, unstaffed and open all the time, work. Our city, Sault Ste Marie, would not accept that idea.

Mr Martin: The same as the others, I thank you for coming and presenting. You came a long way this morning.

There is some question here whether this government really reflects a common sentiment out there, particularly in the north. Would you speak to us a bit further on both the survey that Karl Morin-Strom did and your sense of who you represent, and the numbers and the sentiment out there to support this kind of initiative?

Mr Brosemer: It is not just who I represent and the numbers. I get on radio call-in programs a lot, so I feel I have a sense of what not just the members of our association but the people in our community want. There is a very strong sense that the north has been used as a dumping ground, that the north has been used as a source of resources. Take the wealth to the south. The wealth goes south and never comes back. I do not think garbage coming back is bringing wealth back, frankly. It is using the north as a dumping ground. I am very concerned about any community in the north that would decide to take garbage, or be allowed to take garbage, from the south. One of the strongest industries we have in the north is tourism, and it remains the strongest in spite of a lot of other things that are going wrong in our resource industries. It puts that industry in great jeopardy when we start referring to the place where southern Ontario garbage is going.

The Chair: We appreciate your coming before the committee this morning and we appreciate your presentation.



The Chair: I would like to call Ed Burt next. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation. We ask if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions from committee members.

Mr Burt: My name is Ed Burt. I live on Manitoulin Island. I have been farming organically for about four decades now on my farm. All the waste that has ever come on to my farm, into my house or anywhere else is still there. I think I have come closer to zero recycling than anybody I have ever met, but I have a long way to go.

Madam Chairman, I would like to know who I am speaking to here. Is it the lady and gentleman on this side of the house? I have been at the back for an hour and I have heard some what seems to me to be political wrangling. That is why I never go to Queen's Park; I do not like listening to that. I came over because I was concerned about a problem.

The Chair: Perhaps that is one question I can answer for you, Mr Burt. You are speaking to the standing committee of the provincial Legislature, all our politicians. Those represented here are members of the government caucus, and on this side there are three representatives of the official opposition and two representatives from the Progressive Conservative Party.

Mr Burt: Thank you; I guessed as much.

I would first of all like to say thanks for the opportunity to raise some points that are of great concern to me regarding waste management in Ontario. I have six points to make and I will try to present them as quickly as I can.

First, I believe the majority of people in Ontario are prepared to work towards reduction, reuse and recycling. It is not a new concept for a lot of people. I think the emphasis should be in that order. Some day in Ontario we will neither import nor manufacture products that cannot be recycled here, if we are serious about being a part of the circle of life, and the materials we now waste will become resources.

Second, I think landfilling is wrong. It is a crime against the earth to bury any of the approximately 27,000 toxic, corrosive and inflammable products available to people today. Looking at the best models in the world today, separation at source is the only approach that really works. All the organic material should be composted, and we end up with a benign product that has had the toxic materials removed.

This rather benign material can be dealt with in a number of ways. We should be dealing with diminishing amounts as we reuse and recycle more and would not need ever-increasing amounts of deep land. A lot of people in our area believe the landfilled portion of separated waste could be safely stored -- that is what any landfill is: a storage; a very poor storage, I might add -- on clay-covered Niagara Escarpment rock. It may not even need to be covered. It could be monitored and left to decay in a normal way.

The emphasis in waste management should not be on landfilling, but on separating at source, dealing with toxins, the 3Rs and composting. We do not know enough about the aquifers in our deep land to take the risks of landfilling all our waste.

Third, I believe exporting garbage is a bad idea. It does not give people the opportunity to be responsible. It sets a bad example, and an "out of sight, out of mind" example is a risk we cannot afford to take. There are a few people who will have to be dragged kicking and screaming right to the wire when an environmentally sound approach is implemented, and a separation-at-source approach to waste management is just that.

The precedent we set by exporting waste sends the wrong message to the rest of the province. There is no logical reason why every area's municipalities cannot separate and deal with their own waste. We have millions of tonnes of waste to be dealt with in an environmentally appropriate way, and thousands of unemployed people today.

Fourth, I tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of Bill 143. I got a thing that says Bill 143, but I found out afterwards it was not. Anyway, I had a friend read some of Bill 143 to me, and my main concern was with the area of exporting waste. It seemed to me that Bill 143 denounced export but that section 29, as amended, might allow export. It is not at all clear to me what the minister intends in section 29, but I urge the minister to make a clear statement that the export of garbage is prohibited in Ontario.

I would like to close by sending a message congratulating Minister Ruth Grier on her stand on waste incineration in Ontario. With the information coming out of Europe, the wave of opposition from newsletters and films opposing incineration and the alarming statistics surfacing in the United States, it is refreshing to see our minister preventing the poisoning of our province before it occurs.

Last week I read in a publication from the US that 88% of American children younger than six have sufficient lead in their blood to retard their mental, physical and emotional development. I believe pollution is more serious and more damaging than previously thought. When I see the Environmental Research Foundation in Washington, DC, putting out a paper entitled Why Plastic Landfill Liners Always Fail showing in detail why landfills fail and why we should not be putting incinerator ash in landfills, I am encouraged by Ruth Grier's bill.

In conclusion, I think it is time we took a new look at how we deal with our waste in a responsible way. I might add that I have been on a steering committee in our area, and I have been working on new concepts with environmental groups for years, trying to find more appropriate ways to deal with garbage.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your excellent presentation. You requested knowing who was here. I also want to point out that the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Mr O'Connor, is here representing the minister. The people at the side are representatives of both the GTA waste office and the Ministry of the Environment, as well as assistants to the minister and the parliamentary assistant. So those are the people who are here. On this side, we have the clerk of the committee, the Hansard reporter and legislative research.

Mr Burt: I have watched the tangled web our governments have allowed the Ministry of the Environment to become entangled in for the last couple of decades. We are at least two decades behind in dealing with our garbage in a responsible way. I am not really a fan of any government, but I guess I am more of a fan of our present one than any for quite a while. We have made an appalling mess and we certainly cannot blame our new government for that. Maybe a couple of years from now we will be able to blame it for not taking some positive action so we can get on with dealing with our waste in the municipalities where we should be dealing with it.

Mr McClelland: Mr Burt, I will try to give you a copy of the bill.

Mr Burt: I do not really worry about that so much, because I am not going to be writing the bill anyway and this is probably the last presentation I will be making to this group. I will get it some time.

Mr McClelland: None the less, I would be pleased to try to get you a copy of the bill, because I think you are a very thoughtful man. Indeed that has been demonstrated by your presentation here this morning. I would simply ask you to read it and consider it in full.

You say you are encouraged by the bill. I do not doubt for a moment that you are encouraged by parts of it. I will leave it for your own assessment, having read the bill in its entirety, to make your own evaluation whether it is just simply parts of it that you feel encouraged by, which I think are laudable, or whether you are encouraged by the bill in its totality, recognizing that the bill contains much. It does not speak simply about incineration and the export of waste, issues you have talked on, it speaks about much more.

Having said that, I will simply say that I thank you for being here, present you with a copy of the bill and hope you will have the opportunity to look at it in its totality.

Mr Burt: I am pretty familiar with it. I had two lawyer friends talk to me for at least five hours on the telephone -- as long as my wife does not find out what my telephone bill is -- and I listened to and read the speech Ruth Grier wrote on incineration and fly ash. I have a copy of it here. That is really not that important to me. I am not writing the laws. I am very concerned about the mess we have got ourselves into and about how important it is that we start using some people. We have cut out the local people who care about these messes. We have a tangled web of bureaucracy that does not work and we have been decades doing it. I have a master plan here. I can read to you in a minute about one of the most ridiculous things you could ever imagine that happened in our area regarding landfills. I am concerned about the tangled mess we have got ourselves into.

Mr Martin: I would like to know, Mr Burt, where you are from.

Mr Burt: I am from Manitoulin Island.

Mr Martin: Perhaps you could talk a little bit more about the committee you belong to which concerns itself with the issue of waste management, how many people there are and whether your view represents a fairly widely felt sentiment in the Manitoulin area about waste management.


Mr Burt: I am not sure how many people I have standing behind me. When I look around sometimes, I do not see anybody. We have 1,400 or so people in our municipalities. They have been surrounded around one nasty landfill that we have been fighting over for years. It is small groups. We have put together an outline of the Manitoulin used material storage concept, a concept we thought would work really well. We did this years ago and we made a plywood model of how we would build a transfer station.

I have no idea. I have been to schools talking to children and I have had a lot of children out to my farm. I do some recycling of paper from Manitoulin Transport and I did some composting from a small restaurant last summer. I could talk to you at length about it, but as to actually how many people, I think 90% of the people would like to do a better job of caring for our earth than we are doing. I do not know whether they are all -- they are not in my group, I guess.

Mr Cousens: When you express support for the bill, are you aware that this bill removes the right of people to object or involve themselves in objections to changes in a landfill site such as Keele Valley or Britannia, and that with the very kinds of concerns you would have with a landfill site near you, where you would have objections, there will not be this opportunity for people in Keele Valley and York region?

Mr Burt: No, I guess I will have to say I am not that concerned. I am not concerned. We could see two decades ago that in the greater Toronto area we were in garbage up to here, and now it is up to here. We could see it coming. All you have to do is walk around the back streets of Toronto in the evening and see the green garbage bags. We have never had a green garbage bag in our home, on our farm. We just will not have one.

I am not interested in that. The thing I am interested is the whole blue box idea. It might be good for some people. It has only taken 4% or so out of the waste stream. My wife and I were talking about this just recently. If somebody brought a blue box from the municipality into our home, we would have to go out and shop and buy something so we could use it, so we would have something to put in it. Our well is just down below our fields. Everything that comes on to our farm, we deal with ourselves. I have property that encompasses two landfills. I do not believe in the way they deal with it, so I never take anything there. For four decades, I have been trying to be more responsible with my waste and I have no need for a blue box. I have nothing to put in it.

Mr Wiseman: I am intrigued by the fact that you have been able to avoid putting anything into a landfill site. How do you avoid all that packaging that is out there?

Mr Burt: I just do not buy it.

Mr Wiseman: Everything comes in a package.

Mr Burt: Like what, for instance?

Mr Ramsay: Shaving blades.

Mr Burt: Shaving blades: I guess I have to admit that my mother-in-law gave me an old razor a day or so after my father-in-law died and it has been clunking along for a couple of decades.

The Chair: You have about a minute if you would like to sum up, if there is anything further you would like to share with the committee.

Mr Burt: I guess my summing up is that I would really have liked to talk at length about the mess we have been getting ourselves in with master plans and the amount of money this has cost municipalities. I would like to think that there is a whole new concept. I do not think we need a landfill where we live. I think we can get along just fine without one.

The thing that bothers me quite a bit is that we have some archaeologists digging in Manitoulin right now and they have been talking about civilizations that have been there for 30,000 years. I do not want some civilization some time in the future to be digging on Manitoulin and then after they get some of their stuff back to the lab, say, "This wasn't the Stone Age or the Bronze Age or the Iron Age; these people lived in the Trash Age." That is where we are right now and I hope this committee helps us get out of it.


The Chair: I would like to call next the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce. Please come forward and introduce yourself to the committee. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation. All members of the committee have received your written brief. Please begin by introducing yourself, and we would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes for questions at the end of your presentation.

Mrs Warwick: My name is Jeanne Warwick and I am president of the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce. We welcome the opportunity to participate in this important consultative process undertaken by the Ontario government on the subject of Bill 143, the Waste Management Act, 1991. We commend the government for recognizing the need for meaningful consultation with all concerned parties. Broad-based consultation is vitally important to the process of developing an effective approach to waste management in Ontario.

The Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce, now in its 96th year of leading and serving the Sudbury area business community, represents over 850 businesses throughout the region, or, if you wish, employers. Our membership encompasses both the multinational corporation and the small entrepreneur, but primarily we represent small business. In excess of 76% of our membership is made up of firms with 10 or fewer employees.

The Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce is a strong advocate for environmental management based on sound fiscal and business principles. Our chamber has become a leader in its own small way in providing an opportunity for business, industry and government to come together to share their experience, their expertise and their initiatives in this area.

In 1991, the Sudbury chamber became the first chamber of commerce in North America to host a trade show dedicated to environmental issues, and Ruth Grier was in attendance at that time. The year 1992 will mark our continued interest and commitment to the role business and industry play in the environmental question, with the Sudbury chamber joining forces with another local organization to host an expanded trade show and exposition on the environment. We anticipate over 40 exhibits, several nationally and internationally known speakers, government leaders, informative seminars, and more, for the hundreds of attendees who will participate. This is going to be held at the Holiday Inn, with exhibits on both levels, and the movie theatres will be showing environmental films. I think it will really be a great exposition.


Our comments pertaining to Bill 143 will be limited to part II of the legislation, "Waste Disposal Sites."

It concerns us that the Ministry of the Environment will not consider the economic and development opportunities associated with the transportation of waste from the greater Toronto area to any other area. Given the optimistic waste diversion targets announced by the minister recently of 50% of waste being diverted from Toronto landfill sites by the year 2000 through stepped-up reduce, reuse and recycle programs, statistics show there will still exist a significant shortfall and a need for additional waste disposal sites within the next few years.

It is the opinion of this chamber that the Rail Cycle North opportunity negotiated between the Ontario government and the communities of Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake provided an acceptable environmental solution for the GTA while at the same time offering a much-needed economic shot in the arm for northern Ontario. This cooperative partnership offered the Adams mine as an economically viable and environmentally safe landfill for Metro's residual waste and would have created secondary manufacturing opportunities in the north.

The bill, if passed in its current form, will have serious long-term repercussions on the citizens of Metro and those of northeastern Ontario. The ministry's refusal to consider the Kirkland Lake option establishes a precedent that precludes any likelihood of any type of recycling industry being established in the north, since in most cases the raw materials would have to be transported from other parts of the province to this site. This opportunity and the potential for other similar projects would have had a significant positive effect on the economic prospects of northern Ontario and would have done much to diversify its economic base.

Instead, the Ontario taxpayer will be forced to incur added costs to locate a suitable landfill site in the GTA, in addition to the construction costs to establish the necessary infrastructure to support the site and compensation payments to neighbouring property owners. Longer hauling distances will result in increased traffic on already overly congested roads -- everybody complains about the garbage falling off the trucks as they go along Highway 401 -- and increased costs to municipalities for their collection contracts over the next 20 years.

