Tuesday 18 February 1992

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

Town of Kirkland Lake; Town of Englehart; Township of Larder Lake

Joe Mavrinac, mayor, town of Kirkland Lake

Bettyanne Thib, mayor, town of Englehart

Jo-Anne Thompson, reeve, township of Larder Lake

Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group

Victor Power, chair

Joe Mavrinac, member

City of North Bay; Ontario Chamber of Commerce, District 26

Stan D. Lawlor, mayor, city of North Bay

R. J. Evans, director, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, District 26

Committee for a Fair and Corroborated True Study

Dr George Duncan, chair

John Merrell, member

Community Involvement Association

Jack Siemon, member

Jim Brookfield, member

Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association

Dr William Durocher, president

Mary Kramp; Bernadette Fernandez

M. J. Labine

William Dennis

Pacaud-Catharine Township

Jean-Jacques Morin, chairman, Pacaud-Catharine local roads board

Roger P. Richards

Central Timiskaming Economic Development Corp

Harold Wilson, economic development director

Kathy King

Richard Denton

Martha McSherry

Anti Garbage Coalition

Ambrose Raftis, representative

Kirkland Lake and District Chamber of Commerce

Edley Major, business management consultant

David J. Oehring


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):

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND) for Mr Hope

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

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

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 0902 in the Bon Air Motor Inn, Kirkland Lake.


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. The standing committee on social development is now in session. These are public hearings to examine Bill 143, the Waste Management Act, 1991. This is our second day of public hearings outside of Toronto. Yesterday we were in Sudbury.

We have an agenda for this morning. I think many of you have been watching the proceedings or are aware of the rules of procedure. I think you are familiar with most of the committee members, and I would like us now to begin with the very first presentation.


The Chair: I call the town of Kirkland Lake. You have one hour for your presentation. We ask you to please leave a few minutes at the end for questions from committee members. I will reserve a few minutes for you to sum up following your presentation. Please begin now.

Mr Mavrinac: It gives me a great deal of pleasure as the mayor of Kirkland Lake to welcome you and the panel to this great town of ours. I am the mayor of Kirkland Lake and was recently re-elected to my fifth term of office. I am also the first vice-president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and have been directly involved with its recent presentation on Bill 143 to these hearings by our president, Helen Cooper, the mayor of Kingston. As you are aware, AMO opposes many aspects of the bill, including the item we will be addressing today. I am joined today by my northern municipal partners in the Rail Cycle North Project, Mayor Bettyanne Thib of Englehart and Reeve Jo-Ann Thompson of Larder Lake. Both have a specific issue to discuss with the committee regarding Bill 143.

I am also very pleased, on behalf of Kirkland Lake and the entire region, to again welcome to Kirkland Lake and to these hearings our partners from Metro Toronto, Joan King, the chairman of Metro public works, Paul Christie, the past chairman of public works and Mr Bob Ferguson, the commissioner of public works for Metro Toronto. Their presence today is not just a symbolic gesture. Our meetings and discussions are continuing. This proposed legislation has not and will not affect either the viability or the commitment to this north-south partnership.

But first, for the members of the committee who have never been to one of the north's most historic places, a brief introduction. Kirkland Lake has a glorious past but a very difficult future. Kirkland Lake was once the major gold-producing centre in North America, producing over 30 million ounces of gold. We had seven gold producers on our famous mile of gold; now we have one. We had a population exceeding 25,000 people. Our population is down to 11,000 and our current unemployment rate is unacceptable, some estimate between 25% and 30%.

We are used to making adjustments to the boom-and-bust cycle of a resource-based economy. Our people are resilient and as a result of our historic mining background we proudly retain a multicultural community. Our town shall survive and prosper because of our people. What we cannot understand is why our provincial government is trying so hard to destroy our communities.

The attitude of this government regarding the Adams mine project and our north-south partnership with Metro forces me to be very blunt. Presentation of the facts in a serious and reasonable manner has fallen on deaf ears. We are up against a wall of uninformed prejudice on the part of the Minister of the Environment, Ruth Grier.

One year ago she told us on a telephone -- a conference call was the closest we could get to Ruth Grier -- "I do not want to discuss the Adams mine project or your agreements with Metro." Since then she has stonewalled us and refuses to discuss the facts.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a message here. For our part, we have spent hundreds of hours in discussion, consultation, negotiations and research to allow our region to develop new economic and environmental opportunities by reusing and recycling the Adams mine site. Our councils, sitting before you today, believe strongly that we are pioneers in the establishment of cooperative agreements with southern Ontario, specifically Metro Toronto. These agreements will shape new economic strategies to assist the entire province in the years ahead.

There has been no evidence, either environmental or scientific, indicating that the Rail Cycle North alternative should not be a part of a progressive provincial solid waste strategy. In fact, the reverse is true: There is continuing expansion by the railways in North America in the movement of solid waste. There is expansion of technologies in recycling, and it is a fact that our northern assets, like the Adams mine, may be far more acceptable to the environment for the landfill of solid waste than other alternatives.

Some comments on Bill 143 itself: Hardly any more can be said as you enter this last week of hearings. The comments are overwhelmingly negative. Nothing can better illustrate the total rejection of this legislation than the presentation made by Eldred King of York region, where the chairman called the bill anti-everything from civil liberties to the environment. I say, Madam Chair and panel, this bill is also anti-northern Ontario, as our local rally group has indicated to this region.

It should also be noted that a point which was made in the York presentation completely destroyed the reasons cited by Mrs Grier as to why the Adams mine cannot be included as an alternative to the solid waste situation in the greater Toronto area. Mr King stated, "As far as Metro citizens are concerned, a garbage dump in your region is...out of sight, out of mind...and therefore defeats Mrs Grier's stated purpose. Keswick, for example, is, to most Metro citizens, as far out of sight as Kirkland Lake." That is plain English, and that is why this minister will not be allowed to suppress northern Ontario to satisfy her ideals. Let me address details as to why these ideals and this bill are wrong and why the NDP must consider the amendment which we will propose at the end of our presentation.

Our host region is a reality. As I followed the hearings, I have listened to various members of the government focus on specific issues which were obviously intended to undermine our agreements with Metro. Let me first begin with Mr Wiseman. We do not just have a host community, Mr Wiseman, we have created a host region, and the mayors appearing before you today represent 93% of the population of that region.

The Adams mine site is located in an area of unorganized townships, and for the members of the south it is a territory which is not within the boundaries of any municipality. The area is basically administered under provincial regulations. Specifically, the Adams mine is located in Boston township, an area of 36 square miles containing a population of 24. This represents a density of one person for every one and a half square miles.

The basic foundation in defining our host region is that all of the employees of the Adams mine who lost their jobs resided within our communities or in the area bounded by our communities. There were 400 jobs lost. We worked with Englehart and Larder Lake to consider all the communities' requirements and concerns. We retained professional legal advice to represent us in all negotiations and, therefore, we made a commitment not to exclude any other residents in the area. This has resulted in agreements which are available to you and provide for a distribution of royalties on a per capita basis within the region to everyone.


You will hear from some groups, "We're not included in the negotiations or the discussions." This is not true. None has been excluded from the benefits that have been negotiated, nor have they been excluded from the discussions with Notre Development and they have certainly not been ignored. Moreover, this government and this committee must also be aware that the previous government has already given its endorsement of our host community status. Metro specifically asked for a review by the government prior to optioning the site and prior to signing our agreements. I entered the attached letter into the hearing records. It is dated March 1, 1990, written by the Deputy Minister of Northern Development and Mines, stating to Metro Toronto:

"I would like to confirm that the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, on behalf of the province, does not wish to see the Adams mine site excluded from further consideration by SWISC on the grounds that there is no endorsement by a willing host community. Given the resolutions from Kirkland Lake and other surrounding municipalities, it is my belief that the demonstrated support from the willing host for purposes of the GTA nomination have been met."

We are a willing host, Mr Wiseman. We are also a willing host region. Individual residents of some townships may have objections just as some residents of Kirkland Lake do, but I caution the NDP members of this committee not to play politics because a clear fact remains: What has been achieved by the creation of this host region should be held up as an example of cooperative government.

We are aware of many other communities in North America which have developed successful relationships with other municipalities or private companies to be a willing host for solid waste disposal such as Cache Creek in British Columbia and Arlington in Gilliam county, Oregon. Within the past month I have had many residents call me about an episode of the ABC television show, 20/20. They did a special on a community in Michigan entitled The Town That Loves Garbage. We ask the Minister of the Environment not to insult us by saying we are a remote community. We know what we are doing. We can prove it if given the chance.

At this time I would like to touch on the recent Kirkland Lake referendum. This referendum resulted from a request by a citizen who was a former councillor and who intended to run again in the municipal election. He did and was elected. He felt that by placing the issue before the voters it would provide a clear direction for the new council to proceed in our new term of office. He proposed the wording of the referendum. I believe that Councillor Brian Coghlan is in the audience today. If he is I would like him to stand.

The question was not created by our council, any opposition group or Notre Development. A member of your committee actually questioned whether or not the residents knew they were voting on Toronto's garbage. We had been discussing it in our community for two years prior to the vote. Everyone understood the issue and the question. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was one exception: my opponent for mayor. He did not understand the question, and was the only one who decided not to mark his ballot. Fortunately, the rest of the population took the time to become informed and make a decision: 69% said yes.

The question was the only one to be asked. Our councils have always asked for a full environmental assessment, and only if successful do the agreements we have entered into become valid. You will hear today from some members of the community who are opposed to this project. I respect their right to do that. However, do not be misled. During the past two years we have never had more than 12 people opposing this project at any council meeting when the matter was brought up. They have never had any demonstrations. There has not been any community discord. There has been debate which resulted in a positive vote of support in our community of Kirkland Lake. The voters want to proceed with an environmental assessment. I have all the documents from the clerk. I will present them to you for every time that matter was before council -- legal documents.

I would like to address the commitment to the 3Rs, a primary focus of this development, one which Ruth Grier is conveniently ignoring. In fact, Rail Cycle North is more seriously committed to the 3Rs than Ruth Grier. It can have a positive impact on the north. Her policies can only hurt us, the result of no consultation whatsoever.