We believe strongly that the Rail Cycle North proposal is a safe, environmentally sound and economically viable opportunity that must be considered as an option in the York-Metro site search. We encourage the ministry to commit itself to working with various stakeholders in an atmosphere of cooperation and common sense to examine all reasonable options and opportunities in creating innovative solutions to the environmental challenges we face today.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming to the committee this morning.

Mr Wiseman: How much time do we have?

The Chair: We have approximately 14 minutes in total, so perhaps you would be very careful in the amount of time you take of that.

Mr Wiseman: My question has to do with the notion of residual waste. Just for clarification, my notion of residual waste is that it is what is left over after all the recycling materials have been removed, and therefore it is material that has no recyclable value.

Since the proposal that has been put forward by CN continues to call for increased recycling in the GTA and says that this material should be removed, it seems to me that with this proposal, all that will be coming north is material that has already been gleaned of its valuable product. The only thing coming north will be residual waste, which would then be landfilled, with very little opportunity for recycling. In the document itself, it says that more recycling is going to be done closer to Toronto, so I have some difficulty understanding what it is you think you are going to get from Metro's waste.

Mrs Warwick: I guess I am looking at this from a business point of view. There is an open mine pit at Kirkland Lake. There is the Ontario Northland Railway that is going to close down if it is not used. It seems to me it just makes common sense that we put the garbage in the train, take it up to Kirkland Lake, dump it in the pit, fill the pit up, put some earth over the top, and bingo, your mine site is filled.

It would be nice if cans and paper and whatnot could also go to Kirkland Lake, because then they could have a secondary industry up there and build on the recycling part of it. If we do not do it soon, Ontario Northland is going to take up the railroad track and our opportunity will be lost to use this means of transportation. I would hope everything would go up.

Mrs Marland: Ms Warwick, what do you think is going on in this debate in the north? You speak very eloquently for the chamber of commerce. Someone earlier, with rather more colourful language, I should say, using the word "crap" etc, said that was not the kind of job she wanted. She said she had a complaint about non-refillable containers and understood the ministry had the power to change the regulations that govern that, yet it is the same minister she is supporting, with this bill.

It is very hard to understand what the message is that we are hearing. You have someone who says she does not want a garbage job, and yet this is confined, as far as actually dealing with the garbage is concerned. If the garbage was containerized on a train and it went to that one site, why do you think there is a concern that suddenly the picture of tourism in the north is one of garbage when it is going to one location, namely, the Adams mine site, which I understand would be for a 20-year project?

You are speaking, as I say, for business and commerce, which create jobs. If there are more people working, obviously everybody's job opportunity is enhanced, because whoever is working on the trains or at the site or in a recycling facility will spend money at the grocery store and the furniture store and so forth.

Yet the debate is very difficult to hear actually up here this morning. The representative of the elected people, namely, the municipalities -- you speak for the business people; Mr Gray spoke very well this morning for the elected officials, who are elected by these people who have to eat, sleep and work in the north. Do you have any understanding of why there is this kind of debate, except maybe from some erratic fringe element?

Mrs Warwick: The environment is going to be the biggest issue of this century, I am sure, but I honestly cannot see the problem. You have too much garbage in Toronto. We have a pit up there, so you truck it up there. There is nobody around. Nobody is going to complain about the smell or the noise of cans, whereas in Toronto they would have to use good farm land to make another landfill site. They would be trucking garbage down the highway again in the big trucks and what not.

It does not make any difference to Sudbury. We are not involved, except that we are very concerned about our brothers and sisters in the north and the economy of the north. The north has been really hard hit and we are looking for jobs for financial stability up here. I commend this group for getting on the bandwagon and having the intelligence to see the potential of what is there. There is a free pit and there is the railroad already there. It is going to be taken up if we dally and dilly around on this. There will not be any railroad and then it will cost a fortune to truck it in. To me, it is elementary, but perhaps I am missing the whole -- even the --


Mrs Warwick: I am sorry; I did not hear.

The Chair: Mrs Marland's time is up. You can complete your answer and then Mr Ramsay has the floor.

Mrs Warwick: I was also going to mention the leachate in the mine. In the north, you are not worrying about contaminating drinking supplies, whereas in a highly populated area, the leachate from the garbage runs into all the waters that service the drinking for the population in the south.


Mr Ramsay: Ms Warwick, I would like to congratulate the chamber in Sudbury for being so strong an advocate for the environment with your seminars and so on. You can be congratulated for taking that leadership role in the business community. That is excellent. However, I would want to say -- I am the member for Timiskaming, the area where this Kirkland Lake proposal is currently being discussed -- I must take strong objection to something you say, that you believe strongly this is safe and environmentally sound, because part of the reason we are here and debating this is that none of us is an expert and we do not really know that to be true.

What I have always asked for, and what we are no longer ever going to have the chance for once this bill is passed, is to have an environmental assessment on this proposal to let us see if it can prove itself to be environmentally sound. Maybe it is; maybe it is not. I certainly would not support it if it was not environmentally sound, but we are never going to have the chance to prove whether this project is environmentally sound. That is why an earlier presenter said this proposal will never go away. One way to make it go away, if that is what people want, is to put it to the environmental test and maybe it will fail. If it does, I certainly would not push it and most people in the north would no longer push it.

We really do have to have an environmental assessment on these projects, and of course this bill will not allow environmental assessment hearings once the minister has deemed a certain site to be acceptable. That is what is wrong with this bill.

Ms Haeck: I appreciate your comments. They lend an interesting perspective. I do have to take some exception to one of the comments you made with regard to leachate, that basically because of the Adams site being located where it is, it would not really have an impact on southern Ontario. In fact, groundwater moving into Lake Superior would obviously have a cumulative effect on anyone taking water from any of the lakes downstream, thereby having an effect on people within the whole Great Lakes basin on either side of the international boundary.

I would hope you will contemplate that remark and really think about the fact that the kind of leachate produced in a site like that will be highly contaminatory and have an impact on many millions of people living around the Great Lakes basin. It is not really acceptable to many environmentalists on both sides of the border.

Mrs Warwick: Is that not what I said?

Ms Haeck: No. In fact, you said it was not --

Mrs Warwick: If it came out that way I am sorry. I meant that was a disadvantage for it being in the south and an advantage for it being in the north.

Ms Haeck: But that still is the problem because leachate moves into the groundwater and moves into places like Lake Superior and obviously ultimately has an impact on the Great Lakes basin.

Mrs Warwick: I see what you mean, yes.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Haeck. Mr Cousens, you have the floor.

Mr Cousens: I want to thank you for your presentation. I think you have really answered the question raised by my friend, Mr Ramsay, because you are just saying to let the Rail Cycle North proposal be considered as an option. The kind of thrust Mrs Marland and I have been taking is, let there be an environmental assessment on it; let it go through the whole process and then if it comes through and is safe and is good, it can then be implemented. That is a responsible approach to it. I guess what we really want to do is continue to welcome business. We have had unions come in this morning, and environmentalists, to help us solve our problem. I think you are to be congratulated for the presentation you have given and for the kind of direction you have taken in it and I thank you.

Mr McClelland: If I may continue on that theme, the thrust of many presenters you have not had an opportunity of hearing, as we did in Toronto, was that the bill precludes looking at the best environmental solution or combination of solutions possible. That is why, I suppose, I find it curious, as somebody who is as interested as most people -- I would defy anybody to challenge somebody in terms of his sincerity and interest for the long-term wellbeing of our planet and what we will leave for our children -- for people to say, "We like this legislation," when it has very clearly, in so many people's minds, said that it removes the possibility of exploring a range of solutions and finding the best environmental solution to deal with a multiplicity of problems.

That is what Mr Ramsay was saying. He is not necessarily saying it is the right way to go; he is saying, "Let's make sure we consider options carefully and think long term and think down the road, not for a year or two but literally for generations to come. That is what we want to do.

Mrs Warwick: It is incredible the strides that have been taken. People have become so aware of the environment in the last few years. The children are exceptional. They are very aware of bottles and cans and paper and what not.

Mrs Mathyssen: Mrs Warwick, thank you for your presentation. I know you are in favour of transportation and I wonder, do you think the Interim Waste Authority should extend the site selection to the entire province? If transportation is a positive solution, should we extend that site selection province-wide?

Mrs Warwick: I do not know where you are coming from; I am sorry. I am just thinking of the Ontario Northland Railway specifically at this point, going up to Kirkland Lake. Are you thinking of other landfill sites in other areas?

Mrs Mathyssen: I believe that if transportation is back on the table then all the other sites that were previously considered have to be back on the table as well, and that would include sites closer to the Metro area. I wondered what your thoughts were on that.

Mrs Warwick: I am really basically concerned with Kirkland Lake -- or the chamber is -- and the economy in the north right now, because the north needs some diversification.

The Chair: We appreciate your coming forward this morning. If there is any additional information that you or any of the earlier presenters would like to share with the committee in the future, please feel free to communicate with us in writing.


The Chair: I understand Joanne Fleming has arranged for someone else to take her time. Would you come forward and introduce yourself? You have 20 minutes for your presentation and we ask you to leave a few minutes at the end for questions from committee members.

Mr Bradley: My name is Bill Bradley, and basically I have a fairly lengthy environmental background. I apologize for not having a written presentation right now since I was just informed of this meeting yesterday.

The Chair: A written presentation is not required. Everything you say will be recorded in Hansard and become part of the public record.

Mr Bradley: Generally, I have three basic kinds of background: environmental, sustainable economic development and I was a politician as well, albeit at the university level, but I did win three out of four of my elections. I guess that gives me some kind of credibility among the members here.

On my environmental side, I have worked for the Pollution Probe Foundation in Toronto for five years. Here in Sudbury I am a freelancer for the MCTV show "Down to Earth," which I am happy to say is quite successful. Northeastern Ontario is still interested in the environment, according to our ratings. We were only hoping to get 5% but we have got 9.9%. I guess that means people in the north are still quite interested in the environment.

On the sustainable economic development side, I also have a passion and interest for community economic development and in the late 1970s I was involved with a group called Sudbury 2001. I will make a few more references to that later -- or earlier, I suppose.


I am not going to speak with a lot of statistics and facts and figures because I came into this kind of late, but I will speak from the heart and from some of my experiences which I would like to share with you. With respect to the export issue, although my heart goes out to communities like Kirkland Lake and northeastern Ontario that are experiencing economic downturns, I have to look back at the memory of my own experience here in Sudbury in the late 1970s when we ourselves were faced with a massive shock to our economy. We lost somewhere close to 5,000 jobs in the nickel industry through layoffs at Falconbridge and Inco, and the community was shell-shocked by that. Before that I think everyone here felt our future was tied to nickel. The trouble with nickel, being an international commodity, is that it has price fluctuations. In the market downturn we had in the late 1970s we suffered tremendously.

What happened in the community is that the community leaders came together in a multiparty coalition to try and diversify the economy. It seemed like an impossible task because I guess at that time, and I am not sure of my figures here, perhaps 30% of our jobs here were directly related to the mining industry. A conference was initiated and different kinds of economic development strategies were discussed. There was the possibility, for instance, of having jobs created through what many would consider a problematic way of generating jobs, ie, Eldorado Nuclear wanted to build a refinery just to the south of the city. Sudbury was considered a potential host community.

What happened is that people became concerned, and perhaps rightly so. We have had a long history of being considered a community with a sort of moonscape. Our quality of life has been critiqued by all kinds of people and members of the community felt it would not be good for our community to generate jobs by going with Eldorado Nuclear. That is what happened. The community rejected that kind of job opportunity and business opportunity and went on to diversify its economy. Just looking at some of these statistics lately, I see that our economy has a jobless rate of 8.6%, which is terrible, but in consideration of some of the other statistics I see from southern Ontario it looks pretty darn good.

What happened is that this community pulled together and diversified its economy aggressively. They followed an old election slogan of mine which won for me, and that is, where there's a will there's a way. We found that way. We diversified our economy and we have been successful. Now members of the community are coming together through a green plan initiative whereby we are getting ready to tackle another major problem here, and that is our image. Hopefully we will have as much success with that as we have had with diversifying our economy.

My point is that perhaps the people in Kirkland Lake might feel that generating jobs with the importation of garbage may be problematic for them and may feel that there may be some sort of community stigma attached to that, but where there's a will there's a way. They do not have to go that route. They can follow Sudbury's example and diversify in ways that win the support of the whole community. That is my point with respect to a northern perspective.

I have also spent a lot of time in Toronto. I am from Toronto. I am from the Beaches area. I have lived downtown and in a housing co-op beside Regent Park, as well, when I worked for Pollution Probe. From my perspective from living in Toronto, I noticed that when the blue box program was initiated it engendered a tremendous amount of spinoff in terms of people getting interested in other environmental issues. People started talking about composting in their backyards. They were concerned about packaging and it seemed the blue box was almost like a Trojan Horse of a beneficial nature. It really helped to increase our awareness and involve the public right inside their homes in terms of getting involved with the environment.

Of course there are those who would say that Toronto has an insurmountable problem, that it is running out of landfill and that there is no way we can divert as much garbage as we need to. I would like to share with you another experience when I was at Probe and that is the Hogg's Hollow project initiated by Pollution Probe. We took a middle class or an upper middle class area at Yonge and Old Mill called Hogg's Hollow. A pilot project was initiated there in, I guess, 1988, and within four to six weeks Gord Perks and some other Pollution Probe staff people and volunteers were able to work with that community and reduce garbage by 80%. They got a tremendous amount of participation in that neighbourhood and, hey, it can be done.

Pollution Probe itself held an international conference after that in late 1988, bringing experts from Germany, the Netherlands and the United States to share with the Canadian participants, planners and other people that things can be done. Where there's a will there's a way.

My concern with export, from the Toronto perspective, is that it might undermine, and probably will undermine, the individual's responsibility for reducing garbage. One thing I noticed about the way the blue box was organized in Toronto was that they had two words on those blue boxes: "We recycle." For those people who live in Toronto, it is those two words that sort of crystallize the Toronto attitude in the sense of, "We recycle, so should you recycle?" There certainly were high participation rates there.

On the business side, certainly we live in trying economic times and it is hard on the business sector, but another project I was associated with at Probe was called Profit from Pollution Prevention, a book geared to small manufacturers in Canada. Waste reduction efforts allowed those businesses to reduce their effluent flows and often had paybacks of two years or less. There are a number of case studies in there. That book was a reworking of an original 1982 book by Bill Glenn called Profit from Pollution Prevention.

I have always been impressed by the Ontario Waste Management Corp, their newsletter and their engineers, John Richmond and Ken Bradley, who work with small business as well in terms of reducing effluents and waste in general. Not only would we potentially reduce the incentive for individuals to recycle, but it may be good for business as well because we are moving into an environmental age, and as Frank Hess of the Sudbury Regional Development Corp says, there is a great potential for environmental industries. In fact, the SRDC here is making that a focus of its continuing and ongoing means of diversifying the Sudbury economy.

Last -- I only have about a minute left -- I would like to say that although environment may be down in the polls recently, the environment is not a trend; it is not a fad. We just a week ago saw a headline in the Toronto Star with respect to the thinning of the ozone layer, and that affects all of us here. There is a need for Canada to become an environmental nation and our citizens to become environmental citizens. The federal government's Green Plan in one of its sections stated a need to have an environmental citizenry. To me, the export of garbage undermines that concept and may in fact be harmful for business in general.

Mrs Mathyssen: I was wondering if you would put some meat on the bones of what you said. The one thing that bothers me about the whole transportation proposal around Kirkland Lake is the feeling that it could be environmental degradation masquerading as economic development. You made reference to a proposal by Eldorado Nuclear for a project in Sudbury that would create economic opportunities, and that the community rejected that in favour of another form of diversification. Could you tell us about what the community did?

Mr Bradley: The sector of the community that was most concerned was the labour sector. Local 6500 and the Canadian Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers were concerned about Eldorado Nuclear more from a workers' health and safety perspective, but I think the community as a whole felt uncomfortable with having a nuclear refinery so close to the city. In fact, one of the sites was just to the south of the city. I am just saying that this was something coming in from left field, but the community did not bite on that. It did not throw up its hands and say, "Okay, what do we do now?" They continued to forge ahead, to seek every avenue they could, and I really wish that communities like Sault Ste Marie had got on the bandwagon the way Sudbury did years ago because you might be in better shape than you are now.

I am just saying that we do not have to suffer from job blackmail. There are ways out of this if we use our creativity and our community will, and above all, work together.

Mr McClelland: You may or may not want to respond. The comment was made about environmental degradation. What are your feelings with respect to the importance of the EAA process and the involvement of citizens' organizations and groups and people who may have a wide range of opinion, oft-times a conflicting opinion, and the opportunity it affords to put those on the table, to subject them to the closest scrutiny possible, to cross-examination, and then a determination being made by people who, as much as any of us can be, try to sit with a degree of objectivity to arrive at decisions? Any comment?

Mr Bradley: One thing that has given me heart lately has been the five constitutional conferences. Like many other people, I have been pretty depressed about the state of our nation, but those conferences seem to be coming up with mechanisms that lead to hope that our country may come together at last. Without that kind of public participation, that tends to turn the public off. They become disempowered, cynical and sceptical, and that is not the kind of public we want. In Canada we have more people who vote in elections than in the United States, and that is perhaps because there is more opportunity for public participation.

Mr McClelland: My friend said that perhaps one of the difficulties with Bill 143 is that it will be seen in history as the Meech Lake of the environmental process. Every decision will be made behind closed doors by a group of people removed from the citizens without any participation. I thought it was a very good analogy and I leave that with you. Thank you for your participation.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing before the committee this morning. We appreciate your participation. If you have additional information in the future that you would like to share with the committee, please feel free to do so in writing.

For the interest of those who have attended this morning's meeting, all of the comments and proceedings are available in Hansard. It takes a couple of weeks for them to be made available. They are available through Publications Ontario at 880 Bay. I think there is also a government bookstore here in Sudbury where Hansard can be made available. If you contact any of the local MPPs, of any of the political party constituency offices, they are usually happy to get you copies of Hansard as well.

Thank you for joining us this morning. The standing committee on social development will reconvene at 1:30. We thank all committee members for their cooperation this morning. The standing committee on social development stands adjourned until 1:30 this afternoon.

The committee recessed at 1216.


The committee resumed at 1332.


The Chair: The standing committee on social development is now in session. I would like to welcome everyone this afternoon. These are public hearings on Bill 143, Waste Management Act, 1991. I would like to call our first presenter, Ron Yurick. Are you here? Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Please introduce yourself to the committee for the purposes of Hansard, and we ask if you would leave a few minutes for questions at the end from committee members. Welcome, and please begin your presentation now.

Mr Yurick: I want to thank you for this opportunity to speak in front of you today. My name is Ron Yurick. I am from the community of Chapleau, which is some distance northwest of here on the CP main line.

I have long been interested in the garbage issue and got particularly involved in this round of it because I was acting in response to another proposal that had come forward for our community. There the proponent proposed to dump this same garbage we are talking about on a small town some 60 kilometres away from our town. In the fight against that, we thought we could not say no to Toronto garbage, in all fairness, if we were not doing the best we could ourselves, so we formed a group which is now called Enviro-Chapleau. I became the chair of that and have led the fight against the proposal in our town. That came to a head with a referendum in the last municipal elections, and the citizens of our town, in sympathy with other people being dumped on, voted 79.6% against being a host community. In the small town that was the target of the garbage, the vote was 98% against; only the chamber of commerce types voted in favour of it.

To highlight the issue further I ran for council, and I did not hide the fact that I was running on environmental concerns. In a field of 13 candidates, I was one of the four elected. I would point out I am not speaking on behalf of council, though, or the municipality. I did not seek their endorsement, but I am speaking with the endorsement of Enviro-Chapleau.

I can assure you that the new council is not in accord with the statements made by groups like FONOM this morning. We are northerners, we have sympathy for the plight of other northerners and I think we have a feeling that the answer is not this type of area exploitation.

I want to address parts II and IV of the bill and then I want to deal with the Adams mine proposal and make a few concluding remarks.

Even though to me Bill 143 is not as of high a calibre as it might be, I have to say that I like it because it addresses one central issue, that is, we have to begin to deal at home with our own mess. We have to deal with our problems where we make them; we cannot ship them off to other people. This is not in the bill but it is readily available. The fact is that Ontarians are slobs. We are number one in the world in per capita garbage production, we are number one in the world in energy consumption, worse than every other single jurisdiction is what I get from the reading that is widely available.

This bill helps us deal with something that says we must begin to contain pollutants at the source where they originate. You cannot put chemicals in the pipe, in an analogy, run them through the sewer treatment plant and then say, "My goodness, they're coming out the other end. It meets the standards," because those standards keep falling. We keep finding out things. We have to deal with things at the source. We have to make sure every single producer has the responsibility. I would point out to you that this is not a matter of economics or of big dollars or of big business. It is a matter of environmental common sense. It is time that Ontario got serious -- I underline that -- about dealing with this problem.

I like the approach taken earlier this morning by the farmer from Manitoulin who said we cannot make this a political football; the people who are now in opposition cannot attack the present government because they had their kick at the can, they saw the problem coming for 20 years, 30 years, or if they did not, they sure should have seen the problem and they should have done something about it. Conversely, I would say to the government members that the farmer was absolutely right; the onus is now on you to make sure something happens. It should be happening in this mandate.

In part II of the act I have a problem. I may be wrong and I may be corrected, but I cannot find anything in section 12 that says the three landfill sites that are designated by this -- dumps -- the three areas in which the search has to take place, have to deal with the problem. It just says that these dumps have to be made available for the waste of those areas. I would seriously recommend to you that in section 12 there be some wording added that these areas be for the disposal of all waste other than that deemed to be hazardous products or hazardous materials.

Section 14 says the environmental assessments are not required to look at alternatives other than reduction, reuse, recycling and the other element about disposal, but it does not say they cannot be required or they will not be considered, that transportation out of your area or incineration anywhere will not be considered. It just says you do not have to put those in as alternatives. I would like to see this legislation made stronger to say that those things are not going to happen because right now the final say, as I read it, rests with the regulations that are accompanying this bill. I would like to see that if the rules change from what the present minister intends, that battle be fought out on the floor of the Legislature, not in cabinet or in the process of writing regulations.

In part IV of the bill I applaud the effort of the minister and of the government. I wish it went a little further and did not leave quite so much to regulation. I think by and large it is a step in the right direction in terms of dealing with the degradability of what we put in the ground and the environmental appropriateness and the problems. It will not be accepted if there is any problem with recycling the material that is thrown out.

I will go on to talk a little about the Adams mine proposal. I have a copy of something put out. This is entirely from Notre Development and its associates. It is interesting that the first words we see are "sustainable development." All throughout this document we keep seeing "sustainable development." To me, sustainable development is not being able to mooch off some garbage that keeps coming into your area. Sustainable development means that the environment alone can sustain the human activities that are performed on it, that is, in spite of these human activities, the environment does not appreciably degrade. Thirty tonnes or 40 million tonnes of garbage is not sustainable. At best it can only be contained on the land, requiring substantial energy, chemical and physical inputs.

I would ask this committee to also consider the fact that the closure of the mines on the Ontario Northland Railway, the Sherman mine and the Adams mine, was announced on the same day. There is a saying in the mining community that the best place to prospect is beside an old mine.


Let's look at the definition of "ore body." It is a combination of mineralogy and viable economics. When announcements of two mines are made quite far apart on the same day, one has to suspect economics is the problem, not the mineralogy. I do not know and I suspect none of you know that this mine is absolutely played out and I suggest that you get strong, independent evidence that there is no more ore there. If that does not happen, the people of the Legislature who try to vote this thing down are voting in a total vacuum. Technology is improving and new mining methods are becoming available. We cannot go and dig up 10 million or 100 million tonnes of ore that are buried underneath 30 million or 40 million tonnes of garbage.

There is much that is suspect in this document. The economics are unbelievably suspect for the people of the Timiskaming area. According to the figures in Notre's report, they have accepted payment of $300-and-some million for all of their income while, at the $150-per-tonne tipping fee, the garbage producers of Toronto are avoiding costs of $5.6 billion. Kirkland Lake is willing to take 1.5 million tonnes per year for 25 years, and in exchange they are getting, unbelievably, less than 6.5% of what Toronto is avoiding.

The report goes on to say: "We are going to set up a recycling plant. It'll deal with 120,000 tonnes a year." That is only 8% of the garbage. The first 92% goes straight in the hole. It is in the report. Let's assume that half of what is treated gets saved and the rest goes in the hole, so 96% goes straight in the hole.

Finally, the report goes on to say, eventually all of this stuff will be treated. They have figures here that say 100% of this stuff can be taken out of the garbage. So what are we taking it to Kirkland Lake for anyway? To put in a hole or just to ship it back? I think the whole intention behind this report is, "Let's just ship this stuff up north and get rid of it and let's try to avoid the problem of dealing with the waste problem we have created in the GTA."

There are other things in here that are suspect as well. They talk about the long-term viability of this project, but they quite frankly admit that in 25 years it is all over in terms of garbage because the hole will be full. Long-term to me, in biological terms, is essentially for ever. We cannot just leave this time bomb ticking there.

They talk about, "If it is safe, it will not harm the environment, but rather improve it by preventing further deterioration." I ask you, how do you improve the environment by filling a hole that is going to become a lake that could eventually sustain a trout fishery by filling that hole in with 30 million or 40 million tonnes of garbage?

I am afraid we have been duped by this report in our chase after the almighty dollar. Northeastern Ontario, the Timiskaming area in particular, needs economic help to keep its economy going, but this is not the answer.

There are a lot more things I would like to say, but I see the time is getting around to questions, so I will leave the committee some time for that.

Mr Martin: Thank you for coming today from such a long distance to present to the committee. Certainly you can, I suppose, already see that your views reflect a lot of the concern we have on this side of the committee around this particular project and waste management as a whole. There is some question, though, as we come north that we on the government side do not speak for a large group of people out there when we oppose the simple movement of garbage north. Could you tell us a little bit about where you come from and who you represent and how many people share the sentiment you have expressed here today?

Mr Yurick: As I said, I am from Chapleau. There was a similar proposal for our area and there was a lot of debate in the community. We had another presentation by a similar type of proponent and the community simply said, "No, our environment is not for sale," despite what this individual said: liners, a two-foot-thick bed of concrete below the whole thing, total treatment of the leachate etc, on and on. Our community said no. We have seen these types of proposals go wrong. We can see them all over the American Midwest and down into the south where these things have gone wrong, and we do not want that in our area.

One question that was asked, by the way, was: "We have a developing tourism industry. What will this do to our tourism?" Unbelievably, the developer said, "Well, you know, if we promote it right, it'll be good for tourism," like a dump is going to become a tourist site, with no regard at all for the fishing, hunting, canoeing, skiing, whatever the other safe uses are.

I think our community and our group, Enviro-Chapleau, is very strongly against this. It is a very widespread, solid rejection of this type of idea. That was for our area. We would stand in solidarity with the people of the Kirkland area in saying no.

Mr Wiseman: I just had a thought that came through my mind, and that is that if a garbage dump is going to be a tourist attraction, I believe the people of the north are going to be in some great competition with the Pickering area, where we have three already. That is just a comment.

Mr Yurick: That is fine. We will come and see your dump.

Mr Ramsay: Mr Yurick, as you are aware, the town of Kirkland Lake had a referendum last year that simply asked the question, not "Are you in favour of this at all?" but, "Would you be in favour of this plan proceeding to an environmental assessment hearing?" As I am sure you are aware, the town voted to allow that to happen if the government would allow it to happen. I just want to ask you if you feel proposals such as this, whether you agree with them or not, should go to the test of an environmental assessment before we make sort of final judgement on them.

Mr Yurick: Obviously before we go to final judgement they should. Unfortunately they should not get to the stage of going to an environmental assessment, because some things are morally, ethically, biologically, environmentally wrong, wrong, wrong.

I know there was a referendum there. The referendum you people had was kind of a yes-yes, "No, I don't want the dump, so I'll vote yes, and the environmental assessment will prove it's not going to work," or "I do want the dump and I know I have to go through an environmental assessment, so I'll vote yes." That was the essence of the referendum, as I understand it, in the Kirkland area. We also had a referendum that was more to the point and said, "Are we willing to be a host community?" and people strongly said no. I think a lot depends, as you well know, on the question being asked.

Mrs Mathyssen: I wanted to go over some mathematics with you, but first of all to ask you about concerns that we had. CN presented to this committee last week or the week before and suggested that a great deal of the recycling of the waste would take place in the south, and that created concerns about whether or not there would be any real benefit to a northern community.

Our figures say that between two million and four million tonnes of waste will come north, and of that, only 120,000 tonnes will actually be recycled. According to my figures here, if it is two million tonnes, that means that for every tonne that is recycled, 17 tonnes go into the dump. If indeed all the waste and not a residue waste is coming north, would that not mean that a great deal that could be recycled is going to have to go into the hole?