During our negotiations with Metro it was never anyone's intention to ship recycled products to the north and then turn around and ship them back to Toronto. We were not prepared to be just Toronto's garbage dump. That is why the agreements call for a recycling facility capable of processing a minimum of 120,000 tonnes from Metro's waste diversion stream. Our agreements call for us to negotiate with Metro which products from its diversion stream should be shipped north for processing, creating secondary jobs and new products. The graph illustrates this commitment as does the addendum to this presentation.

An important issue is secondary markets. I want the following letters entered into the record: one from the Ministry of Natural Resources indicating its willingness to examine the use of compost on our 40-million tree seedling industry in the area; and this letter from the manager of corporate environmental affairs of LAC Minerals Ltd, which confirms its intent to use products from composting at the Adams mine in mine tailings rehabilitation.

We are in an outstanding position to assist in the development of the 3Rs in northeastern Ontario with the establishment of the Rail Cycle North project. Is the north not a part of Mrs Grier's conserver society? Our agreements stress our commitment to the 3Rs. As part of the agreements, our councils made it mandatory that a recycling facility be constructed and operated by Metro for a 20-year period. We could have taken a higher royalty per tonne but opted instead to create jobs and become part of recycling technology and the 3Rs of the future.

Before you hear from my fellow mayors I must address an area which I find the most insulting and irresponsible other than the attitude of the minister herself: the lack of support exhibited by the northern NDP members of this government. It is absolutely incomprehensible that the Minister of Northern Development and Mines refuses to discuss this project because of her philosophies. Gilles Bisson in Timmins refused to acknowledge the letters of support sent to him. Floyd Laughren, our Treasurer, was bombarded at the last Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities annual meeting on this issue, and Jo-Ann Thompson will allude to this. We hear nothing from him.

The northern member of this committee, Mr Tony Martin, has done nothing during these televised hearings except try to create misinformation on the support which we have generated throughout the north, as is evidenced here today. Mr Martin stated on television that the northern caucus members support this bill and Mrs Grier's position. If that is true and if you are not prepared, as northern members, to represent the people of the north and to allow evaluation of new opportunities, then you do not deserve the right to represent us. Remember the councils before you represent 93% of our region. The northern caucus must change this attitude, Mr Martin, and you must be the messenger. If you do not, then this whole exercise is a charade and goes against everything as far as democratic process is concerned.

I understand that the past president of FONOM addressed that situation very clearly yesterday. This committee must take back the message that the north will not stand for this type of political misrepresentation. We understand party politics but when it goes against overwhelming evidence of strong, credible support from every major organization and municipality, I do not know how the government members can sit at this table and support the policies of Ruth Grier on this issue. The government must begin to understand the depth of the resentment in the north.

Michael Leahy is here representing the prospectors of our area. When the prospectors and the mining industry are forced to form a group called Save Our North, when hundreds gathered in Timmins two weeks ago with the support of Sault Ste Marie, Mr Martin, this government must change. In fact, the environmental policies of Ruth Grier and their impact on northern mining is a major focus of Save Our North.

At the conclusion of our time period, I will present our amendment regarding the Rail Cycle North initiative. I call on this government to meet together with Kirkland Lake, Englehart, Larder Lake, Metro Toronto, the city of Vaughan, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, Ontario Northland, the region of York and Notre Development Corp to review this alternative.

Rail Cycle North, Metro and our communities have a realistic alternative to the GTA waste problem. Is fair play and consideration of our efforts over the past year too much to ask? We are prepared to play by the rules of the EAA; the minister and Bill 143 should give us that right.

I would like to call on Mayor Bettyanne Thib of Englehart.


Mrs Thib: I am Bettyanne Thib and I am the mayor of Englehart. Our community is 30 miles south of Kirkland Lake and approximately 16 miles south of the Adams mine site. We are the only community in the partnership that will be physically affected by Rail Cycle North, because the trains will go through our town.

Our community's history portrays a railway town. We have a long tradition as an important part of the Ontario Northland Railway system, with its maintenance facilities in Englehart and a substantial labour force based in the town. We are also the home of Canada's largest and most modern waferboard facility, and we have had a great deal of experience with environmental issues.

Englehart is a pivotal partner in the host region; 70 employees of the Adams mine and their families were residents in our town when the mine closed. The layoffs affected us greatly.

I support Mayor Mavrinac's statements on the validity of our host region. We have worked together, shared each other's concerns, combined our experience and expertise and created, first, a regional partnership and, second, a north-south partnership with Metro Toronto. We have not excluded any residents in the region from any of the benefits that may occur, and our agreements call for ratification by the Ontario Municipal Board and all other provincial agencies.

Our council is also extremely proud of our efforts to provide an opportunity for this area of Timiskaming to diversify. The agreements with Metro were the result of long, protracted and serious negotiations. The terms of the agreements had to satisfy all of the communities, not just Kirkland Lake and Metro.

Our council demanded and received changes in the final language of the agreements in order to ensure to a greater degree the commitment to the recycling operation. The north has the same concern as does the rest of the province regarding our commitment to waste reduction.

This project has resulted in an opportunity for us to improve our environment in the north and support the 3Rs to a degree that will be impossible without the Metro agreements. The agreements provide for the construction of the recycling facility and provide economic stability and new job creation.

I also believe our community of Englehart could give the Minister of the Environment, Mrs Grier, a lesson on consultation and communication with regard to solid waste. This project is not now, nor has it ever been, a controversial issue in our community for a number of reasons.

First, Notre Development Corp should be congratulated for its accessibility and its willingness to respond to any requests for information. They made considerable efforts to attend municipal council meetings, to speak at local schools and to reply to any requests made by our council since the fall of 1989.

Second, our council decided we had a responsibility to inform our taxpayers on the issues, not wait for them to listen to rumours, misinformation or unfounded allegations. We asked the Central Timiskaming Economic Development Corp to research, investigate and produce three separate newsletters. I would like copies of these newsletters entered into the record of these proceedings. I think they are attached to our presentation.

We became proactive on the issue of the Adams mine. We gave our taxpayers the facts as they were available, and we mailed out these details to every individual home in our area over a 12-month period. What was the result? Our complete council was acclaimed during the municipal elections held on November 12, 1991. We had no controversy and our acclamation is solid evidence of the community's support for an environmental assessment, evidence as strong as was exhibited in the 69% result in Kirkland Lake.

A brief comment on opposition to this project from Englehart's perspective: We had representatives from the Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association attend two of our council meetings. The information they presented was inaccurate and unfounded regarding the projects and their technical details. We asked them to return at any time with factual data. They have never returned. REEPA thanked us for being so open with them as they left the meeting.

Our council decided we will make decisions based on recognized technical information, site-specific to the Adams mine site.

The NDP government, the Premier and the Minister of the Environment must address the realities of their policies on the north.

Our community's tax base is to a great degree tied to the forestry industry, due to our town's major industry, the waferboard facility. This plant has seen layoffs and shutdowns due to market conditions, even though the plant is the most modern, cost-effective facility in the world for its specific type of product.

The market for Canadian forestry products is in a state of decline. As a result, with declining tax revenues, job loss, and with social service costs almost uncontrollable we need to find new solutions now, not after our communities have deteriorated and our residents have left.

How can this government mandate this legislation? We have legal agreements entered into by our municipalities. Should two years of consultation and millions of dollars in studies and research be ignored and disregarded? Prove to us this option is not an acceptable environmental solution through the existing Environmental Assessment Act. Do not destroy an opportunity with legislation that is unreasonable and irresponsible.

Englehart is also a farming area of Timiskaming. Another proponent had suggested using farm land for a landfill for Metro garbage. We would not support that, just as the taxpayers and councils of the greater Toronto area will not support new landfills on southern farm land or in close proximity to their communities.

The Adams mine is an asset. It will not affect any one of our communities' infrastructure, residential areas, tourism or agriculture. The site has rail access, and our traditional northern asset, the Ontario Northland Railway, will play an important role in the province, in the north and in our community of Englehart.

Our council has a clear mandate from our residents in requesting an environmental assessment of the Adams mine. I am convinced the north as a whole supports the assessment.

Englehart's message to Ruth Grier and this committee is: Examine how we have consulted with our residents and provide the north with the same degree of consideration.

Englehart's message to this government is: Amend Bill 143 to allow and encourage consideration of the Adams mine as part of a provincial solid waste management strategy.

Finally, examine this bill so that these hearings will result in progressive legislation for the province on waste management. A review of our proposed amendment seems mandatory.


Mrs Thompson: I am Jo-Ann Thompson, the newly elected reeve of Larder Lake. I have been a councillor for the past six years and have actively supported the agreements between our municipalities and Metro Toronto.

You will be hearing later today from our former reeve who was directly involved in all negotiations. Let me also make it clear that in our municipal election all the councillors who were elected supported the Adams mine project and the ones to oppose it were defeated.

My presentation will reinforce what you have heard with two specific examples. First, the government admitted at the recent annual meeting of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities in Sudbury that indeed, "There may not have been enough consultation on the Adams mine issue." The Treasurer, Floyd Laughren, made that statement after continuous questioning by delegates from all over the north, not just our region. Later, in a conversation with the Treasurer, who is also responsible for the Ministry of Economics, he assured me personally that he would take the situation up with his colleagues. Attached to my presentation is a copy of a letter I sent to Mr Laughren after the convention, dated May 17, 1991.

What has been the result of this consultation at one of our most important northern forums with the government and with northern ministers? Nothing.

I feel this documentation is important in order to stress that indeed we have been trying to be rational, patient and considerate of the problems the new government may be having. But with 10 members from northern Ontario, and the inaccurate form letters we keep getting from them on the Adams mine project, it would appear that an uninformed Ruth Grier is running the government, supported by Shelley Martel.

I agree with the comments of Mayor Mavrinac on the importance of this issue. With representation like this, we will not survive. New industry entrepreneurs and investment will refuse to come north.

Second, I find it extremely difficult to understand the priorities of the Premier of the province. He allows his Minister of the Environment to run roughshod over agreements, referendums, resolutions and opportunities which will assist this area of the province. He agrees northern Ontario is one of the hardest hit with unemployment in Canada.