Mr Yurick: The problem with the proposal and the state of mind of our population and our political population is: "Let's not deal with this. Let's not force ourselves to clean it up." I do not see people sorting stuff. For example, if trash was sorted in Toronto into metals, glass, organics etc, Toronto would deal with those things. They would have the recycling plants, the composters etc. Despite our feelings about Toronto here in the north, we know they are not fools. There is money in garbage and they will take it out. The blue box is one of the stages in the process.

What they do not take out or what people do not want to separate becomes compacted together. We do not want jobs picking out tin cans from among the diapers, and maybe you can pay people to do that. But essentially what I see in this, and going by the numbers here, is the proposal that 92% of what comes on the train goes straight in the hole, because they are going to be looking at 8% of it and probably half of that will go in the whole.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation today. We appreciate your coming before the committee. Over the course of our hearings, if there is additional information you would like to share with us please feel free to communicate with us in writing.

Mr Yurick: Thank you for the opportunity.



The Chair: Next I would like to call the Earth Day Committee -- Sudbury. I ask that you come forward and begin your presentation by introducing yourself. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation. We ask if you leave a few minutes at the end for questions from committee members. Welcome, and would you begin your presentation now, please.

Ms Audette: My name is Céline Audette. Unfortunately Sheldon Lowe was called for jury duty today, so I had to step in at the last minute. You will excuse me if my presentation is off the cuff, but he did give me one thing to present.

First of all, I would like to tell you a little about the Earth Day Committee and what we are doing in Sudbury this year. The mission of the Earth Day Committee and our slogan is "Think Globally, Act Locally." This is the message we present to the community, to schools, to children, everywhere in Sudbury, and it is also a provincial network, a national network and an international network. With this slogan I think we can deal with a lot of our problems.

The Earth Day Committee -- Sudbury is developing an education program for the schools this year. When we go into the schools and deal with the waste management issue, our slogan is "Recycling is Better than Disposal, Reuse is Better than Recycling, But Reduction is the Best of All." I think these issues need to be emphasized in Bill 143.

I think that with Bill 143 the Earth Day Committee does not support export of waste to another community, because this does not promote these three issues with waste management. We do not promote incineration either because it is a waste of energy, and again it does not promote the reduction, recycling and reuse. It is a short-term solution for a long-term problem and the problem is waste management.

One thing Sheldon did want me to read was this story he wrote. Sheldon Lowe is a teacher of grade 6. He practises what he preaches, and so does the committee. I think this story will enforce what I have just presented. He begins like this:

"I like words like `recycled.' To me it means that once something has outlived its designed purpose, it still has potential. I like that. The item does not become garbage; it becomes the raw material for something new. Pop cans are a great example. Designed to be used once, they are garbage unless they become part of a recycling program. I am happy that so many people have decided to participate in our recycling program here in Sudbury, but I think we have done it all backwards. We have become good recyclers. What we have not done well are the other 2Rs: reduce and reuse.

"Thinking it over, I see the 2Rs as far more important than recycling. Reusing something means we do not have to make another. We do not have to recycle it and it saves us the expense of making another. Reusing does not always mean that the article must be used for the same purpose. For example, putting tomato juice in a washed-out orange juice bottle is a good idea. I have a student who keeps his coloured pencils in an old telephone carton. Cigar boxes, the old classics, have been reused for years; the littlest angel used one for his earthly treasures. But reusing has its drawbacks and certainly dramatic limitations. There are only so many reuses for a pizza box.

"`Reduce' is the word that I like best. Simply, it means that if you do not really -- with `really' underlined -- need something, do not get it, the little stuff as well as the large. Make decisions not based on convenience, prestige or desire but on the basis of a genuine concern for the quality and sustainability of our lives and the lives of the people who are part of our futures. If it is never to be purchased, it never has to be produced.

"Recycling is easy. Get the province and OMMRI to create and fund a program, have professionals and consultants run it and we will be happy to toss bottles and cans into a convenient blue box. It gets lots of publicity and makes us all think that we are doing our part. But we are not really doing much until we design ways to reuse the things we have, retry old methods and retain things rather than replace them. Then when we are all good at that, perhaps we can reduce our consumption. When we change our lifestyle so that we reduce what we must have, then the words `reuse' and `recycle' will become virtually redundant. Reduce, reuse, then recycle, in that order."

As an educator I will be an environmental education consultant in the schools. What we will be doing is to present basically what the problems of our environment are in our society today, this year, but also to give the children a solution. What can you do in your home, in your classroom, in your yard, to improve your environment? We have to remember that it is everybody's environment. The greater Toronto area finding a landfill site affects us as much as it affects it.

I was living in Toronto for a couple of years and I worked with the Save the Rouge Valley System. That area was destined for the landfill site. Of course we opposed it because the recycling program was not in effect and there was no public education about reduce and reuse. I think these elements should be emphasized as well in Bill 143.

Ms Haeck: I appreciate your comments and Mr Lowe's written commentary. We have heard over the last several weeks presentations for and against the bill, quite obviously, but also for and against regulation. I would be interested in knowing your reaction to a system that has been brought into Germany called the green dot system, relating to packaging. What it will mean is that as a result of the green dot being placed on a package, it then has to be returned to the manufacturer and the manufacturer has to basically deal with the packaging.

I am not sure if you have heard of this system and if in fact you would promote something like that to be implemented here in Ontario, but it does raise the issue of regulation. It raises the issue: Should we bring about deadlines, timetables, whereby a serious limitation on packaging should in fact be put into place? Any reaction?

Ms Audette: Yes. I think a program where you have an impact on the packaging of our products would be very positive, but I think we need to explore whether or not the product needs to be packaged. First of all, reduce the packaging. If it cannot be reduced, then again put the other principles in line. If the manufacturers are responsible for the packaging and there is some economic gain in not packaging it, then that would be something that should be looked at, regulated and implemented and enforced as well.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your appearing before the committee today. If there is additional information that you would like to share with us, please feel free to communicate with us in writing.


The Chair: I call our next presenter, People Acting for a Clean Environment. Please come forward and introduce yourself for the committee members. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask you to leave a few minutes for questions from committee members. Welcome, and please begin now.

Ms Jeramaz: Good afternoon. My name is Heather Jeramaz. I am here today on behalf of People Acting for a Clean Environment.

People Acting for a Clean Environment is a small group of Sudbury citizens who are committed to promoting a conserver society. We have made efforts to learn more about waste management as a group and to share this knowledge with others in Sudbury.

People Acting for a Clean Environment applaud Ruth Grier and the Ontario NDP government for proposing legislation that moves us toward a conserver society, thus ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations.

Our environmental group strongly opposes the exporting of greater Toronto area garbage to other communities regardless of their willingness to accept it. We feel that all municipalities must accept responsibility for the waste they generate. The transportation of GTA garbage to other communities, even in the interim, does nothing to promote waste management through waste reduction. The 3Rs do not include the redistribution of garbage within the province.

Government, industry, business and consumers must all work together to help reduce waste. Our environmental group believes that transporting GTA garbage to other communities would have a number of other harmful effects. One example would be the generation of additional air pollution through the transportation of this garbage. Other costs would come from the maintenance of vehicles, roads and railways. This promotes the squandering of non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels used in transportation.


Moving Toronto's garbage here would further burden the north's own garbage disposal problems. This is something we all have to begin to deal with in Sudbury as well. We are concerned about the contamination of our groundwater and its associated health risks.

Sending garbage north would pose a threat to northern Ontario's ever-growing tourist industry. Northerners do not want to become known as Toronto's garbage dump. We rely on tourist dollars to help maintain a healthy and diverse economy in northern Ontario.

Accepting southern garbage might provide for a short-term solution to economic problems in some northern communities. What is required, however, are well-thought-out and long-range economic solutions, which we have already heard about this afternoon. We have heard about this for years, really, but we have not said, "Yes, we have to do it now," until all of a sudden this crisis surfaced. For example, we feel Kirkland Lake does have economic problems which definitely need to be addressed, but in our opinion handling the GTA garbage is not the answer to its problem.

Transporting garbage may set a precedent for other communities whose landfill sites become exhausted. We wonder what other cities would like to send their waste to the north. The easy solution, the easy way out of this crisis, is to send GTA garbage north. Once it is sent elsewhere in the north, whether it is Kirkland Lake or other places the crisis, from Toronto's point of view, is eliminated. Torontonians therefore would no longer have to face their conspicuous consumption. Only by having to keep their garbage in their own region will the people of Toronto be forced to search out real solutions and perhaps be leaders for the rest of us who are soon going to be facing our own crisis on a similar front.

Let me give an example of what I mean. Members of our group have noticed that over the past two years, since we have begun to seriously apply the 3Rs in our own lives, we have gone from about two bags of garbage per family per week to a situation where we each produce only one bag of garbage every three weeks. This is because we are now composting. We use the blue box and we could add more to the blue box if there were more elements involved in Sudbury. We also carefully consider the packaging that we bring home when we go shopping.

With stronger government direction, like that now being offered by the minister, and with support from industry, we can see many ways of reducing our garbage output even further, striving for virtually none at all, which would be an ideal goal. I think we would all like to live in a world like that.

Part IV of Bill 143 calls for the amendment of the Environmental Protection Act in order to accelerate adoption of the 3Rs, not only in the GTA but in the province as a whole. People Acting for a Clean Environment feel this is one of the cornerstones of a new conserver society.

In an attempt to understand the attitude of Sudburians towards the waste reduction action plan, a member of our group carried out a small survey and found that a large majority of her contacts support the following:

1. Most people would like to see strong regulatory measures which would reduce the flow of valuable resources that are presently being disposed of.

2. They would like to see necessary financial and technical systems developed to direct materials from disposal to productive use and reuse.

3. Healthy markets must be created for materials recovered through the 3Rs program.

4. They would like to see more public 3Rs education programs established in Canada.

5. They would like to see exporting and incineration of the greater Toronto area garbage prohibited.

I do not think any of us believes that this is easy, but if we do not consider this way of dealing with our garbage, I think we are looking at serious problems down the road.

On behalf of the Sudbury group People Acting for a Clean Environment, I would like to thank the standing committee on social development for allowing us the opportunity to express our views on Bill 143.

Mr Wiseman: I have a question about packaging. Various councils and business groups have come before us and said, "Don't go further than the national protocol; don't do this and don't do that; business will leave," and so on. Have you any suggestions as to what we could do with the packaging of items and how we can overcome that kind of attitude?

Ms Jeramaz: I see the problems that we are facing today on this issue, packaging being one of them, as something that requires a lot of people to come together and spend a lot of time working at it.

What I am afraid of when we are looking at this particular problem is that when we come up with our solution of sending our garbage somewhere else, human nature is such that we think the crisis will go away, and then we will not come up with alternatives to packaging.

The incentives are already there. People are very concerned about this. Every time you have relatives in your family who get sick, you wonder if they are getting sick because of the water they are drinking. That is happening in Toronto. We have relatives in Pickering who have been sick. That happens in Sudbury.

I think coming up with another committee to deal with packaging -- I do not think people need incentives any more. I do not want to buy 10 combs in a bubble package. I have written to the company saying, "Please, I don't need to buy my combs like this," and sent the packages back.

It has to be legislated, and perhaps if you were to get a committee where you had business, business might be thrilled to do that as well. They may have been forced, through some health regulations that used to make sense and perhaps do not now, to come up with these packages, and perhaps if you were to work with business and a committee of people on this, it would be a very easy thing to get rid of. After all, it is not that many years that we have had packaging for things like that, so I think it is not that big a problem. It is just that, for some reason, we have not got rid of it.

Mr Martin: You say in your presentation that you represent a small group of environmentally conscious people. How many do you represent, and in your conversations perhaps with the wider community, how widely held do you think are the sentiments you express in your presentation?

Ms Jeramaz: It varies. We have about 10 to 15 active members and we have about 25 to 50 supporting members. We have been quite active in the community speaking to different schools, from elementary schools where we have gone in and spoken to the children about what they can do in their lives on issues like packaging for lunches, all the way up to Laurentian University, which has asked us to come and speak to the students about what they can do in their lives, to church groups.

Mr Martin: What are you hearing from those groups when you present your perspective?

Ms Jeramaz: Of course we are invited there by the teachers, and the teachers would like to have more information to give their children, to educate them. After all, that is what the education process is about and that is one reason they call us in. We do it in a way that is pleasing for the kids, so they leave with a few ideas.

The university people, I think, feel they have no control over the whole process. I think that is a feeling we all have. Probably all of us in this room today think: "What can we do? Our back is against the wall. What are the answers?" That is what we come across, and also dedication and a lot of keenness in wanting to make some changes.

Mr McClelland: I just want to indicate that your suggestion about working with business and having people involved has been heard before. Indeed many organizations and associations that represent businesses have come before this committee and said, "We really want to be a part of this, we want to participate and we want to be listened to and heard in a very real way." That has been the request, in fact the plea, of many associations, to ask the government of the day to sit down, to really listen, to work with them and to give them not just the rhetoric that they belong, but some hands-on evidence of the fact that, "We want you here in Ontario to work cooperatively with us and to be part of the solutions." So I thank you for making that suggestion and I want to tell you that many businesses and associations have said the very same thing.


Ms Jeramaz: Yes. I think sometimes when we get into this situation, we think perhaps business is on one side and certain groups -- it is like a we-they situation. Unfortunately, it does not boil down to that, because we are all in this together, so the more we can work together the better.

Mr McClelland: I think you have said it, and that has been the plea of business: "It is not we and they. Please be real, be open and talk to us." It does not have to be adversarial. That has been the request of business.

Ms Haeck: I want to follow up on Mr McClelland's comment. We have heard from a variety of businesses, some of whom are in recycling and obviously would like to continue. We also have a number of groups that have indicated they have participated in the national packaging protocol, and while they have reduced some of their costs, they also feel the whole process should be voluntary, with no hint as to whether the various industries involved are necessarily meeting all the guidelines and cooperating as fully as they might. If you came across a situation where a business or an industry was not really cooperating, was not taking the bull by the horns and making good use of the packaging protocol that exists, would you believe regulation should take place?

Ms Jeramaz: You are asking me a question about how you should do your job, I guess.

Ms Haeck: Actually you would be helping us. That is part of the whole process of being here.

Ms Jeramaz: I guess I feel I am here to say what kind of world I want to live in and then turn it over to you. It is not that easy, I know. Does that answer things?

Ms Haeck: We concur. It is not always easy by any means.

Mr Martin: Certainly some of the comments you have made here today will cause some folks in the Kirkland Lake area to be concerned, because they see the Adams mine proposal as something that will be good for them economically. In light of your concerns and what you have presented to us here today, what would you say to those folks?

Ms Jeramaz: I was up in Kirkland Lake a number of years ago and my memory of it is that it is a place where life is a lot slower and more pleasant. I know while that comes with some economic problems, there are a lot of people in Toronto who would love to be able to count on the water they drink and be able to live in an area like Kirkland Lake.

I think when you have economic problems, you want to deal with them. If I were in Kirkland Lake's shoes, I would want to solve my economic problems and still have a nice place to live. They produce garbage up there. This is not something that is just unique to Toronto. I think what all of us want to look at is that we are producing way too much. It just happens that the problem originates in Toronto because there are so many people there. So it lands on Toronto's shoulders to deal with that end of it. For Kirkland Lake to say, "This will solve our problems," is not -- maybe they should go down to the Pickering dumps and see what it is like down there. They might want to do some brainstorming to come up with some better solutions to their problems.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing before the committee today. We appreciate your presentation.


The Chair: The next deputation is the Sudbury Citizens Movement. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask you to begin by introducing yourself, and leave a few minutes for questions from committee members. Would you begin your presentation now, please.

Mr Asher: My name is Spider Alan Asher and I am here representing a loose group of local citizens which calls itself the Sudbury Citizens Movement. We have been registered as a non-profit organization for about 10 years now. The basis of the organization is that everybody really has a right to his own opinion, and we do not try to challenge each other on our opinions so much as we do on the process we use for expressing them. That is really what I want to talk about.

This forum is really quite a circus. I have seen about two thirds of it today. On the whole, my biggest complaint about everything and how this whole thing got going is that this type of process is not democratic, as much as people love to throw that word around. If it were truly democratic, we would have started this process on these issues a hell of a long time ago, before anybody tried to pass an act. I think that was a major mistake on the governing party's part. I am also very disturbed at the partisan nature of all this. Quite often it has seemed to me today that the people who are here who are supposed to be officially representing democracy are the very ones holding the democratic process up.

As far as garbage goes, I applaud the NDP for its recognition at least that this is a crisis. We are in a crisis, and it demands action on those grounds. All the elders in my community never tire of telling me when we talk about this subject how during the war everything was recycled, everybody did his bit. No one talked about democracy, because that was a crisis. What we face is a crisis, and what we see is a government acting like we are in a crisis. Unfortunately this is normal.

Our garbage problems represent the tip of the landfill, to coin a phrase. For the last 100 years we have been extremely irresponsible with the most beautiful thing that has ever been granted to a people who did not deserve it, and we must take this into account as we deliberate these things. We have squandered other people's resources. It is pitiful what we have done. Now we think we are just going to walk away from it, everybody friends, hand in hand, that no one is going to be mad and upset when things start to change?

We will never get reduction of toxic waste without business getting angry, because business has to change. Stop telling the consumer to change and force business to behave like human beings. Why does a piece of paper have more rights than I do? That is all that business is, a piece of paper. This is not democracy.

I am disturbed by the history of this act. There is no bottom line. Where is the bottom line? If you are going to go this far, go all the way; in for a lamb, in for a sheep. Go all the way. Then we can start talking; then we have something to really debate about. You do not go into a bargaining situation asking for this and hoping someone will give you a break. Nobody haggles that way. I mean, for God's sake, you are all related to business people. You know how you do it; you ask for far more than you know you are going to get and you start working your way down. Let's start acting like this is real life.


I have been in the environment movement in some form or another for the last 10 years. One of my observations about the entire thing is this obsession of everybody who suddenly turned green, including the environment movement, that the earth is somehow dying, that we must save the earth. This is just another reflection of our incredible denial of what is really going on here. It is human beings and the other higher life forms on this planet that are in danger. There was a time in the history of this planet when volcanoes were spewing pure chlorine into the upper atmosphere, and yet still we wind up with rain forests and manatees. It is not the earth that is in danger here, it is us, and it is our actions that are endangering ourselves.

We are in the process of committing mass suicide, and everybody is bickering about little partisan things and trying to score political points here. It is very disturbing to me. We have the opportunity here to set major precedents, to change the very way we do business, because it is the way we do business, and always have since before the Romans, for God's sake, that has got us into this mess. It is going to take just as much energy to get us out, and we have one tenth of the time. That is really all I have to say.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before us.

Mr Asher: If I might, one thing about the act that has not been mentioned yet is the fact that while the government is willing to grant compensation to a municipality which is being forced to have land given over to a landfill, there is no talk about compensation to people should they discover they have made a mistake and that someone's groundwater is damaged. I think that needs to be a part of all this before they can really do anything with the bill. Other than that, I applaud at least what they are trying to do.

Mrs Marland: Mr Asher, you made some interesting observations. I am sure you are happy to have the opportunity to be here today. Am I right?

Mr Asher: I very much appreciate it, yes.

Mrs Marland: When you refer to the partisan nature of the hearings, you would not have had that opportunity of being here today if it had not been for the fact that the two opposition parties fought for two months to get the government to finally concede that it would allow the public to make comments and have input on this legislation.

Mr Asher: I am aware of that.

Mrs Marland: If we had fallen down dead and let the government have its way, then we would not have had this full participation in this public process.

Mr Asher: It would not be the first time something was foisted on everybody by a government.

Mrs Marland: Absolutely not; it would not have been.

Mr Asher: I do not think anyone is in a position to talk about that around the table here.

Mrs Marland: But the thing is, and I am not defending what has been done in the past, I am simply saying, does that make it right if it was done in the past? As far as I am concerned, it does not. I do not defend any government that ignores the opportunity for the public to have input into new legislation.

What I really wanted to say was do not be concerned about the partisan nature, because that is something that as big boys and girls we are perfectly capable of handling, and it is part of the environment in which we work.

When you talk about this being a crisis, and you are very concerned about that because you have been involved, as you said, for the last 10 years in one way or another in the environmental movement, for which I applaud you. I am just wondering how you feel about a bill that from this point forward, once it is proclaimed, will prohibit and eliminate that opportunity you have had under the existing Environmental Protection Act and the existing Environmental Assessment Act where you can have full participation by the public in an environmental issue. This bill now will preclude that opportunity. I wonder if you think it is regressive to cut off all the involvement you might have had in the last 10 years.

Mr Asher: In my experience in the last 10 years, I see absolutely nothing to make me believe the very same methods for cutting off the true democratic process are not going to be applied again as they have been in the past, over and over again. No, I am not baited.

Mr Martin: Actually if the opposition had fallen down dead, and in light of this democratically elected government's intention to deal with the crisis we have at hand and to get on with the management of waste in this province, this would have been legislation by now.

You spoke of this legislation being good in front of the crisis that we have, and one piece of that legislation is certainly directed in that way. The other piece of the legislation is to try to put some context around the development of the waste management process as we move now into the next century. Do you think it is a good context and that we are heading in the right direction, or do you have some problems with that?

Mr Asher: First of all, I did not say I liked the act; I said I liked the intentions of the NDP. Second, no, because there is no bottom line. What we are looking at is another Band-Aid in the long run. There are so many other issues that must be coordinated with this.

Everybody talks about thinking ecologically and yet I see very little sign of it. There are many things which must be coordinated in with this that will affect many other departments of the government simultaneously. The very structure of the institutions which we are dealing with, whether we are talking about government, business or other institutions, are the very things that are going to really slow us down because they are not built for people any more. They really are not. We have lost control of our tools, and until we can regain control of those tools, social as well as physical, we will never truly have an environmentally sound society. That must be recognized as the bottom line, the line in the compost.

Mr Sola: Mr Asher, I would like to ask a question. You were a little disappointed or cynical about the political nature of this forum, so I want to pose this question to you. What is more essential for you as far as selection criteria are concerned, political boundaries or environmental safety standards?

Mr Asher: There is no such thing as safety standards; there are danger standards. "Political boundaries" is using two words that mean the same thing. I am having a hard time understanding what you are getting at.

Mr Sola: Bill 143 forbids the transportation of waste from one political region to another political region. According to Mr Jeffery, who used to be the chairman of the Environmental Assessment Board, the selection process that the minister has devised through Bill 143 may exclude the only environmentally safe site. I am wondering if you are in agreement with some of the thrusts of the bill and whether you could comment on that aspect of the bill.

Mr Asher: I like the bill for its recognition of the elimination of incineration and the trucking of waste. If you are referring to the Adams mine as a potentially safe site, then your question makes no sense to me whatsoever.


Mr Wiseman: I would like to pursue this notion of danger standards, because as I have become aware over the years, there is not a company in North America that will guarantee that the bentonite liners that go under a landfill site will not crack and break. There is not a company in North America that will guarantee that clay liners will not leak. In fact, the one landfill site that I am aware of in Alabama that was built on clay was not supposed to leak for 22,000 years, because it was supposed to be impermeable, and it leaked in four.

When you talk about danger standards, I think that is a rather interesting way to approach it. In the context of that and in contradiction to what Mrs Marland was saying, the Interim Waste Authority has created a set of criteria called the Interim Waste Authority draft document, which attempts to set out the criteria under which you would site a landfill site.

You can look it from the point of view that you are saying, which is an attempt to minimize the danger standards, or you can say it is an attempt to make it the most positive site around, but this is the first time somebody has attempted to establish what the criteria should be before doing a landfill search. This forms part of Bill 143 and forms part of the documentation that will be used to evaluate potential long-term sites.

I just wanted to bring that to your attention, because I have been involved with the landfill battles in Pickering for some considerable amount of time, and it is a major issue. For example, Brock North leaches into a holding system enough leachate to fill a tanker truck every day, and it is taken down to a sewage treatment plant. The Brock West landfill site has slipped into Duffin Creek and has leached into Duffin Creek on more than one occasion, so I am very aware of it. I would like your comments around where you would strengthen the bill in order to get to the bottom line, as you say, in the context of what I have just described.

Mr Asher: The only thing that comes to mind is simply a set of guidelines and the setting up of a department or some sort of agency which would help to monitor the development of waste management systems within a community that required it, which, of course, is, will be or must be every community.

I do not know if you can legislate people's behaviour. Every community has its own requirements. Every community must be allowed to at least go through the motions of making its own decisions. I really believe in the maxim "Small is beautiful," and I also believe in the maxim "What goes around comes around."

Every time we try to create a system to control something, something goes out of control. That is just the way things work. Democracy only works on a small scale. The true power in any country is how the people in any community get along, the true power in any area.

If we were being serious about how we wanted to control pollution, we would consider very strongly and find ways of adopting a watershed community system wherein the water within any watershed area determined that area's political boundaries. That is a personal note.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming before the committee today.


The Chair: I would like to call next the regional municipality of Sudbury presenter. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Please begin by introducing yourself. I would ask that you leave some time for questions.

Mr Caverson: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Dave Caverson. I am the environmental engineer for the regional municipality of Sudbury. There has been a position paper passed around, and I am going to base my presentation on that particular position paper.

The regional municipality of Sudbury has reviewed the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act as outlined in part IV of Bill 143. Based on this review, the region has identified two particular areas of concern.

The first deals with proposed amendments to section 29. In that section, the director, under subsection 29(1), will be permitted to require municipalities to establish, maintain, operate, improve, extend, alter, repair etc waste management systems or waste disposal sites.

In addition, under subsection 29(2), the director may require a municipality to deal with waste from outside its boundaries, as well as to prepare and implement plans which address the municipality's waste management needs. There is no mention in the proposed amendments to section 29 of how the province proposes to assist municipalities financially in order that they may meet the requirements established by the director.

Our second concern deals with section 136, in particular subsection (4). In that subsection, amendments are proposed to clause (d) and clauses (j) through (t) are added, resulting in the province having the power to require municipalities to establish, operate, improve or close waste management systems or waste disposal sites, prepare waste management plans, seek approval for waste management plans as required, regulate the waste management activities of municipalities etc. There is no mention in the proposed amendments or additions to section 136 of whether the province proposes to assist municipalities financially in order that they may meet the requirements established by the province.

As a result of these two concerns, it is the position of the regional municipality of Sudbury that the Environmental Protection Act be amended through Bill 143 by the adoption of two recommendations that we have highlighted in our position paper.

Recommendation 1: That in order to ensure that the province only require municipalities to adopt cost-effective solutions to waste management problems, section 29, section 136 and all other appropriate sections be clearly amended to commit the province to fund at least 50% of all costs associated with the requirements placed on municipalities by the province under the terms of the Environmental Protection Act; and further, that such funding take the form of grants, not loans.

Recommendation 2: That the Ministry of the Environment should release its initiatives paper on the financing of waste management systems and sites before proceeding further with Bill 143. This will allow municipalities the time necessary to evaluate the financial impact of the proposed changes before they are introduced and implemented.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Chair: You have made some very specific requests, and if it is all right with committee members, perhaps we could have the parliamentary assistant clarify before members ask questions. Mr O'Connor.

Mr O'Connor: Thank you. One of the things you raised was Initiatives Paper No 2, dealing with waste management for the province, which will be coming out later in the year from the Ministry of the Environment through the waste reduction office; also, through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, municipal powers as they reflect on waste management. Both of them are going through the process now of getting all set up and running, and they should be coming out, hopefully, this spring as well. I think those are two that you talked about in your brief.

Mr Cousens: I appreciate the presentation from the regional municipality of Sudbury. You brought a different perspective than we have had from previous regions. Have you done any kind of cost analysis of the bill? Your emphasis is very much looking for the cost-benefit analysis that the government would have done. We have asked for that, by the way, and have not received it yet, but have you in the region done any thinking through of it? If you have, what are some of your findings?


Mr Caverson: No, we have not had the opportunity at this time to do the cost analysis. We have identified specific concerns to this region. Those concerns are highlighted in the position paper. As I indicated, we have not had the opportunity to do the cost analysis at this time.

Mr Cousens: To follow through on that, it was my view that certainly this could have been a source of revenue for municipalities, so that it would not have been the thinking of the government that there would even be grants or a 50% apportionment to municipalities. Could the parliamentary assistant comment on that?

Mr O'Connor: Not really. Maybe Drew Blackwell from the waste reduction office could enlighten the committee.

Mr Blackwell: As I understand the question, it refers to the nature of the financing of municipal waste management systems as contemplated in the future.