At the same time, he is advocating a social charter for the citizens of Canada. This would guarantee equality of opportunity, access to social services and an opportunity to earn a fair wage. The first thing he should do is clean up his own backyard, beginning with the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

I noted on television last week during the hearings that the mayor of Mississauga called Ruth Grier a dictator. That certainly seems to be the case, as she is dictating to the northern members of the government and to the rest of the province with this legislation.

Social responsibility in government should include access on important issues. The Minister of the Environment and indeed the Minister of Northern Development and Mines are refusing to display even a shred of social conscience with regard to the economic and environmental future of this region and in fact the entire province.

Solid waste management are not bad words and garbage is not a bad word. It is the foundation for recycling, reuse and reduce, Mrs Grier's buzzwords. The north has greater experience in major projects like the Adams mine than any municipality in southern Ontario. We are capable of ensuring our environmental protection using the existing Environmental Assessment Act. We do not need legislation which has no basis in fact and which will not result in safer landfills, perhaps just the reverse. This bill has the potential to deny the north and the south an opportunity to forge a lasting partnership.

We intend to leave time for questions from the committee and therefore I will conclude with the following analysis. The province, the north and this country are undergoing tremendous hardship and change. This government was elected based on its concern for the people and our belief that reasonable and intelligent discussion would be allowed.

I would like to tell the members of this committee, specifically the government, that after observing the unbelievable lack of consultation on this issue, with no reasons given which are even remotely valid, we cannot afford three more years like the first 16 months.

We need this project evaluated. If it is rejected under the Environmental Assessment Act, then due process has taken place. We cannot afford, nor will we tolerate, due process as mandated by the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines on personal principles.

Mr Mavrinac: Do you have questions now, Madam Chair?

The Chair: Yes. Thank you, Mr Mavrinac.

Mr Mavrinac: I want a few minutes after for the proposed amendment. That will be allowed, I am sure. Is that the procedure?

The Chair: Yes. I want to advise everyone here that translation devices are available at the back of the room for anyone who requires them. Second, we will now move into the question format. We have approximately 20 minutes available for questions. I have a number of speakers on the list, so I will divide that time between each of the caucuses, and I have reserved sufficient time at the end for the mayor to make a summation presentation. I will begin with Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: I think this is just one of the most excellent presentations I have seen. The fact that you have a consortium of the municipalities coming together and making this presentation and not you alone here in Kirkland Lake, Mr Mavrinac, I think is a tribute to the way in which the people are coming together on it.

I want to make one point at the beginning, and it is a very political statement, but the fact is that we would not be here in Kirkland Lake if the New Democrats had succeeded in blocking our visit to this community. I just want to say in appreciation that the Liberal Carman McClelland and I were the only two who supported the motion. I have a press release here and I just want to put it on the record that there were two who supported coming to Kirkland Lake, myself and Mr McClelland, and of the New Democrats, those who were opposed were Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor and Wiseman.

The fact of the matter is that we had to come and look at the Adams mine site this morning to see that hole and understand something of what it is all about. So much of what you have said this morning had to do with that site, and I support the concept of having an environmental assessment on it. I do not know whether that is the right site or not, but to me you are saying the right thing. You are not saying "Have it there," but "Have an environmental assessment on it," and I am very impressed that your statements included that as being a prerequisite to any kind of finalization of the deal. I think it is very important for me to see that part of the deal, because to me, not to have that as implicit in any kind of deal is to make a farce of the whole environmental process. I would rather see a policy established that allows a site to be looked at, but then have a full environmental assessment on it. I think that is fundamental to anything we are going to do on it.

I also want to just touch on one of the elements, and I want to save some time for my colleague Mrs Marland. It has to do with the dissenters. I have to tell you that you see two groups, one group pro and one opposed. I guess what I need to do is have a sense. Yes, I am satisfied there was a referendum. I am satisfied Englehart had a vote on it. Is that continuing to be the case? Is there a sense that the opposition is growing or that those who are supporting it are diminishing or how does it stand?

Mr Mavrinac: I think if anything, Mr Cousens, the support is growing for evaluation of the Adams mine site. If you took a walk down our main drag last night or this morning, three years ago in 1988, there was not one storefront vacant. Right now we have in excess of 30 storefronts vacant. Our population has diminished greatly, and the people are becoming more aware that something has to be done. We have to diversify. We have to look at all these matters, and as you stated, we do not know what is out there.

Some of the opposition said that the question was not the right question, that we should have had a question, "Do you want Toronto's garbage or don't you want Toronto's garbage?" We have been absolutely adamant right from the outset. We want an evaluation done so we would know if we wanted Toronto's garbage or not. How could we make an informed and a reasonable decision if we did not have an evaluation done on that project?

As I said, it is absolutely incomprehensible that the Minister of Northern Development and Mines will not look at this to evaluate it. We are not saying it is good or it is bad. Evaluate it. It might be the best landfill site in the North American continent. It is just like having the best mousetrap. If you have the best one, you are going to sell it. We feel that we have a viable alternative here and it should be evaluated.

Mr McClelland: Joe, I have met you before, and I am particularly pleased to have met Bettyanne and Jo-Ann. I hope you will forgive me for addressing you by your first names, but I feel a sense of real hospitality here and I want to acknowledge that as well. I am glad I have met you, because from hearing from my colleagues over the past and some in the opposition, I thought you were -- and I say this tongue-in-cheek -- just poor, simple folks who were being duped by a flashy campaign and did not really have any minds of your own. I know that is not the case, and you know that too, but that is certainly the picture that has been painted.

Joe, I want to ask you a question before I get into my other question. Have you ever changed your mind about anything?


Mr Mavrinac: Never. Believe me. Ask Sola. We do not change our minds too often.

Mr McClelland: Let me tell you that I have changed my mind about a number of things in the past and I probably will again in the future. I usually do it on the basis of trying to look at things, make an evaluation and sit down and perhaps admit there are things I may not have understood or take a look at them.

My friend Mr Cousens touched on something. Let me tell you what we were told when we wanted to come to Kirkland Lake, and this was by my colleague Mr Martin: "We would prefer not to go to Kirkland Lake. We also have a situation where we have a conflict of interest there. Kirkland Lake has presented a proposal, has an economic interest in having that proposal be part of our larger package. To my mind, that constitutes a conflict of interest."

I find that a curious definition of conflict of interest, but I want to say that I am glad we are here today to have an opportunity to at least look, listen and perhaps change our minds, to make an evaluation, based in part on what we hear, but moreover to push the issue that this ought to go, in our view, to an independent body to make an evaluation based on the facts. That is all we want.

I want to point out to you that Mrs Grier has changed her mind as well. Mrs Grier, prior to being elected, was a champion of the environmental assessment. She was the one who stood, all across this province, together with Premier Rae, and said: "We believe in public process. We believe in the right of people to participate. We think that's important. We think it's important to talk to people, to dialogue, to come to a meeting of the minds and understand each other and come to the best possible solutions available."

That was before September 1990. After the fact, your experience has been: "Listen, if you don't agree with us, we don't want to talk to you, because if reality doesn't fit our ideological mindset, we don't have any room for it."

I understand the fight you are up against. I wonder if you could just touch on the fact again and expand on the fact that what you are saying is that you want to have some honest and open dialogue. I know that at one point in time you felt you had your foot in the door and that door was shut. You thought you had an opportunity to talk to some of the northern government caucus members and then that was shut out for you.

The other thing I think is very important for people here to understand, and I want to focus on that, is that none of us in opposition, as far as I know, and I will let for Mr Cousens speak for himself, are saying that we are necessarily in favour of the project. We are saying we are in favour of looking at the project and giving it a fair, honest, open run. If it withstands the scrutiny, fine, and if it does not, so be it.

I guess what I am asking you to do is to comment on the sense of fairness and appropriateness of a government that on one hand says, "We want to listen to you," but when push comes to shove will not even have the courtesy to return your calls, will not even talk to you.

Mr Mavrinac: Thank you very much, Mr McClelland. What makes it so discouraging is that Ruth Grier herself said to treat solid waste as a resource. Maybe she did not continue with that statement because, after abrogating our agreement with Metro Toronto, it seems that she wants solid waste to be treated as a resource only in southern Ontario, excluding us in northern Ontario, and we think that is very unfair. We have shipped our resources to southern Ontario for processing since the turn of the century and got very little in return, but this was one opportunity where we thought that, with our agreement, if the Adams mine site went ahead, if it was proven environmentally sound, we could produce products from the recycling plant and not only assist all of northeastern Ontario in the waste management plan but also help Toronto. We thought it was an absolutely wonderful agreement, but the only thing is that she did not give us that opportunity.

Mr Martin: I would like to start by saying that you certainly told your story well, and it is a story that any of us in your place would tell who represent communities in northern Ontario, because when we became government we inherited a sad legacy of the industrial development in the north. My biggest concern with this legislation and this particular issue is for all of northern Ontario, because it sets a very interesting precedent here.

The sad legacy of northern Ontario that all of us can tell I think is based on economics and the economics of high-grading. I would like to focus for a second on that, because there are a lot of other issues I would like to talk to you about re this particular proposal, but I want to focus on that for a moment.

Bob Gray came before us yesterday and talked about how the north had been raped of its resources. High-grading is an analogy I am sure you and this community are able to identify with very much. I suggest to you that this particular operation is another high-grading of a resource. Were you at the table when the deal was cut between Notre and Metro re where the profits of this venture would go and who would benefit?

If you were, I would like to ask you your perception on why you allowed Metro, which now collects a tipping fee of $150 a tonne, to offer the town of Kirkland Lake a tipping fee of $1.80 per tonne? Why would you allow all of the recycling opportunities that are going to be presented here to be on their property and owned and controlled by them? In fact, most of the recycling opportunities will never get to northern Ontario anyway, because the garbage will be high-graded before it gets here.

I would like to know, if you were at that table, why you allowed that to happen and why you think that would be an interesting precedent to set for the rest of Ontario as we try to develop an industrial sector here that speaks of our owning it and benefiting the most from it, which has not been the history up to now. I would also like to ask you to comment on what other ways Metro has indicated to this community its genuine interest in Kirkland Lake, the people who live here and the quality of life you came to expect and now are having a difficult time with, as are we who represent other communities in northern Ontario.

Those are the questions, but before I let you answer them I want to suggest to you as well that an environmental assessment of this project will not in any way deal with the economics of it.

Mr Mavrinac: All right, thank you very much, Mr Martin. Will you be specific? Ask me one question at a time. Go back to it. Come on, I cannot answer that. You made a political speech. I want the questions one at a time and I will respond.

Mr Martin: I do not want to get into a debate with you.

Mr Mavrinac: I am not getting into a debate. You asked me to answer a question and I cannot answer six questions. One at a time.

Mr Martin: I asked you two questions. If you cannot handle two at a time --

The Chair: Mr Martin, I suggest that you just read the question out and allow the mayor to respond.

Mrs Marland: That's pretty insulting. You don't insult deputants, Mr Martin.

The Chair: Order, please. Mrs Marland, you are out of order. Mr Martin, please read the question so that the mayor can respond.

Mr Martin: The first question is, were you at the table when this deal was cut?

Mr Mavrinac: At what table when what deal was cut?

Mr Martin: When Metro and Notre decided that Kirkland Lake would get a tipping fee of $1.80 per tonne versus the $150 that Metro is now collecting for every tonne of garbage put into the existing dumps it has.

Mr Mavrinac: I think the agreement reads $1.10 per tonne.

Mr Martin: Okay, $1.10 per tonne.

Mr Mavrinac: Yes, we negotiated. I tried to get much more than that. But if you really knew the background of this whole agreement, Mr Martin, there were many components in this deal, not just Notre Development, Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake. There was the rail component, and that had to be taken into consideration. This deal is a $1-billion economic benefit for our communities, $400 million going to the communities and $600 million to the rail component. That naturally had to be taken into account in terms of the amount of money we could have asked for. Dofasco was involved in the whole matter. I cannot respond to that. I am sure Mr Ferguson could respond to that. If we had had an opportunity to meet with your government and Mrs Grier on this specific matter, you would have had every insight on every matter that was in that agreement and have had all the answers. You would not be asking me for them today.

Mr Martin: The second --

The Chair: Thank you very much. Mrs Marland, you have the floor.

Mr Martin: Do you want to hear the rest of my question?

Mrs Marland: Mayor Mavrinac, I fully appreciate now how important it was for this committee to come to this community today. As my colleague the critic for the Environment for our party, Mr Cousens, said so well, we would not be here except that he fought for it. I would like to ask you how you feel about the fact that Mrs Grier, the Minister of the Environment and the proponent of this bill, has not visited the Adams mine site.


Mr Mavrinac: The proponent?

Mrs Marland: As the Minister of the Environment and minister responsibile for the greater Toronto area, it is her bill. How do you feel about the fact that she has not yet visited the Adams mine site?

Mr Mavrinac: Completely frustrated, because we have asked her on any number of occasions. Not only Ruth Grier. As the first vice-president of AMO, I come in contact with the Premier. The first time was at the convention centre in Toronto. Right after he made his presentation to the AMO delegates, I went right up on the stage. I said: "Please, Premier, come to Kirkland Lake. We want to discuss this matter."

I am on the steering committee for disentanglement and I am probably going to be sitting across the table from Ruth Grier next Thursday night in Toronto. Probably we will be meeting the Premier again. I think Bob Gray must have alluded to that yesterday, because he had talked to Mrs Grier after one of our consultation meetings, after one of our executive meetings. We asked her to come to Kirkland Lake. "Let's look at this agreement. Let's talk about it. Let's evaluate it." She has not done that. We feel terrible about it.

Mr Ramsay: I would like to congratulate the presenters --

Mr Mavrinac: Why do you not ask --

Mr Ramsay: Joe, you do not know where the questions are coming from right now. Just hold on.

I would like to congratulate the presenters today for a very sound presentation and the committee for making the decision to come to Kirkland Lake. I think this is a very important exercise. We are going to hear both sides of the argument from well-prepared presenters all day today. I think this is a great exercise. Sometimes, as you can see, it gets a bit soap opera-ish and a bit partisan, but that is part of the process and that is okay. We are here today to get some facts out. Of course it is not as good as a full environmental assessment, but it is a start and we will see what happens.

One fact that is interesting when we talk about the composting material that would result from this project is that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food would not allow the material that would come from city of Toronto compost to go on food-producing land. We could do a lot of good with that material up here on land that has been decimated by mining slimes. I think that is one positive aspect.

Every time we get presenters coming up, and I am going to ask the other side this today, they always want to narrow in on the referendum question that was asked, saying that somehow that question was insufficient to get a true reading of the people.

The Chair: Question.

Mr Ramsay: Do you feel that the question asked in Kirkland Lake gives a true reading of the feeling of the people in Kirkland Lake?

Mr Mavrinac: I think I have answered that already. How could you possibly make an informed decision if you did not have an environmental assessment of the matter?

Mr Wiseman: I am going to try to make a quick comment. As the only person sitting in this room who has had the negative experience of having not one but two Metro dumps in his riding, I can probably give you a better perspective on what it means to the community than anybody here. We have had a landfill site on the border of Pickering, right on the border at Beare Road, with some 18 million tonnes of garbage and prevailing winds over my community. We have currently in Brock West, according to Metro's own engineers, the worst landfill site they have ever seen. We also have in Brock North 143,000 tonnes leaching into pits. It has to be collected on a daily basis. Not only did they want to put in more garbage; they wanted to open up Brock South and P1 without a full environmental assessment hearing.

This brings me to the question of "willing host." Pickering was a willing host because the Durham regional government said that Pickering was a willing host. Pickering was not a willing host. If anybody would like to pursue that with me, I think that would be a very interesting discussion. When you define "willing host," what exactly do you mean? You have an unorganized township that did not involve itself in the referendum. When you are asking me this, when I hear this, when it comes down to defining a willing host, I bring my own history to the table.

The Chair: We have approximately six minutes remaining. Two members have asked to place questions. If it is all right with the delegation, I am going to ask them to place their question very briefly. Then you will have about five minutes remaining, either to answer their questions, if you wish, or to sum up.

Mr Sola: From the three briefs, I see that the majority of elected officials in the three townships are all proponents of the Adams mine site. Was any opponent of the Adams mine site elected to office in any of the three areas?

Mr Bisson: In the presentation, one of the things that was alluded to was the question that we should take as a model the consultation process that happened here in Kirkland Lake and throughout the region on this whole issue. I would like to have an explanation, maybe from the presenters here, why letters were sent to municipal welfare recipients on this issue about having to be here, why people who do not support this bill are not allowed to park in front of the Bon Air Motor Inn and why the police, quite frankly, are at the door. In my experience I have yet to see the police at a hearing like this in a community. If we are talking about an open process, I would like to know if you can tell me that, because if we did that kind of stuff on the government side, I think we would be rightfully accused of not really wanting to listen.

The Chair: You have approximately six minutes. You can respond to whichever questions you would like, plus make your summation.

Mr Mavrinac: Mr Wiseman, Pickering and Durham are totally different situations. I addressed the matter of a host region or municipality. I will take it one step further. In the election of September 1990 your party was totally and absolutely opposed. This gave everybody in the riding of Timiskaming an opportunity. Your party was totally opposed to the Adams mine site. It was a political issue. The Green Party got 700 votes. I do not have to tell you that they were opposed. The person who got re-elected was the individual who said the same thing that is in this brief. We want an environmental assessment done at the Adams mine. That may give you an indication that we do have that willingness to make sure this is evaluated.

Now, Mr Bisson, as to the matter of the rally, this is a community project. Who is that letter signed by? I have not seen it.

Mr Bisson: It is the chairman of the rally committee.

Mr Mavrinac: Mr Folusewych has done a tremendous job on that rally.

Mr Bisson: Also the administrator of the social services department, I think, Mr John -- I cannot read the last name. It is oversigned.

Mr Mavrinac: So he is inviting the unemployed to come to a rally.

Mr Bisson: Excuse me. It is a letter on the letterhead of the municipality of Kirkland Lake inviting welfare recipients of this municipality to come here in support of the position of the municipality.

Mr Mavrinac: I will have to look into that, but I have seen political parties of the provincial persuasion and the federal persuasion write letters on different letterheads. I am not too overly concerned about that. What was the next question?

Mr Bisson: I was very concerned about it.

Mr Mavrinac: I am concerned about it because I have not seen it, and I will look into it.

The Chair: There was Mr Sola's question, which was the number of people who had --

Mrs Thompson: The three people who ran lost. The three people who ran in the election on a slate of nine who were opposed were defeated and this was after a community evening to meet the candidates and many open council meetings. We had lots of opportunities for people to state their mind.

Mr Mavrinac: In Kirkland Lake, out of the seven to be elected, one, Councillor Sue Gamble, is with us today. She totally opposed the shipment of garbage to the Adams mine site and was elected. Out of seven, one was elected.

The Chair: I suggest that you complete your presentation.


Mr Mavrinac: The proposed amendment to Bill 143: In completing our presentation, we wish to build on the recommendation put forth by Metro Toronto during its presentation that the Adams mine become part of the site search for new landfills within the York-Metro region. We propose this amendment based on the overwhelming community and municipal support, plus the technical data available, which show the Adams mine site may be a great economic and environmental benefit to this province. We suggest that paragraph 12(1)3 has the following added as an amendment:

"Whereas the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto has obtained a proposed site for the disposal of solid waste and has obtained cooperative agreements from the accepting host municipalities; now therefore, the Adams mine site shall be included within the designated primary service area for the regional municipality of York and/or Metropolitan Toronto, as defined by Bill 143, with final approval of all agreements being required by the Ontario Municipal Board."

In conclusion, on Saturday, February 17, Terence Corcoran, business analyst for the Globe and Mail, wrote an information article on the entire situation regarding this bill, our partnership with Metro and the validity of our concerns with this government. He stated:

"The Kirkland Lake situation should be seen as more than just another political squabble between levels of government. Kirkland Lake should be seen as a symbol of important and fundamental political and economic issues."

Let me assure this committee that if this bill is not amended to provide the north with its democratic rights, the people of the north, municipal leaders at this table and elsewhere, will ensure that Kirkland Lake and the Adams mine becomes a lasting symbol of Ruth Grier, Shelley Martel and the NDP for its neglect, its insensitivity and its disregard for the quality of life of the people of Ontario. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

The Chair: Thank you, mayor and reeves. We appreciate your appearing before us today.