Mr Cousens: I was specifically asking from the ministry the view that this was not going to cost the government any money. Certainly the municipalities would be raising enough money through different ways in parts I, II and III of the bill that it would not be necessary for the government to be paying out anything.

Mr Blackwell: I believe the issue would not be so much through parts I, II and III of the bill, but through the two basic principles that were enunciated in the waste reduction action plan: full-cost accounting and product stewardship.

When we speak of full-cost accounting, we are talking about the systems that would be implemented by operators of disposal sites to make sure the full cost of those sites, including all planning for future operation, is covered, together with the covering of other basic costs, such as composting and public education costs.

Product stewardship refers to the systems by which the generators and producers of waste materials contribute to the financing of the system. There are a number of options available for getting those there. One of them that is in place right now is the voluntary contribution of some sectors through OMMRI. When the parliamentary assistant referred to the initiatives paper on financial implications, he was referring to an intended paper coming up that would put these two systems together and work out different models for widespread discussion of how the financing is to take place. That will be a public consultation of very considerable length taking place later this year.

Mr McClelland: The previous deputant indicated some grave concerns about the operation of democracy and so on and whether it really had any efficacy in the final analysis. One of the concerns expressed by regional and municipal politicians we have heard from over the past couple of weeks has been a sense that: "At the end of the day we're the ones who have to raise the taxes to finance waste management operations. We may be directed to manage them, yet we're really not being part of arriving at developing a solution."

As you suggested, it is the cart before the horse inasmuch as Bill 143 will set out a regulatory framework and scheme that will allow certain decisions to be dictated by the minister or through the IWA without direct municipal involvement save and except for the fact that the requirement would be to manage and operate in finance. I wonder if you might want to expand on that.

The concern of a number of people has been that, after all, it seems that the municipal politicians are the ones closest to the people. They live in the community. They are the ones who will be prevailed upon by ratepayers, citizens' groups and organizations when and if problems occur. Surely, therefore, they ought to be involved more substantially in arriving at the solution or solutions that will be forthcoming. You may choose to expand on that if you so desire.

Mr Caverson: I cannot comment as a municipal politician, as I am not one. However, from a staff position I can tell you that our concerns are that the province will be establishing standards or requirements that municipalities must meet. It will be up to the municipalities, as I understand it, to raise the funds to do the necessary work and meet the necessary requirements. If the province is prepared to establish certain requirements that municipalities must meet with respect to waste management, it should also be prepared to share in the costs.

That goes back to recommendation 1, where I indicated, "That in order to ensure that the province only require municipalities to adopt cost-effective solutions...." The reason for that statement is that if both parties, municipalities and the province, have to share in the costs associated with waste management activities, then both parties, in addition to searching for the best solution from an environmental perspective, will also be searching for the most cost-effective one, not just any solution whatsoever.

Mr Martin: You bring some interesting observations, ones that are based on fact. Anybody who comes from the north knows that most communities up here are struggling with the question of managing their waste and the cost of doing that and the cost of making sure they do it right. This legislation, certainly from my reading of it, is simply a context within which we will do that. There are initiatives papers already out there, and there will be more, that will involve the communities and the public in discussions around just such questions.

I am aware that some communities, though, are running dumps, landfill sites, at a cost that is way below the actual cost of disposing of that waste when you consider all of costs involved. Might you share with us what is happening in Sudbury? Are you charging a cost in Sudbury that actually covers your costs of disposal at this time?

Mr Caverson: Our current tipping fees are $40 a tonne. Relative to other municipalities in the province, that is lower than many. At this time that fee covers the costs of the programs we have in place. In order to expand the program, the base over which that fee is applied may have to be expanded or the tipping fee itself increased.

Mr Martin: Do you see any possibility there of relief in front of some of that which will be asked of you in light of this legislation? Is there room to move there?

Mr Caverson: I am not sure I understand the question.

Mr Martin: Obviously the tipping fee you are charging at the moment is among the lowest in the province, you say, and perhaps covers the realm of activity that you have going at the moment. Do you see an ability to increase that fee to cover some of the costs of doing the job more effectively?

Mr Caverson: Whether the fee is increased is not something I can comment on. That is a decision for regional council. Certainly as costs of waste management activities go up it will be necessary to consider an increase in the tipping fee. Ways of financing waste management activities are going to have to be examined.

Mrs Marland: I just wonder, Mr Caverson, if you are aware of how fortunate you are in one way, being up here in Sudbury, because in the greater Toronto area, of which the region of Peel is a part, we have the thrill of having the Interim Waste Authority, which has been given $17 million by this government to get it up and running. The Interim Waste Authority, with its $17 million of taxpayers' money, then goes and tells the regions in the greater Toronto what to do, how to do it, which consultants to employ to make the tests and the evaluations as to where those new landfill sites will go and then turns around and gives the bill to the municipality.

In the region of Peel, where we had already spent $8.5 million and had our own site selection in place up to an environmental assessment hearing, we as taxpayers are being asked to pay all over again. Although the government looks like the great white knight because it has established this Interim Waste Authority, it in fact is doing nothing except shipping out the orders and making each municipality pay, even though it has already got money from those municipalities through the taxpayers who have given the $17 million. I did not know whether you knew that was what was going on down there.

Mr Caverson: I specifically did not comment on anything to do with the Interim Waste Authority. It does not concern this municipality and I avoided that.

Mrs Marland: That is right. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you. There are a couple of minutes remaining. I have a request from Mrs Mathyssen, if she can keep it very short.


Mrs Mathyssen: I would like to thank Mr Caverson. I was particularly interested by recommendation 1, wherein he asks that various sections of the act be "amended to commit the province to fund at least 50% of all costs associated with the requirements placed on municipalities." That actually leads me to ask a question of Mr Drew Blackwell, and that is, what is the existing funding -- I need some clarification on that -- and what will happen in future in relation to that funding?

The Chair: The committee rules require that you ask the parliamentary assistant. He will then direct it to Mr Blackwell.

Mrs Mathyssen: Mr O'Connor, I have overlooked you and I am sadly in error.

Mr O'Connor: Out of sight, out of mind. Of course you pointed to the person to whom I would be directing the question, because he has been involved in taking a look at some of the things around the funding issue and how it deals with municipalities. Mr Blackwell.

Mr Blackwell: Regulations in Initiatives Paper No 1, which follow through the enabling legislation contemplated in part IV of Bill 143, include requirements for leaf and yard composting and for blue box programs in municipalities where they do not exist. At the present time, the funding for those programs from outside municipal source exceeds what is requested in recommendation 1. On other programs, it is the same, for example, waste management master planning, and in some others as well it exceeds voluntary programs such as home composting where in fact the province provides two thirds of the funding at this point.

I think the issue, though, is rather more one of what is the transition into a long-term system in which it becomes possible to assure that we have a sustainable waste management system that drives towards waste reduction and that is not carried by the property tax or the general tax base. That is where the comments I made earlier about the relationship between the full-cost accounting and using tipping fees, combined with product stewardship charges, leads us into a sustainable system for the future. In the interim, I believe we are following through with something very similar to what is recommended here.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Blackwell. Thank you for appearing this morning, Mr Caverson. We appreciate your taking the time to come forward.


The Chair: I would like to call Linda Lines. Please have a seat and introduce yourself. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions.

Ms Lines: My name is Linda Lines and I have lived in Sudbury now for two years. I am not from southern Ontario. Actually, I am originally from Quebec. I presently have a small company. It is called 3R Plus. The Rs can go on and on and on, I guess. At the moment I am working as a consultant for the Ministry of Housing, or actually the local housing authorities in Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie and North Bay to help them set up some waste reduction in public housing. Public housing is low-income, high-density housing. A lot of my comments are based on dealing with a group of people and waste reduction.

The goal of my company, besides just this short-term contract, the type of work I will take on has to be true to my values and also not damaging to the environment. I guess it means what I do is promote environmental awareness and positive action. I once joked that I may be poor but I will be satisfied, because I have had a chance to share my ideas and pull in other people's ideas and take some action.

The Chair: I am sorry to interrupt, but along those lines, somebody suggested to me that it is not that you are poor; it is just that you do not have any money.

Ms Lines: Right. I only started this business in July 1991. I think what I have discovered, with all the talking and idea-sharing I have done, is that our society has to change. Perhaps becoming a conserver society, not a consumer society, sums that all up.

I think we have to really look at jobs and we have to look at moral and environmental values in the workplace. I do not know if we are doing that yet. I think that is what provides satisfaction. For this I want to applaud Bill 143 and the management of the greater Toronto area waste at its source in Toronto. I personally could not imagine much job satisfaction in being in charge of dumping garbage in a mine in Kirkland Lake. I have problems with that. I think our jobs have to shift to being responsible environmentally and to think about some of our values, about what we really want to do with our lives.

I think it is time that northern Ontario got creative about job creation. Maybe it could be dealing with recycling issues. I was just reading about this one idea. What about a tire retreading business? We do not need retreaded tires, but maybe legislation could come out that we cannot buy tires unless they are retreaded. That is a potential business. I am sure there are many more types of businesses we could create in the north without having to take someone else's garbage. I also think that if we leave the waste in the greater Toronto area, maybe we are giving some people down there some satisfaction in having control of an environmental issue. Yes, I as a person in Toronto could take responsibility for the garbage I am producing and really lessen it.

When I first started with public housing, especially for seniors, I found that people there want to take action in their lives. They want to be able to do something, but so many people do not know things about it. They say, "I can do that" or "There's a better decision," and they really do not know that. I encourage that with this legislation, things can happen. When I hold a meeting to set up recycling I do not say, "This is how you recycle." I say, "Here's what we can do before we recycle. Here are my grocery bags," and they are up there on the desk. "This is what I could choose to buy to make a better decision for the environment."

We could go one step further and do that same kind of thing right in our stores: Let people see things. Maybe there could be legislation that packaging or consumer items have a rating or a way that people can easily know, "I'm making a decision for the environment," or, "I'm not; I don't really care." It is giving people the choice and the action that they can take themselves.

We need clearer labelling of things like "recyclable." My biggest headache in recycling programs is all these things saying "recyclable" somewhere in the world which all end up in my recycling bins. I spend more time dumping things. Another big headache is plastics, because we only take soft drink bottles here. You say "plastics." Great. How many plastics can you fit in this bin that are wrong? Things like "recycled content"; perhaps no sales tax on things that contain 80% recycled content. That is just an idea to encourage people to close that loop. If we cannot sell recycled products, what is the good of recycling?

We need to know what packaging creates the least amount of air and water pollution and its manufacturer. It is not just on the shelf; it has come from somewhere. How much energy was required to get that product on our shelves? Did it require refrigeration? We know those related CFC problems. We always have the old dilemma of the paper bag versus the plastic bag. Which is better? Probably using a cloth bag.

It is all those questions that people do not know the answers to. They do not know where to get them and need an easy, simple way to make a decision, things like bulk buying incentives. Maybe it is time we switched back to another system, a more European system that probably used to exist here: not major supermarkets but small local stores that we can bring our own containers to so that we buy things fresh. Packaging tends to allow us to keep things fresh for six months. Maybe we do not need that service. Maybe we have to adapt our lives a little and take some action.

We can do things like having legislation that could give a preferred packaging for an item. Maybe the preferred packaging for soft drinks is a refillable bottle. Let people know, "This is our preferred packaging." I am sure industry and businesses would respond to that with consumer demand. We could include environmental costs of packaging in our costing. I mention the German system that someone mentioned earlier. Industry is getting back the packaging and has to deal with it. Yes, eventually the cost will come back to the consumer who is buying the products. However, if one product costs a lot more because the packaging costs a lot more, I am sure people will not buy it. It will work in both ways and the company will reduce the packaging.


We can deal with things like recycling tax credits, that is, reward businesses for purchasing recycling equipment. What about advance disposal fees? If you use a stock of virgin materials, you have to pay for them what it would cost to dispose of them or recycle them. That would give you more incentive to use reused feedstock. What about doing ban-the-can programs for soft drinks and beer and just having bottles? That is the only thing we would be allowed to have. For example, a magazine I was reading said that in Pennsylvania they are using bottles that are over 18 years old. Things can last a long time. Even a bottle bill, a bill to have five cents or whatever on all bottles, could reduce the litter considerably, and that would help to cover costs. Composting is a very big potential here in the north.

We need to shift all these things to a conserver society by giving people some action in their lives that they will be able to do to help. I think Bill 143 is really going to help and I encourage it to go as far as possible in making people aware of these things.

Mrs Marland: Ms Lines, I actually represent a riding in Mississauga which is a very fortunate municipality, because we do have a collection of many more items than other municipalities in the province, including all kinds of plastic. We even have a collection for used clothing to be passed on, which I think is excellent. But I realize we are unique and I realize we are fortunate.

You realize in working with your company, 3R Plus, for which I congratulate you, by the way, that there is still a residue that has to be disposed of that cannot be recycled even in sophisticated municipalities. I wonder what you, in your support of Bill 143, suggest be done with the residue of any material that is contained in garbage that cannot be recycled, reused or reduced.

Ms Lines: I guess my visionary view would say that it is only short-term and that soon we will not have any garbage if we all think in the right way and had the right types of stores and consumer products. I think in those terms and I guess as a temporary solution maybe landfill has to happen, but I think we have to really re-evaluate packaging and what is being produced. Do we need all these things that are out there?

Mrs Marland: You said your "visionary view." It is true that no matter what high percentage of recycling we are able to do, if you look at countries where there are very good examples of a high percentage of recycling there is still that residue left.

Ms Lines: I would like to advocate before recycling. I think countries that are recycling, great, but let's deal with the issue in the supermarket, let's deal with it in our stores. I think that is where I am heading: the packaging issues, the issues in our stores and not the recycling issue. In fact, maybe recycling is not worth it in some cases. We have to look at that. But let's get things that do not have to be recycled. I think that is what my ideal is.

Mr Ramsay: I really enjoyed your presentation because it was positive and full of great ideas. I think your presentation really highlights the point that if all of us could go through the process that you put your people through in your line of work and going to non-profit housing and educating people as to what we can do, we would all do a better job. Most of us do not realize maybe the amount of energy that goes into certain types of packaging versus other sorts of packaging, or as you mentioned, the amounts of pollutants produced by that. It would probably be time the government got involved in a much more intensive, specific, educational program of educating consumers. I think you are right. The desire is out there by everybody to do a better job, but most of us do not know what to do.

Ms Lines: Yes. When you walk into a supermarket you are bombarded with products. It is, "I need this and I need this," without really looking at the products.