There was one issue raised that I would like to clarify for all members here and that is the issue of security at this meeting. It is the responsibility of the clerk of the committee to ensure that the meetings are conducted and that there is proper security in place. The staffs of all three caucuses were notified of what she felt were appropriate safety precautions, in light of the fact that there had been some suggestions and people phoning in about numbers of people who might want access to the room. It was primarily for crowd control and safety purposes and it was a decision made by Ms Mellor, the clerk of the committee. That is the answer to your question, Mr Bisson, and your caucus was informed.


The Chair: I would like to call next the Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group. I ask that you come forward and begin your presentation by introducing yourselves to the committee members. You have 20 minutes for your presentation and we would ask you if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions from the committee members.

I am going to call order while the delegations are changing. We are on a very tight time schedule. We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be heard and that the committee runs on time. Order, please. Anyone who is leaving, please do so quietly.

Welcome. I see a few familiar faces. Would you please begin your presentation now.

Mr Power: First I will introduce the people with me. Mr Charles Caldwell is the mayor of New Liskeard. Mr David Hughes is the mayor of Cochrane and vice-chairman of our group. Mayor Mavrinac needs no introduction, and Stan Lawlor is mayor of the city of North Bay. My name is Vic Power. I am mayor of the city of Timmins and chairman of the northeastern Ontario mayors' action group.

We thank you, Madam Chair, for this opportunity. Certainly it is not often the north has the opportunity to make presentations at home on major issues such as Bill 143. The Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group welcomes all of you to the north.

Our organization has played a pivotal role in northeastern Ontario for many years. Founded in 1972, with an initial mandate to address transportation issues, we have been a constructive and positive factor with every provincial government regarding legislation affecting northeastern Ontario over the past 20 years.

We represent 40 communities and the 250,000 people who live in those communities on the Highway 11 corridor from North Bay to Hearst. I believe we accurately reflect a consensus on important issues facing our region of northern Ontario and we feel it is very important that the government recognizes this consensus because it has been arrived at after mutual discussion and consultation. Our organization, over these past 20 years, through a succession of municipal leaders in the Highway 11 corridor, has worked closely with the provincial government to effect positive developments for northern Ontario.

The Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group was instrumental in the establishment of the original Northern Affairs Ministry, now the Ministry of Northern Development, the northern Ontario support grant, the air ambulance system and air service to the north with NorOntair. These are all major factors which affect the current economic and social fabric of the north.

Our executive committee is comprised of the mayors from North Bay, New Liskeard, Kirkland Lake, Iroquois Falls, Timmins, Kapuskasing, Cochrane and Hearst. In 1989, a major conference called Northern Vision was held in North Bay. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Northern Development, organized by the centre of entrepreneurship at Canadore College and Nipissing University and hosted by the city of North Bay. Over 150 delegates attended. The theme of the conference was An Invitation to Action: Economic Development of the Highway 11 Corridor. Delegates from business, municipalities and government met. Guest speakers attended from many areas, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Kuwait.

The conference recognized that the Highway 11 corridor was a realistic region upon which to focus an intensified economic development effort. The mayors' action group assumed the primary leadership for this intensified effort and, in partnership, supports economic development for all areas of northeastern Ontario. It is with this background that the mayors' action group comes before you today with our deep concerns with Bill 143 and the limitations which it will place on northern growth.

In our limited time today, we feel it unnecessary to address in further detail the real and deep concerns which have been expressed about Bill 143 by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, whose membership includes all of our communities, and by the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, represented by Mr Bob Gray, in Sudbury yesterday.

Most important today, we feel it is of paramount importance to have this committee, especially the government members, the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Northern Development and the Premier of this province recognize the efforts by northern communities to diversify. These efforts to create new economic development opportunities must be evaluated, must be examined and must be supported if our northern communities are to have any opportunity to reverse the severe economic downturn facing all of northern Ontario.

The reason all of our municipalities in the Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group support the efforts of Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake in trying to diversify is that we recognize in the north that governments cannot provide all of the answers to our problems. We cannot rely on them to be responsible for providing new industries, new jobs and new wealth. As my colleague Mayor Stan Lawlor stated at the Vision North conference, "We all have to work together, as a team, in partnership for our mutual benefit."

Recent efforts by the government in Kapuskasing were excellent. However, this cannot be the standard by which we expect progress in the north, because even that was an effort to save existing jobs. It is irrefutable that our traditional northern resource-based industries of forestry and mining are in serious decline. Bill 143 will have serious impact on the north if it becomes legislation without amendments. While the north supports the sections dealing with waste reduction and recycling, in general terms these directives can have far different implications for the north than they would for the populated areas of the greater Toronto area.

Specifically, the minister has recently made an announcement that all communities over 5,000 must provide a blue box system. Our small population density in the north guarantees that at no time will a blue box system ever generate sufficient tonnages to ensure economic opportunities in the north. In particular, as has been mentioned by the mayor of Kirkland Lake, all communities of northeastern Ontario, using a 4% diversion factor for blue box programs, would generate less than 7,000 tonnes of product, all of which would have to be shipped to southern markets.

The ministry is currently conducting a study in Timiskaming and Cochrane districts on the implementation of a waste reduction program in our regions. This study will cost $60,000 and it will be very interesting to see what the results will bring in terms of the impact on our communities regarding any economic development opportunities.


It was a result of these and other factors that the mayors' action group passed the following resolution on March 4, 1991. I would like to share with you the reasons and the background to our resolution:

"That the Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group does hereby support and endorse the efforts of Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake in the establishment of recycling opportunities and solid waste disposal facility at the Adams mine site, subject to the following:

1. That a full environmental assessment be conducted: "The mayors of the north support fully the contention of Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake that a full environmental assessment be conducted. Clearly, this is a long-term project and there should be public participation."

2. That a recycling plant is mandatory and can be used by other northern communities at reasonable cost: "We see a tremendous opportunity for all northeastern Ontario to utilize a major recycling or source separation facility to reduce our costs. Specifically, the volume of materials to be processed from the GTA of 120,000 tonnes could greatly assist the opportunity to retain our recyclables and use them to create economic opportunities.

"The fact that the agreements call for Metro Toronto to both construct and operate a plant for a period of 20 years is an outstanding opportunity for our communities in northeastern Ontario to participate more fully in 3Rs programs. The Ministry of the Environment's ongoing study should be examining the benefits of the Kirkland Lake-Metro Toronto agreements, not ignoring them."

I am greatly encouraged by what I have heard this morning from our mining industry and LAC Minerals that compost can be used in rehabilitation and I echo the mayor's comments that we should be given a chance to find markets up here before rejecting this opportunity.

3. That the Ontario Northland Railway play a major transportation role in the development with potential to assist other northern communities with solid waste and recycling projects in the future: "I see by the list of presenters that economic development officials from Timiskaming and North Bay will be speaking and I am sure this issue will be addressed However, ever since this resolution was passed, more information regarding the failing financial health of the railways has become evident. If the government fails to ensure the financial health of this crown corporation, the north will be in even greater trouble than we are today."

4. That all the terms and conditions in the Metro Toronto agreement become a part of a licence to operate from the Ministry of the Environment: "As a group, we applaud the results of the work done by the councils and communities of Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake in developing this potential partnership with Metro Toronto, the largest region of Canada. At a time when we see cities from Canada or the United States creating partnerships with cities in Europe or Russia to provide cultural or economic opportunities, these agreements are unique, they are fantastic and should be a model for cooperation and development within our own province."

The government, which has encouraged partnership, consultation and cooperation, should be holding these agreements up as an example of its philosophy, not denying the opportunity to see if they are feasible.

Finally, our resolution states, "That the provincial government make every effort to examine and support the efforts of northern communities to use solid waste (imported if necessary) as an opportunity for sustainable development in job creation in the north."

Bill 143 must not dictate to the north, to the Kirkland Lake area or to the private sector, that solid waste disposal and recycling opportunities must remain the exclusive domain of southern Ontario. We have shipped our natural resources south for years. If we want to import a resource called solid waste and can do it within the strictest environmental standards that the government mandates and have the support of our residents, as is the case in Kirkland Lake, this government should not legislate that the opportunity be denied to us.

The members of the government who are elected from northern Ontario have a responsibility to carry this message to the Minister of the Environment prior to passing this bill. If party politics is such a priority that you must support the philosophical position of the Environment minister to the detriment of new opportunities for the north, then the north is in very serious trouble during the next three years and beyond as such opportunities are lost without being fully examined to see whether they are positive or negative.

Our mayors attended the environmental assessment hearings on the expansion of the runway system at Pearson International Airport this month, a matter of serious concern to the north. In that case, we fought to ensure continued direct access to Pearson for our citizens and businesses. Bill 143 creates a situation where we are forced to fight our own provincial government to ensure access to new business and other economic development opportunities and a chance to use our traditional transportation system, the Ontario Northland Railway, in order to do it.

The Northeastern Ontario Municipalities Action Group sees two real concerns if Bill 143 is passed in its present form without amendment. The bill denies and restricts the rights of northern municipalities to investigate, develop and improve their economic and environmental future. It also denies an economic opportunity to the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, one which will ensure the economic stability of the ONR for the next 20 years or longer.

We support fully the efforts of Kirkland Lake, Englehart, Larder Lake and Metro Toronto to develop a partnership which we believe will be progressive for both the north and the south. We urge this government to fulfil the expectations which it gave the north when elected. The north was led to believe that it would have a stronger voice in government, a chance to call the shots.

We support the amendments to Bill 143 proposed by Kirkland Lake. Thank you for the opportunity to present this brief.

Mr McClelland: In the two minutes available, could one or all of you give us a brief but comprehensive review -- I do not mean to be sarcastic; I recognize the limitations of time -- of the potential economic impact of even moving in the direction of looking at this, relative to the downside implications of not even giving this proposal a hearing?

Mr Power: To start with, the Ontario Northland Railway is hurting. One of the reasons it is hurting is that the mines at Temagami have closed. Also the shipments from the paper product areas, such as Kapuskasing and Iroquois Falls, are down, so the Ontario Northland Railway is starting to bleed. This development in itself would be a big boon to the Ontario Northland Railway, which had counted on this, by the way.

Mr Mavrinac: You have lost 45% of your freight.

Mr Power: That is right. The Ontario Northland Railway has lost perhaps 45% of its freight business, and this cannot go on too much longer without everybody feeling the effects. That is one thing on the negative side as it is happening right now.

On the positive side, if there were a plant here in Kirkland Lake associated with the work that would be done at the Adams mine, it would be a tremendous boon to this area, and anything that helps Kirkland Lake helps Timmins, North Bay, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Hearst and Cochrane. We are a very sparsely settled part of the province, but we like to see economic opportunities develop in all our major municipalities. Certainly we are all dependent on each other.

Mr Martin: Once our government is finished cleaning up after the mess left by the previous government and once we get some of the fires put out that have been caused by the recession, we are really interested in working with you on a viable industrial strategy for the north. That industrial strategy will be built on as much control and ownership by those of us who live and breathe and eat in northern Ontario as possible. I would like Mr Mavrinac to share with you and us what control and ownership he will have, this community will have, over the operation proposed here for the Adams mine facility.


Mr Mavrinac: We were absolutely adamant that the agreement we signed would be a long-term agreement so we can maximize the job opportunities. That was number one.

We were absolutely adamant that there would be no more than 1.5 million tonnes of solid waste shipped from Toronto over a period of 20 years. They were trying to get us to accept three to four million tonnes. You have to remember, Mr Martin, we were talking about the central pit and the south pit that you saw today. That represented a capability of 40 million tonnes of waste deposited over 20 years. But there are northern pits. You have three or four up there. That aspect of it has not even been touched.

We were absolutely adamant that we would have a recycling plant built at that site so those economic benefits could be termed in jobs. We threw out a figure of about 150 jobs at the site and at the recycling plant. This is the commitment we had. It was an agreement. We had a say in what came to the Adams mine; we had a say in what was going to be recycled; we had a say in the amount of material that was going to come to that site. So yes, with that agreement in place, when it comes in place, and it will come in place one day, we have a lot to say about the Adams mine site.

Mr Martin: The question is, though, who owns it?

Mr Cousens: I have a question of the parliamentary assistant based on the sentence in the third-last paragraph. I am going to reverse it so it becomes a question. How does Bill 143 help people in northern Ontario to develop and improve their economic and environmental future? How does this bill, Bill 143, help the north?

Mr O'Connor: I am glad you raised it, because I am sure there are a lot of people here who probably have the same question. Bill 143, the Waste Management Act, is to deal with Metro's waste; it is not a bill to deal with the economic vitality of the north right now. That is something that needs to happen. There is no doubt about it that there are jobs that have been lost through the closure of the mine and what not, but this bill is on waste management within the GTA.

Mrs Mathyssen: My question is of Mayor Power. You say your action group supports the establishment of a solid waste disposal facility at the Adams mine under a full environmental assessment. Since the EA act requires that all alternatives be taken into account, it is possible that Timmins might be found to be a more suitable site? Do you want a waste disposal site in Timmins, and have you consulted your constituents about having a waste disposal site in Timmins?

Mr Power: It is not an issue in Timmins, because what happened was that the Adams mine closed at Kirkland Lake a few years ago, and immediately upon its closing, Kirkland Lake, through the efforts of Mayor Mavrinac, took the initiative to see if it could make something out of that open pit. We do not have that facility available to us in Timmins right now, so it has never become an issue as far as this is concerned. If it were to become an issue there, of course we would support a full environmental assessment.

Mr McClelland: I want to put concurrently to both the parliamentary assistant and the deputants why waste, if we consider it to be a resource, and we have said that -- and that is all part of our moving towards a conserver society and beginning to get our minds around that -- is suddenly out of the equation in terms of economic development. I ask you if you can reconcile that, and if you cannot, perhaps the parliamentary assistant can reconcile the sudden change of stream here that suddenly waste is no longer a resource.

Mr O'Connor: Do we have time?

The Chair: No. We are on to the next presentation. I suggest that question be taken as notice to the ministry, and if you want to respond in writing at some future time, you can.

As I say to all the deputations that come forward, if there is additional information that you would like to share with the committee, please feel free to do so in writing at any time. Thank you very much.


The Chair: I would like to call next the corporation of the city of North Bay. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask you to leave a few minutes at the end for questions from committee members. Would you please begin your presentation now. Welcome, Mayor.

Mr Lawlor: Thank you, Madam Chair. It is indeed a pleasure to be here. Along with me, I have Steve Sajatovic, our director of planning and development and Mr Rick Evans, our manager of economic development, who will be speaking afterwards on behalf of the chamber of commerce group.

The council of the city of North Bay has passed two resolutions related to Bill 143. They are as follows:

"The city of North Bay requests that whereas northern Ontario is an economically depressed area; and whereas Rail Cycle North offers a tremendous economic stimulus for the northeastern corridor; and whereas the proposed mode of transportation is environmentally sound and proven in other areas; and whereas there exists an agreement between the partners of Rail Cycle North and the GTA, the council of the city of North Bay strongly supports the concept and the economic benefits to be derived from the project Rail Cycle North and strongly urges the Minister of the Environment to allow the evaluation of this alternative to proceed under the environmental assessment rules."

An earlier motion had indicated:

"That the council of the city of North Bay supports fully the presentation and remarks made by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario at the public hearings relating to the proposed Waste Management Act, 1991, and that a letter be sent to Ms Elinor Caplan advising her committee of council's support."

These two motions will be submitted as information to the committee.

Basically these resolutions point out that the Environmental Assessment Act, in force and effect for the rest of the province, should apply to the greater Toronto area as well. We support the submission of the region of York, which takes the position that parts II and III of Bill 143 as now written are anti-environment, anti-business, anti-scientific, anti-democratic and anti-civil liberty in nature.

This bill is fundamentally flawed and should be amended as follows before final passage:

1. The city of North Bay requests that this committee recommend to the provincial Legislature that part II of Bill 143 be amended to require that the Interim Waste Authority be fully subject to the Environmental Assessment Act; and

2. The city of North Bay requests that part III of the bill be amended so as to prevent the usurpation by the province of Ontario of important powers now held by local elected officials and to restore the requirement to comply with or adhere to existing legislation now in effect in the province.

We see solid waste as a resource, and in the last few years solid waste has been recognized as a very valuable resource with significant commercial potential. A wide variety of products are now produced from recycled materials, and research is ongoing to identify more opportunities in this regard. I might mention that Mr Evans is working with at least three prospects right now who are dealing in recycled materials. Composting, of course, is but another example of a process which produces a valuable resource from specific solid waste materials. Specifically, the handling, processing and disposal of solid waste can have a significant impact on the future economic development of the Highway 11 corridor municipalities.

I mentioned some of our economic development prospects in North Bay and the extent to which they are dependent upon recycled materials, and I should emphasize that we have attracted some of them as a result of our own efforts at recycling and our environmental programs within the city of North Bay. But if we are to be successful, we require ready access to an ongoing, large-volume supply of specific recycled materials. Business activities related to the recovery of materials from solid waste will help the north move up the technology ladder in an area which is in the forefront of new technology development.

A further positive aspect of creating business opportunities in the Highway 11 corridor related to the handling and processing of solid waste would see the existing rail infrastructure in the region used to transport this natural resource from the point of production in southern Ontario to the point of sorting and disposal in northern Ontario. This would help compensate for the setbacks encountered by the Ontario Northland Railway as a result of loss of freight loads as other primary sectors such as mining and logging have experienced downturns. The city strongly supports the efforts of Canadian Auto Workers, Local 103, northern Ontario, in its effort to protect existing jobs and to see new jobs created at the Ontario Northland Railway.

I should emphasize that these jobs are not only on the running crews; these jobs are very significantly in the shops and in the yards at Ontario Northland, where we have already experienced a number of layoffs, and if we do not soon get some activity, we are looking forward to even more.

My understanding is, by the way, that because Ontario Northland is a provincial crown corporation, it has been instructed to stay out of this process. Obviously, I think that is very unfortunate, because they could add some tremendous dimensions to this process that we are involved in here.

As a final point, a centre for research and development of technologies and processes related to solid waste handling, processing and disposal has the potential for making the province generally, and northern Ontario specifically, a leader in this field. This could have a further significant positive impact on the post-secondary education institutions in the region.


Contrary to the Environmental Assessment Act, part II of the bill excludes the IWA from the need to consider alternatives or to state a rationale for its undertakings. Furthermore, the bill specifically prohibits consideration of incineration or export of solid waste from the GTA as alternatives to be examined. The examination of these specific alternatives, and any alternatives for that matter, are excluded for no apparent scientific or other logical reason.

The EAA attempts to provide optimal solutions to environmental problems. It deals with facts, realities and rights. It attempts to settle conflicting interests fairly. The environmental assessment process may show that a waste disposal site and processing methods outside the GTA are superior in every respect to those sites legislated to be established within the GTA. Bill 143 should therefore be amended to make the IWA fully subject to the requirements of the EAA.

The city of North Bay has been looking for a new landfill site itself under the EAA process for several years now. Notwithstanding the urgency, the time, the expense, the occasional frustration, the burdensome and onerous requirements, we still recognize the value of the process, as opposed to the lack of protection and the political solution which has been legislated in Bill 143. The residents of the GTA deserve the protections and the process set out in the EAA. The situation in the GTA is not so urgent that due process and natural justice can be ignored.

Parts II and III of Bill 143, as currently written, would place any undertaking of the Interim Waste Authority above the requirements of any law except Bill 143. The legal rights of citizens and municipalities under current statutes and legal agreements would be totally ignored. Bill 143 should therefore be amended to restore continued adherence to these legal rights and requirements.

In conclusion, the city of North Bay requests that this committee recommend to the provincial Legislative Assembly that Bill 143 be amended, or withdrawn for that matter, for the reasons set out in this brief.

We support the host communities, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, the mayors' action group and all the other groups, agencies, unions and individuals who believe that Bill 143 is detrimental to the interest of both the greater Toronto area and the many communities in the north which could benefit economically by assisting in solving Toronto's solid waste problem.