Mr Ramsay: Yes. There are some choices out there, as you have said, but most of us do not have the time to learn what those choices are. If we get that process that you avail your clients of, I think we would all be better off. Thank you.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for your presentation. I want to tap into your expertise as a consultant to business regarding recycling, because we have heard from some business leaders who have told us very clearly that waste audits, reducing, reusing, recycling, are so terribly expensive that they will drive business out of Ontario. What has your experience been? What have you found in terms of your business?

Ms Lines: I have not really worked with any businesses; I have only worked with people in residences. I do not really have experience with business as such. It is only things I have read. I think that in most cases there is often an expense at first, but things usually balance out. By reduction, which is probably a better answer than recycling, things usually end up being cost-saving measures. But that is not a personal experience; that is from reading articles in various magazines and journals.

The Chair: We appreciate your coming before the committee today. If there is additional information that you would like to share with us, you can continue to communicate with us in writing. Thank you for coming out.


The Chair: I call the Temiskaming Greens next. Please come forward and introduce yourself for the members of the committee. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We would ask that you begin now and leave a few minutes for questions from committee members, if you would. Welcome.

Mr Fraser: My name is Doug Fraser. I represent the Temiskaming Greens. I live in Haileybury. On behalf of the Greens, I would like to thank this committee for the opportunity to present our views and our perspective.

I have had a deep involvement with environmental issues for quite some time. I have an honours degree in wildlife biology and I am a teacher of environmental science, biology and science in society. I am a director and president of the Temagami Wilderness Fund, a steering committee member of the Ontario Global Warming Coalition and quite actively involved in both timber class environmental assessment and the Ontario Hydro demand-supply environmental assessment hearings.

I am also now involved in what might be called the great garbage debate of the late 1980s. This is perhaps an issue that I as a resident of northern Ontario did not expect to be as critically involved in or called upon. I thought Toronto could handle its own problems or at least that it should take responsibility for those. It came as a surprise to residents of Timiskaming that we were being slated for possibly accepting 20 years of Toronto's garbage. Granted, I am deeply concerned about this whole issue of overconsuming waste production, but it did come as a surprise to lay such a heavy burden on such a small number of people.

I would like to address a number of topics, some of them relating fairly directly to Bill 143 and some of them of a much more general nature. I would like to close by putting a perspective or framework in place which I think is really critical if we are going to have a good basis of understanding upon which to make these judgements.


Clearly the Toronto garbage dilemma comes about as a result of an extraordinarily wealthy society which has rapidly consumed resources and which has therefore started to stockpile an awful lot of waste products. I think it is important to realize that the disposal problem, to be honest, is the reason we are here. We are not here because we are worried about toxins in the environment. We are not here because we are worried about ozone depletion. We are not here because we are worried about overconsumption of resources. We are here because Toronto had a disposal problem. We are here because of a symptom of the disease, and the disease is an overconsuming society.

I would like to believe we would be here in a different forum discussing automobiles as serious polluters and we would be addressing that concern. Of course, we are in those discussions only because places like Los Angeles actually started to feel the pinch. We tend not to be here for very global concerns, but out of self-interest. I like to think that my perspective is one much more rooted in ecology and a global perspective, because I am not particularly NIMBYish. The garbage would not be piled in my backyard. I might see it going by on the train, but that is not where I am coming from.

The public has become aware of the problems associated with landfills and with toxins in the environment generally, and I think that has created a much greater difficulty in siting landfills. There was a time, I suppose, when landfills obviously were not as difficult to site, and we have both more health concern issues now and, obviously, growing populations.

There are a number of possible solutions.

Option 1, and the very obvious one, is reduction. It is not only possible, but it is permanent. It is almost essential if we are going to have a truly sustainable society. That requires dramatic lifestyle changes, however, and that is not necessarily very easy to cause. People do not like to undergo lifestyle changes unless they are very convinced of the problem. I think an issue that really needs to be addressed by government is that it has to be willing to take on its responsibility. It would be wonderful to have every single person in Ontario take a crash course in waste production and the environment, but of course the reality is that government knows what the appropriate answers are, it has the experts and it should move to make those changes.

Option 2, at least of my select choice, is to dispose of garbage in an environmentally safe way in southern Ontario in terms of the GTA problem. This is a problem because much of the garbage we produce now is hazardous and it cannot be made non-toxic, and therefore this is a very difficult thing to sell politically, making option 1 look much better.

Option 3 is kind of a strange one. It is the presto kind of magic one. We like to think that if we put garbage in an incinerator and change it from a solid to a gas, or at least change a large percentage of it from solid to gas, and it disappears, then the problem is gone. Again, although the symptom may not be as obvious and the symptom might be spread out, the problems are at least as severe. In fact, they just protract any real solution. I think that is a dangerous thing to do.

There are some fundamental issues with incineration I would like to address briefly. It seems we would be well off to have everyone, at least in this group, have some fundamental background in chemistry, because garbage incinerators depend upon a very large volume of organic fuel. This is simple chemistry. We have inorganics and organics, and the organics are the ones that burn. The organics are comprised of two things. Non-renewable organics are fossil-fuel-based. That is the only source of non-renewable organics we have. They are non-renewable, so they should not be in the garbage stream. They just should not be there. We should not be using little plastic Dixie cups for packaging. It is an inappropriate thing to have in the waste stream and therefore should not be available for incineration. Renewable organics, which of course are the biological organics, the things that are grown on the planet in our lifetimes, would be much more appropriately either recycled or composted, because then they are put back into the normal ecological nutrient cycles in which they belong. We are just running into trouble if we break those cycles.

Option 4 is simply to find a very poor community that is willing to take it. This is an option which is clearly doable if people agree it is ethical and is justifiable. I would have absolutely no problems at all walking around on the face of this Earth finding someone poor enough to take my garbage if I paid enough money. In the international realm we call this the First World-Third World hazardous waste or toxic waste trade, where we paid Ivory Coast countries to take PCBs and whatever.

We are just seeing the exact same scenario played out on a smaller, maybe softer-sell scale where we pick on a community that is willing to take garbage at $1.10 a tonne when the going rate in the wealthier parts of the country might be $75 to $150 a tonne in tipping fees, certainly a couple of orders of magnitude difference. That is what it is. This notion of the ability to find a willing host community is an index of poverty. If you had an index of poverty that was accurately assessed, then you could just pick from that list and work your way down poorer and poorer until you found a buyer for the garbage.

We would like to compliment the government on this bill. No bill is perfect legislation, but this bill is forceful. It has gone a long way to addressing a number of key issues. One is clearly responsibility for your own garbage. There is no doubt in my mind and I think it would be hard for someone to honestly say that he feels it is not an incentive to reduce waste when you are forced to deal with your own. This is a very clear, obvious thing I think a five-year-old child would understand.

One of the problems we have with our garbage is that, like many environmental problems, we have no direct experiential knowledge of the results. What I mean by that is that when I drive my car here, I do not have to pay any cost for the global warming I have participated in. It did not hurt me to drive my car here. It did not even cost me very much. When I use CFCs in a refrigerator or they leak out, I do not pay any direct cost, and when my garbage disappears at the end of the driveway, that is it. I do not even have it itemized on my bill. So the more garbage I make, within reasonable limits, or at least what we would consider reasonable limits, which are atrocious limits -- but if I produce a large amount of garbage, it does not matter. I do not pay any more anyway. The garbage disappears. It goes over the hill and it is buried.

Some people would argue, based on that clear fact, "What difference does it make if you dump it just out of sight or in Kirkland Lake?" But of course the significant difference is that if one keeps it within the actual functional community in which it was created, the political community, the economic community, then the repercussions of that waste production are felt directly and the costs are borne by the individuals who produce it, as much as is possible, and clearly that is advantageous.


I want to address this tremendous concern over public consultation. It is true that public consultation is a great thing. I am glad that we have the opportunity to be here. We have to recognize that public consultation is not exactly perfectly democratic. I know some of the presenters tomorrow, for instance, will have paid $750-a-day consulting fees for their people to prepare their brief. I took a cut in pay to come here today, so it is a slightly different scale there as well.

Although we welcome public consultation, there are times, and I think this is one time, when we need action, and we have time limits that I think we would have tremendous difficulty meeting, given that we are going to take responsibility for our own waste and not accept an easy-out solution. There are lots of easy-out solutions, but if we are going to do what is appropriate with the waste, as well as possible, we may have to tighten up the public participation side of things.

I would like to emphasize my full agreement with John Jackson's presentation and the perspective he lends to the public consultation process. He is very representative of public interest. His notions and I think his mechanisms should be abided by and he would be a good person to consult with. I think that is the kind of position we take on public consultation.

If we look at Kirkland Lake's story, and I am just focusing on this because I find it quite interesting, we had a referendum where people said they wanted an EA. They said they wanted an EA or supported the idea of an EA because they were convinced through an advertising campaign that: "We don't know. Only an EA can give us the absolute goods. Only an EA can determine whether or not this project is environmentally sound."

I do not think we need an EA in every Icelandic whaling village to determine whether or not whaling is environmentally sound. There are some things we do not need environmental assessments for because we already have a profound understanding of the implications. This is one of them, in my opinion, and obviously not in everyone's opinion. But you do not have an EA on every harebrained scheme. I am sure the people in Sudbury are quite pleased we are not having an environmental assessment of the concept of air-dropping garbage north of Sudbury. If we did, the government I believe now has a vested interest in de Havilland and it might make good economic sense. It might even make political sense in that obscure way, but I do not think there is a need for an EA.

You can convince people through advertising of something they need. I do not think Coca-Cola would have an advertising budget of over $1 billion if "it" really was it and it did not need to advertise. I think that is what we have seen in Kirkland Lake, an advertising campaign. Mr McGuinty and all his razzle-dazzle -- you know, I think a good analogy would be going to a car dealer and expecting to get the straight goods on whether or not a car was a more appropriate purchase or the use of public transit. To be perfectly honest, I think the vested interest would tend to emphasize the use of the car.

I know I am running short here. I would just like to end with a green perspective. I want to be realistic. Environmentalists are sometimes, and I think quite wrongly, described as being unrealistic. I think I am extraordinarily realistic. But realistic means based on reality, and there are at least three different prominent realities. We hear about the economic reality, we hear about the political reality and then we have what I call the primary reality. The primary reality is the ecosystem, the biosphere. You do not negotiate that reality. It is absolute. Therefore, although these other realities are of short-term importance to us, the primary reality has limits which are unreachable, and unless you operate within those realities -- which of course is our problem; we are not -- then the other things may seem important, but they are not as important as we might like.

I think it is very important as well when we consider this primary reality or ecological reality that we recognize time scales. Mr McGuinty will tell us that water will leach into the pit incredibly slowly. According to whose schedule? According to whose timetable? How slowly is slow? If we are talking about a business turnaround, then six months to two years might be required in terms of profit-making to be a suitable time frame. But in terms of ecosystems, time scales are different. Slow as far as my life is concerned might be very rapid compared to others. If we look at economic realities, economic realities provide for incentives for Nabisco to aggressively promote cigarette sales in Third World countries. They come up with the Toronto-Kirkland Lake scenarios. Those are based on economic realities, not primary realities. We have to take these into consideration much more seriously.

I guess my time is up, is it?

The Chair: You can finish. You have about one minute.

Mr Fraser: Just getting back to the pit, to put maybe a comical note on it, at least from my perspective, we are told it is fortunate that the pit is below groundwater level, because then water leaks in and not out. What that tells me is that a good place to put the garbage is in a tanker in the middle of Lake Ontario. To improve the garbage retention capabilities of that big steel freighter, we should drill holes in it, so that the water always leaks in. Then we will just keep treating it for ever. That is supposedly a welcome scenario for northern Ontario. Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation today. For those who are watching the proceedings, what I have attempted to do is ensure that presenters have the use of the maximum time available. If there is time remaining for questions, it is then divided as fairly as possible among the caucuses. That is the procedure that we have been using.

Thank you very much for coming forward. We appreciate your taking the time. As I have said to others, if there is additional information you would like to share with us over the course of our hearings, please feel free to communicate with us in writing. We thank you for coming out today.


The Chair: The Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk is next, since our other presentation, NorthCARE, has not arrived yet. Introduce yourselves for the purposes of Hansard. We would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions. We appreciate your coming all this way.

Mr Westerhof: My name is Jake Westerhof. I am the waste reduction coordinator for the region of Haldimand-Norfolk. On my left is Eric D'Hondt, the director of environmental services. Madam Chair, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide perspective and participate in the debate on Bill 143 here today, the Waste Management Act.

The political, technical and social complexities that surround waste management issues are profound. However, healthy, constructive discussion from all stakeholders, as has been the case in these deliberations, will in my opinion synthesize the best possible solutions to delivering effective waste management to the residents of the province of Ontario.

The regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk is located on the north shore of Lake Erie, quite some distance, as has been noted, from the region of Sudbury. It is predominantly a rural municipality with a total land area of 285,000 hectares and a population of 94,000 citizens distributed throughout six area municipalities. They are the town of Dunnville, the town of Haldimand, the city of Nanticoke, the town of Simcoe, the township of Delhi and the township of Norfolk.

As recently as 1986, the region of Haldimand-Norfolk, which has legislative authority for waste management, was operating nine small solid waste disposal sites and eight transfer stations, due in large part to the great breadth of our borders. Additionally, initiatives to reduce the waste stream through 3Rs activities were small-scale and localized. Since that time, though, Haldimand-Norfolk has taken significant steps to more effectively deal with the waste generated within its borders. As a result, a streamlined, financially sustainable waste management system now exists, the cornerstones of which are the 3Rs and composting. This approach will ensure that we realize our goals of diverting 50% of the waste we generate into more productive uses by the year 2000. Concurrent with these new approaches to our waste management system has been the successful completion of a waste management master plan, which we will elaborate on shortly.

Our brief today will outline three major themes: waste management jurisdiction, financial responsibility for recycling and household hazardous waste management, which I believe to have been an oversight in these deliberations to date. As such, we will be concentrating on amendments to the Environmental Protection Act contained within part IV of Bill 143.

I could not pass up this opportunity to make one comment about parts I through III, and one comment only. The region of Haldimand-Norfolk agrees that the resource destruction technology of incineration of municipal solid waste and the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality pervasive to transportation of waste to outside jurisdictions are counterproductive to sustainable waste management practices and are not the panacea they appear to be for Ontario. The elimination of these easy-out options presents the people of Ontario with considerable challenges in dealing with waste management. However, it is my belief that the people of Ontario are ready to meet these challenges. I think that is common.