Madam Chair, I feel that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. If the process is allowed to proceed under the Environmental Assessment Act, and the site or the process of getting the waste materials there is found to be faulty or problematic environmentally, it will not be improved. Bill 143 precludes that opportunity. We insist that in fairness to all concerned Bill 143 should either be amended or withdrawn. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation. Mr Bisson, we have in total eight minutes. I will be very tight on time with everyone.

Mr Bisson: My question is quite quick. I take it that your municipality, like Kirkland Lake and any other municipality in northern Ontario, expends a lot of time trying to incorporate tourism as part of its economic development plan. Is that correct?

Mr Lawlor: Tourism is part of our process. But I will tell you something, Mr Bisson, since you asked. There is a big to-do made about tourism, and if you want us to survive on the business from sending canoeists and providing guides for them between the fly season in the spring and when the snow flies in the fall, then you have really got a problem for what we consider to be economic development and success in the north.


The Chair: Order.

Mr Lawlor: If that is your version of our success, I do not see it that way.

Mr Bisson: I thank you for your comment. I see it is well received. I know that in my community, as much as any other, economic development strategies include tourism. My question to you is, quite frankly, what kind of image would transporting garbage into northern Ontario have on the tourism industry and would you see it affecting that industry? I tend to differ --

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Bisson. That is your question.

Mr Bisson: One second. I tend to differ on one question, because the point is that you demean the tourism industry in northern Ontario, and I do not think that is well accepted by the people in the tourism industry of northern Ontario.

Mr Lawlor: Mr Bisson, when you talk like that -- when it is convenient you use the term "garbage" and when it is not convenient you use the term "solid waste." We see solid waste as a resource and we propose here to develop it as a solid resource with its full economic potential under the provisions of the Environmental Assessment Act.

Mr Cousens: I want to thank you for your presentation. I think you have opened up one startling fact for consideration today, that is, that the New Democrats have compromised these hearings by prohibiting the Ontario Northland Railway from making a presentation. If that is true, I think we have suddenly realized that this government, which claims it is going to have open consultation, has in some sense destroyed that very process. I want to ask a question of the parliamentary assistant, for answering later, whether or not the government did preclude the railway's presentation at these hearings. If that is the case, I would like to know at the earliest possible date.

The Chair: That is noted.

Mr Lawlor: Can I comment on that, Madam Chair?

Mr Cousens: I wish you would comment, because they are not going to answer for ever.

The Chair: Yes, you may comment.

Mr Lawlor: Mr Peter Dyment, the general manager of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, is the most dynamic, aggressive person I have seen in terms of development of the north. The Timiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, which started out as Ontario's development road, has been brought into a modern corporation to lead us into the 21st century. It has become very diversified, but at no point has Mr Dyment lost the recognition of the importance of rail infrastructure and rail operations in the north. His involvement in this process has been muzzled as a result of instructions that they should not become involved in advocating.

Mr McClelland: You are right that it certainly is a bill that precludes an honest, open and fair process and hearing. I would say it is indeed undemocratic in the most extreme sense. Mr Cousens noted the same thing, that Ontario Northland Railway has been precluded from participating. That responsibility, of course, falls on the Minister of Northern Development, the same minister who refuses to have an opportunity to sit down and meet with you. Perhaps at the end of this, she will simply tell you she is sorry, but she does not have time. That seems to be sufficient these days in any event for anything that is done or not done, just a simple apology.

Perhaps you or Mr Evans would speak to this. We have heard some comments about the convenient switch between "resource" and "garbage." It is a resource when it is convenient and it is garbage when it is not. As a member of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce you are looking at some long-term diversification, and I want to ask you very pointedly, what kind of message in terms of overall economic development this is sending to the business community and potential investors in and around the north.

Mr Evans: I think the most damaging message that is sent out is one of inconsistency. I come from a business background myself and it is important for the business community to know exactly what the rules of the game are. If you continually change the rules or they have no clear sense of exactly where they are, it makes it very difficult to secure investment, either from your local investment base, which is a prime source of our growth, or from external investors.

There is one point I would like to make though. There has been a lot of focus on the economics of the project here and I think that detracts from what we are really about, that is, we want to see the environmental assessment done. We do not want to usurp due diligence. With all respect to your question, I would like to try to keep the focus as much as we can on the environmental aspects of this, because I think that is where the crux of it is.

Mr Lawlor: Madam Chair, recognizing the importance of time -- and Mr Evans does have a presentation which I gather is part of the North Bay presentation -- might I ask him to summarize his comments and then we could deal with any further questions?

The Chair: By all means. You have the floor.

Mr Wiseman: Madam Chair --

The Chair: Excuse me, we completed one round. This time is available for the deputants. It is theirs to use. I rule that they can make their presentation, and as time permits, we will then have additional questions, but we have had one question from each of the caucuses. Please make your presentation.


Mr Evans: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. You will find circulated a copy of the submission I prepared on behalf of District 26 of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you again for allowing me this opportunity to present my views regarding concerns, specifically on part II, waste disposal sites, and in particular, clause 14(1)(a), as well as clause 14(2)(a), which states: "an alternative of waste reduction or reuse or recycling if that alternative would involve incineration of waste or" -- specifically -- "the transportation of waste from the primary service area to any other area."

This aspect of the legislation imparts a flawed due diligence to the environmental assessment process to the detriment of those communities both directly and indirectly affected by the outcome, as well as to the very environment itself which we are attempting to safeguard. This given the possibility that external site options could well be more hydrogeologically suitable.

While I wear many hats, including that of manager of the economic development division in the city of North Bay and director of the Economic Developers Association of Canada, which is the national association for our profession, I appear today as a director of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, representing District 26.

Since it is apparent from my background that I have a pro-development bias, I think it is essential to qualify our position. Our role in economic development is best expressed as follows: to increase the municipal taxation base by encouraging expansion of local investment and soliciting external investment of a compatible nature; to stabilize or expand our population base by encouraging creation of quality job opportunities to prevent outward migration, particularly of youth, and attract influx of intellectual capital, and to achieve these objectives cost-effectively.

However, as can be seen from appendix 1, in North Bay we are strong advocates of sustained development, drawing on the Brundtland commission's definition as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." My intent is to present a non-parochial, balanced viewpoint on this issue. Environmental solutions can be directly related to economic benefits.

On November 22, 1992, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration, announced funding for initiatives to examine human resource issues in the environment industry. He indicated that, "The environmental sector is emerging as an industry with tremendous growth potential. We must ensure an adequately trained workforce to permit the industry to achieve its potential." That is included in appendix 2. I suggest to you that this proposed legislation is at cross-purposes with this direction.

In December 1991, the Honourable Shelley Martel, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, announced the introduction of SCAN North, Strategic Consultation and Action Now, to replace the northern development councils. Its mandate is to assist the province through public input in developing a new economic strategy for northern Ontario. Of the five areas to be considered by the task force, we find, "Waste management and recycling markets and manufacturing opportunities." That is included again in appendix 3.

However, the minister made it clear that the Rail Cycle North development proposal to develop a waste recycling facility at the Adams mine site would not be considered. Projects such as the expansion of the blue box program to communities such as Elliot Lake would be deemed more suitable. One would deduce from this that the strategic planning development process is already biased and the flaws are self-evident. In one instance the province takes a position to impede the due diligence necessary to determine the viability of one project, while in another it promotes an uneconomical new program for a municipality that is already reeling from major economic setbacks.

We know the five twelfths capital cost contributions from OMMRI are now in question and the ongoing operating costs of the blue box program would further burden that city's tax base. Further concerns are the philosophical inconsistencies depicted here. The Minister of the Environment is adamant that garbage problems must be resolved at their source, yet the blue box program does not do that. The primary source of problems addressed by this OMMRI-sponsored program is the packaging process itself, which in a perfect world would see conversion to biodegradable containers.

Please understand that I am not opposed to the blue box program. I think it best illustrates those compromises necessary to balance environmental and economic concerns. However, I am opposed to inconsistent philosophical positions that prevent us from operating on a level playing field.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. If there is additional information you would like to share with the committee, you may do so in writing. We appreciate your coming this morning.

Mr Bisson: Can I just ask, for the benefit of the committee and other people, that we get the presentations on the record before questions.

The Chair: The normal procedure for the committee, for all those who are watching, it is up to the deputants how they wish to use their time. Usually they will make their presentation first. There are then questions and then they can request some time for summation at the end. That is usual.

However, there is nothing wrong, inconsistent or improper if a deputant wishes to make a presentation, allow some time for questions and then make a further presentation. It is also perfectly acceptable for a deputation to use the entire 20 minutes of its time and not have any questions at all. We would ask, however, that you submit whatever you have in writing and it will become part of the public record.

Mr Evans: We will do that, Madam Chair.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate that.


The Chair: I will call next the FACTS committee. Please come forward and introduce yourself for the record. Relax, speak right into the microphone. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask if you would leave a few minutes for questions. However, that is your prerogative. I understand there will be two presentations, so if you want to, proceed with one and then the other. Please begin your presentations now.

Mr Duncan: First of all, I would like to thank you on behalf of the FACTS committee for this opportunity to present our brief. I am an analytical chemist who has resided in the Kirkland Lake area for the last 22 years. I am the founder president of Accurassay Laboratories, which operates the largest network of environmental and mineral analysis laboratories in northern Ontario through its four locations in Kirkland Lake, Thunder Bay, Red Lake and Timmins.

I have a BSc degree in applied chemistry from the University of Glasgow and a master's and doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Salford in England. I am a former lecturer in analytical chemistry at Manchester Polytechnic and a professor in chemistry at Northern College here in Kirkland Lake. I am also a chartered chemist in the province of Ontario and in the United Kingdom. Accurassay is now a division of Barringer Laboratories Ltd of Mississauga and I am vice-president of northern services for that company. John Merrell will now introduce himself.

Mr Merrell: I have lived in the Kirkland Lake area for 47 years, 30 of which have been as an employee working in a management capacity at the Adams mine site. My remarks to you are not only as a member of the FACTS committee, but also as a concerned citizen of this province who knows the Adams mine, having had human resources and environmental management responsibilities, with the background of a bachelor of science degree in geological engineering, since the mine began in 1962. I am presently co-chairman of the Adams mine employees joint adjustment committee.