Of a more generic nature, with respect to the bill as a whole we have made some specific comments respecting part IV, which we will be elaborating on, but we are somewhat overwhelmed by the scope and detail of this part of the bill. The intent of several clauses was unclear in my mind and required some speculation on our part. For example, in subsection 136(4) of the act it is suggested that this subsection be amended by adding clause (j), which reads, without going into great detail, that the financial management of the waste management activities, including the manner in which financial information is to be communicated to the public, will be changed. It is our interpretation that powers of this nature within the EPA would conflict directly with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which has responsibility for accounting rules for municipalities within Ontario. We would therefore recommend that the proposed amendment, clause 136(4)(j), be deleted.

Regarding Initiatives Paper No 1, we fully support the adoption of these initiatives in the interest of accelerating provincial waste reduction efforts. The initiatives are not without flaw. Therefore, it is critical that the many poignant comments I am sure the waste reduction office has received over the consultation period be carefully considered and that we move ahead on these initiatives in a practical manner within attainable deadlines.

If the intent that clause 136(6)(f) be substituted by that stated within the bill is to eliminate the misuse of the Möbius loop and quell the frustration of the average consumer being overwhelmed by dubious green marketing, we fully support the amendment. As a program operator, I can assure you at first hand that the good intentions of people to recycle and the almost universal display of the Möbius loop on packaging have led to non-recyclables commonly being placed at the curb. In turn, considerable frustration has been felt on the part of the residents when these materials are left behind. I suggest that a labelling program is greatly needed.

Major theme 1 is the erosion of municipal authority. The region of Haldimand-Norfolk has serious concerns about amendments to the EPA contained within part IV of the bill which would place broad ministerial powers over traditional waste management activities. We feel this action goes far beyond what is necessary and will lead to arbitrary decision-making lacking accountability. To place these powers at the provincial level would remove the waste management decision-making process from the people at a time we are finally recognizing the value of input at the grass-roots level.

Of particular concern is clause 29(2)(b) of the act, which states, "An order under subsection (a) may require a municipality...; (b) to accept, process or otherwise deal with such waste as is specified in the order, including waste from such source outside the boundaries of the municipality as is specified in the order."

First, the intermunicipal transportation of waste can have significant impacts upon a municipality's waste management planning process. The fundamental principle of waste management planning is disposal capacity. If the province can unilaterally impact upon that capacity by redirecting waste, even for five years as has been suggested, municipalities will be unable to plan properly and may have crisis status thrust upon them both in terms of depleted disposal capacity and the associated financial management difficulties.

The region of Haldimand-Norfolk is particularly sensitive to this issue of accepting waste from outside jurisdictions, as we have just recently submitted our waste management master plan document to the Ministry of the Environment for its consideration. We began this environmental assessment process in 1983. We moved through the process cautiously and deliberately, taking the time to meet those individuals who might be impacted. We believe our thorough approach has served us well and produced a document with a sound basis for our future disposal capacity needs.

Unlike many, we feel the process has worked, albeit at considerable cost and over a longer-than-anticipated time frame. We submit that the process is not without flaws and we look forward to commenting on the forthcoming discussion paper on the issue of waste management master planning. Clearly, having laboured for the past nine years in environmental assessment, we look forward to the spoils of our efforts: long-term disposal capacity. We look forward because it will allow us the security to develop, plan and implement cost-effective 3Rs and composting systems which are most suited to our needs in Haldimand-Norfolk, while achieving the target of at least 50% diversion from disposal by the year 2000.

We therefore recommend that proposed amendments under part IV of the EPA giving the minister broad powers to direct waste across municipal boundaries, control municipal waste management systems and their financing and generally erode municipal authority respective to waste management be deleted from the bill.

Financial responsibility: There is considerable growth for 3Rs programs in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector, but at present the firm foundation for 3Rs in Ontario is the network of municipal recycling programs. These are extremely difficult times for recycling programs. Soft markets, high operating costs, decreases in and uncertainties regarding provincial and private-sector funding have many municipalities reviewing the economics of these programs. I cannot state to you strongly enough that municipalities, particularly small and rural municipalities, need financial relief immediately.

Difficult decisions must be made on the financing and division of responsibility respective to recycling programs. For too long the responsibility for the cost of these programs has been borne upon the shoulders of the taxpayer. Those manufacturers and corporations profiting from the sale of materials now being recycled must become stewards for those products and assume financial and moral responsibility. Taxpayers will no longer tolerate the inequitable financing of recycling systems. They want those who profit from the sale of products to pay their fair share.

The pleas for equitable financing and product stewardship are not new. These issues have been discussed at great length within organizations like the Waste Reduction Advisory Committee, the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators, the Recycling Council of Ontario and the waste reduction office. Action must be taken immediately. It has been suggested by some that recycling programs are no longer sacred cows as municipalities face difficult fiscal challenges. Indeed many councils will be meeting in the upcoming weeks to set their budgets. At the staff level, I can assure you that each year it becomes increasingly more difficult to defend why the issues of equitable financing and product stewardship have not been resolved.

We are aware that a discussion paper on this issue is due shortly. When is this paper due and what is the time frame on that document? We strongly suggest that it be at the earliest possible date and that any action be taken under the quickest practical time lines. Municipalities recognize the benefits 3Rs programs bring and, as such, understand that they also have a financial stake. It is absolutely imperative, however, that financial responsibility be brought to bear upon all stakeholders.

We therefore recommend that the EPA be amended to clearly place financial responsibility, through product stewardship, upon those manufacturers who profit from the sale of these products and that this be accomplished within the briefest possible time lines.

Household hazardous waste management: A substantial portion of part IV of the bill deals with amendments to the Environmental Protection Act for the purposes of establishing a framework for imminent regulations regarding the 3Rs and composting. The region of Haldimand-Norfolk supports this as the only sustainable approach to effectively dealing with waste management. As we begin, however, to move away from simple disposal and to develop specialized 3Rs and composting systems, we become more intimate with the waste stream and, thus to be successful, it is critical to eliminate and/or handle safely problematic waste streams. Of particular concern is household hazardous waste such as old paint, used oil, solvents, pesticides and batteries. These materials can have far-reaching impacts on, for instance, centralized composting systems which many municipalities are considering as part of an overall waste management plan.


The release of hazardous wastes in the environment has long been a major concern. Industry, particularly the chemical manufacturing industry, has commonly been targeted. However, with over 50,000 chemicals in commercial use in Canada, households are collectively the single largest class of hazardous waste generators and, through the improper disposal of these materials, are at present significantly impacting municipal sanitary landfill sites and sewage treatment systems and have the potential to disrupt and hinder 3Rs and composting systems.

Household hazardous waste management, I suggest to you, appears to be an orphan at present, and its exclusion from this bill and neglect on the part of provincial policymakers is deeply disturbing. If we are to be successful in diverting materials from disposal and into more productive uses, the reduction and effective management of household hazardous waste is essential.

We would therefore recommend that the Environmental Protect Act be further amended to include language for the proper management of household hazardous waste and that efforts be strengthened by the province to accelerate an action plan on this issue.

In summary, we applaud the intent of the bill to further waste reduction initiatives in Ontario. We are, however, concerned about the broad powers that this document gives to the minister and the potential for the erosion of municipal authority. Additionally, we feel strongly that the bill needs to be strengthened with respect to industry becoming stewards, both financially and morally, for the products it produces, and also that this particular document should contain some language on household hazardous waste management.

It was mentioned in an earlier presentation that a number of positive comments would come out, and I do not want to come across to this group as a complainer. I think there are a lot of positive things coming out of this act, and I think we have looked at some. I would like to bring that positive work that has been done to bear a little bit by citing you a quote out of a book. The book is called The Garbage Book and it comes out of the office of energy conservation, put out by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. This document was produced in 1976, and it said: "It is now estimated that the total production of garbage in Ontario is growing at a rate of up to 7% a year and that an annual 3% increase means that we will have twice as much garbage in 23 years."

The point I am trying to make is that in 1976 it was pretty clear in people's minds that we had a problem and we needed to do something about it. I think we have been doing a lot of good work recently. I just urge you to continue that good fight, as I know I will in Haldimand-Norfolk.

The Chair: Thank you very much for an excellent presentation. Mr Cousens, first.

Mr Cousens: Madam Chairman, you keep doing it all the time and you steal my thunder.

The Chair: I am sorry about that. I am not supposed to say, "Thank you for the excellent presentation," when you are on to speak first. Is that it?

Mr Cousens: No. I think you are right. I just want to endorse it. I like where you are coming from. I think you are where I want to come from in some way, because you have a sense of the ideal and the hope that we can do something about it and have some practical suggestions about what we can do about it. We have had the weeks of hearings and we have heard some excellent presentations. All of them have been. I think people are really trying to help us do the correct thing.

But those companies that are preparing the paper and the things we are wasting and throwing away have to buy into this in some way, and somehow or other we have to get them there. They have made their presentations, but I do not think they have accepted the load of responsibility that they should have. I think you bring that to the fore again.

We have gone after the erosion of municipal authority and we keep on beating that one up. But go back to the hazardous waste. Are you doing any programs in your own community that are working? Can you share some of those with us?

Mr Westerhof: We established a household hazardous waste program in our region in 1989 and we ran it somewhat successfully that year. We had it again in 1990 and we built upon those 1989 successes, and we are moving that program in a direction that I think we are all feeling pretty comfortable about. In 1991 we faced some very difficult fiscal challenges, and that was a program municipal politicians deemed that we could do without for one year.

I think that reinforces the concept about its being lost in a lot of the things we are doing. We are going to fight doubly hard this year to bring it back, because we did receive an awful lot of calls from the residents saying that this is a service they want to get back on the rails, and they gave us a sense of the importance of this particular program in their minds.

It is a program very much in the early stages of development, and it is a difficult issue. We struggle with it as people who try to deliver that service. There are many, many problems with trying to deliver that type of program. We are trying to deal with them, and I think we will over time. But we need to learn and we need to have little programs that will build into bigger ones. Those are the comments I will make to my people and hope they get it back on the books.

Mr Sola: On page 9 you state, "Clearly, having laboured for the past nine years in environmental assessment, we look forward to the spoils of our efforts: long-term disposal capacity." In light of that, you have a recommendation to delete an amendment in part IV that would give the minister dictatorial powers. Suppose your proposal that the minister retains her broad powers, as you put it, is not accepted? What will that do to your plans "to develop, plan and implement cost-effective 3Rs and composting systems"?

Mr Westerhof: We all recognize that you need that disposal option as part of the overall mix of any system. I guess the point I am trying to make there is that in order for us to deliver and meet those targets of 50%, we need that sort of disposal option to soften the financial picture, if you will, within the region as a whole.

Losing that particular disposal capacity within our borders will probably throw us into a bit of a financial struggle, and I have to be perfectly honest with you. When the finances of municipalities start to become difficult, everything is open for cutting, and maybe they start to erode some of our 3Rs programs and composting initiatives and start to focus entirely on ensuring that we can find a legal home for the garbage we are producing. Not having that disposal capacity turns those potential resources into garbage and really forces you to deal with it in those terms, which we believe is wrong.

The Chair: I am assuming that Ms Haeck and Mrs Mathyssen will yield to allow Ms Murdock a last word.

Ms S. Murdock: It is very kind, and I know they will defer.

I want, first of all, to commend you on Haldimand-Norfolk's having started this so long ago, in 1983, according to your brief. I presume this has not been done in isolation. Have the issues you have already discussed in terms of the ministerial powers and so on been discussed with the ministry, or has there been any consultation with the ministry since 1983?

Mr Westerhof: Maybe I could ask Mr D'Hondt to comment on that.

Mr D'Hondt: The ministry has been very involved with this process all along. As you are fully aware, there is an environmental assessment officer who sits on our environmental assessment waste management committee who advises us. Fortunately, we had a very excellent individual who helped us along. With respect to involvement from the minister or the waste reduction office, there are representatives whom we invite in from time to time and seek their input, their information.

Ms S. Murdock: And the community people?

Mr D'Hondt: Oh, yes. Again the Environmental Assessment Act does require it, and we have had numerous meetings with the public. If anything, we have to invite people to come out, because the information is available to them so readily from our office that they feel we have done a fairly good job in addressing those pressure groups' concerns.

Ms S. Murdock: Last, I take heart in your saying that producers who profit, that industry should be taking some responsibility. Have you looked at individuals taking responsibility? We heard one presenter earlier today talk about how her garbage has been reduced to one bag every three weeks. I just wonder how many municipalities have looked at the concept of charging.

Mr Westerhof: Pay per bag is probably what you are referring to. I think that is something all people at the staff level are looking at within municipalities. At this point in time, though, we are promoting a public education program which includes backyard composting and participation in recycling programs, as well as looking at the waste you produce and trying to become more efficient at reducing the amount of waste you produce.

As I am sure you are aware, the local municipalities are responsible for the collection of waste. Some of their bylaws are being looked at and the bag limits that are allowed to go to the curb are being reduced in the interest of trying to send a message to people about the amount. Rather than 10 bags, it is down to four or something like that. So those sorts of things are taking place, which are probably the first steps towards this pay-per-bag type of system.

The Chair: We appreciate your coming before the committee today. I want to thank you for your presentation. I know you have heard me say to others that if there is additional information that you would like to share with us, you certainly can do so in writing. We do appreciate your coming all this way. This was one presentation which was on the waiting list in Toronto and could not be accommodated there but was offered a spot that was available here in Sudbury. They travelled all this way so they could address the committee in person. We appreciate that and we thank you for coming today. It was an excellent presentation.

At this time also, it appears that our last presentation, from NorthCARE, is not here and will not be presenting to the committee.

Just before I adjourn, I have some housekeeping information for committee members, such as, the bus will be outside the doors exactly at 5 o'clock on the Brady Street entrance. Your bags are already on the bus, and we will be proceeding directly to the airport.

The next bit of information is I want to just inform you that if you want any details regarding tomorrow morning, I would be happy to share them with you informally at the airport.

Was there anything else?

Mr Martin: I have one question with regard to the funding of deputants who come before us.

The Chair: Discuss that with the clerk.

The last thing that I would like to say on the record before we leave Sudbury is to thank the city of Sudbury for the use of its very nice council chambers. We found them very comfortable. I know it is always a pain in the neck to municipalities when travelling committees come, and we very much appreciate their putting themselves out and want to say how much we have enjoyed the use of the facility. We were also pleased to see so many people from the Sudbury area come out to participate as part of the audience in the viewing of these very important hearings.

The committee adjourned at 1555.