I have followed and studied the activity associated with the proposal for a solid waste recycling and disposable facility at the Adams mine since it was first described to the employees at the mine and to the various groups in the host communities in November 1989. Since that time, I have attended presentations by various interest groups and have met with the professionals and others who have been examining and evaluating the potential of the site from an environmental assessment perspective.

Mr Duncan: The FACTS committee is the Committee for a Fair and Corroborated True Study of the Adams mine proposal. This committee was established in January 1991 after a meeting of some 100 area residents who were concerned that the Minister of the Environment, Ruth Grier, had dismissed the Adams mine proposals for reasons which we felt showed a serious lack of understanding of what the proposal was all about and a profound lack of appreciation of the people in this region, who do not see themselves as the remote northern community she seems to think we are. Membership on our committee is drawn from several areas in our community, including some who were at one time part of the opposition group REEPA, the Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association. We have members who are businessmen, church ministers, teachers, nurses and so on.

I was elected chairman of the committee and immediately set about contacting the Minister of the Environment to try and set up a meeting with her, especially in view of her decision to allow a delegation from two local opposition groups to attend closed-session discussions on this issue -- the LURA Group meetings.

Despite numerous letters to the minister explaining our concerns about the distortions and false accusations that were being made to her by the opposition groups, we were completely ignored. Almost all other political people we wrote to at least acknowledged our correspondence, but not so of the Minister of the Environment, at least not until I laid a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman, after which we did receive a two-page response, the first page of which was a form letter and the second a terse paragraph which simply indicated she knew we would be disappointed.


One of our supporters did, however, write to the minister asking her to give the Adams mine proposal a full environmental assessment and received what can only described as the ultimate insult: a letter thanking him for his stated opposition to the environmental assessment of the Adams mine.

The Office of the Ombudsman has agreed to investigate our committee's complaint that the minister has refused to communicate with our committee and that she also may be in breach of the current Environmental Assessment Act, which calls for consideration of all reasonable alternatives. Indeed, we are left wondering if Bill 143 itself may not simply be an effort to circumvent the intent of the current act that all reasonable alternatives be given full consideration.

Prior to the municipal referendum, our committee prepared a brochure outlining whatever facts on the Adams mine proposal we had been able to ascertain. We also dealt with misleading information being spread by opponents, who used every opportunity to spread their warnings of dire consequences should this proposal ever get to an environmental assessment, though nowhere did they put forward any tangible evidence of these doomsday predictions, because they, just like us, do not have the information that only a full environmental assessment can give. The only reasonable argument against this proposal being studied through the environmental assessment process is a philosophical one, namely, that it would be unthinkable to bring Toronto's garbage north for recycling and containment. But the large majority of people in this community -- 69% -- have a different philosophy, and we will not be ignored.

Why should it be unthinkable if it proves to be environmentally safe and of great economic benefit to this region? Why does Minister Grier seem to lecture us on our philosophy of sending some of Toronto's garbage north in a sensible productive fashion to be recycled and safely disposed of, while at the same time she extolled what I call her gruesome philosophy, that is, Ruth Grier's "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy, which she says must take precedence over any other approach. No doubt this philosophical approach may gain her a PhD from the citizens of the GTA -- piled higher and deeper.

If her real aim is to deal with the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, then surely it would make sense to leave the garbage uncovered so that all the GTA residents could at least smell it, just to keep in their minds. If on the other hand garbage is, as she says, a resource, then why is it wrong for northern communities like ours to get a fair slice of the pie to make up for all the other resources we ship south?

As an environmental chemist operating the north's largest commercial analytical laboratory network, I am all too aware of the environmental issues facing us, but I am amazed at a government which refuses to consider all its options and is choosing to commit itself to further environmental damage, and probable political suicide, by forcing the residents of the largest, most densely populated area in the country to live on top of their garbage. It will be an interesting time indeed for this government when the list of sites is finally made known.

Finally, as a businessman, I am aware of the economic desert that our north country is becoming as we see old mines close and new mines thwarted by extremely tough environmental rules. The north's pulp and paper industries are also in decline due to the sudden switch to recycled paper and now the concern about banning bleached kraft paper in Europe. Added to that are the increased environmental restrictions, which prompted one manager to tell me that his plant now had zero emissions, which would make Ruth Grier a very happy person. They had just closed the doors the month before, laying off several hundred workers.

Is that the kind of price we in this community are being asked to pay for the minister's philosophical stance? And there is a price to pay. One of our FACTS committee members, and a very active supporter of the Adams mine proposal, whose business had just gone belly-up, was found dead in his car just a couple of months ago. I mention this simply to emphasize the seriousness of our economic woes in this region and that people's lives are indeed at stake in the decisions that this committee will make.

As a committee we are not asking that Toronto's garbage be sent to the Adams mine site. We are simply asking that this alternative be studied through the environmental assessment process. The Golder Associates' preliminary investigation, which was commissioned by Metro Toronto at a cost of $1 million, clearly indicates that the Adams mine site could be the ideal location to safely handle the quantities of Metro garbage contemplated.

With me today is Mr John Merrell, a geological engineer who has worked at the Adams mine for 40 years and is eminently qualified to speak on the nature and history of the site. To my knowledge, no one who has appeared before this committee is as intimately associated with the details of the mine site as he and no one is more qualified to speak from experience on this facility.

Mr Merrell: As a result of my years of living in this area, intimate association with the Adams mine, and my personal examination of the proposal, the details of the agreement between Metro Toronto and the host communities and the findings of the engineers and other consultants who have examined the proposal and the site, I can see no reason why the province of Ontario does not view the Adams mine site proposal as a highly desirable part of the solution to the garbage crisis and direct that a full environmental assessment of the proposed project should take place.

The Minister of the Environment's publicly espoused objections to date have been purely ideological and have not addressed the facts and merits relating to the proposed Adams mine project.

In the covering letter to its report following its preliminary onsite hydrological investigation of the Adams mine site during the summer and fall of 1990, a copy of which the clerk of the committee now has, the consulting engineering firm Golder Associates Ltd states in part:

"The results of the preliminary investigation have indicated that favourable conditions exist for the development of landfill(s) in the Adams mine open pits using the hydraulic containment concept.

"The low bulk hydraulic conductivity of the surrounding rock and the corresponding low groundwater influx favour this approach. The low hydraulic conductivity of the rock would limit containment migration under natural conditions but maintenance of a hydraulic sink would achieve full containment to enable onsite collection and treatment of leachate. Hydraulic containment is considered to be a proven method in waste management engineering.

"Based on the conclusions from the preliminary assessment, it is recommended that a full hydrogeological investigation and structural assessment of the Adams mine site and open pits be carried out to better assess their suitability for waste disposal and to provide a basis for EPA level design of the landfill(s) and associated facilities."

In plain terms, ladies and gentlemen, the water is rising in the pits. And they do hold water, to a depth now over 200 feet in the south pit and over 300 feet in the central pit.

A great deal of productive time and probably well over $1 million have already been spent to date gathering information about and assessing the site, as well as obtaining some of the answers to the questions people of this area have been asking.

The elected councils in the host communities, the people of Kirkland Lake by formal ballot and the councils of other municipalities, are all in favour of proceeding with a full environmental assessment of the Adams mine recycling and waste disposal proposal. This may very well be the proposal that provides the citizens of northern Ontario with the safest and best option for resolving some of the GTA and northeastern Ontario solid waste management dilemma while at the same time saving this area from plunging deeper into economic and social mire.

The Adams mine, along with the Sherman mine at Temagami, was closed in 1990 and will never again operate as an iron ore mine. Hundreds of the people who lost their employment due to the mine closure, many of whom possess qualifications to work at the proposed project, remain without jobs to go to at a time when the rate of unemployment in the district of Timiskaming is estimated to be in the range of 40% to 50%. The Adams mine site, its infrastructure and the people of northeastern Ontario are too valuable to be abandoned by the proposed legislation without even an assessment of the economic and social merits of the proposal.

Some of the facts that relate to the Adams mine appear on the next page. I would just like to touch on some of those.

The nearest home or occupied building to the site is six kilometres away. The deepest lake in the area, which is known as Round Lake, is also six kilometres away from the site. It has a surface elevation of 900 feet. The deepest hole in the lake is 110 feet, which is an elevation of 790 feet above sea level.

The Adams mine south pit, which has a depth of 610 feet, has an elevation at the bottom of the pit of 510 feet, which is 280 feet below the deepest hole and the deepest lake, Round Lake. That groundwater inflow, by measurements from the consultant in August and September of 1990, was 42 gallons per minute. Putting this in perspective, that is 64,000 gallons a day. Kirkland Lake's sewage treatment plant is designed to handle a million gallons a day, so this is very small in comparison to what the town of Kirkland Lake processes in terms of its own sewage.

Just to give you an indication of what the Adams mine central pit is all about, it has a depth of 600 feet and an elevation at the bottom of 635 feet, or 155 feet below the bottom of Round Lake. It has a net groundwater inflow of 21 gallons a minute and had a water depth at that time of 310 feet. The term "bulk hydraulic conductivity" is mentioned in those facts, and that is the rate at which water would migrate through the types of rocks found at the Adams mine. That rate is less than 14 inches per year.

In conclusion, we ask that Bill 143 and the minister permit the Adams mine proposal to proceed as an option for full consideration.

The Chair: Thank you very much for an excellent presentation. We appreciate your coming before the committee this morning.



The Chair: I would like to call next the Community Involvement Association. Please come forward and introduce yourselves to the committee. We ask you to leave a few minutes at the end for questions, but that is entirely up to you. Would you begin by introducing yourselves.

Mr Siemon: Welcome to Kirkland Lake. In spite of some members' reluctance to come to our town, I am sure you will be treated with the same respect and concern that we expect from this committee today.

My name is Jack Siemon. I am a member of the Kirkland Lake Community Involvement Association. We have a membership of over 80 individuals who are committed to creating initiatives from within our community to find new opportunities for economic and social development in these tough times. The formation of our group resulted from a breakfast meeting over two years ago where concerned senior business people challenged the younger individuals in the community to become more proactive in order to ensure the future stability of our community.

We are not a lobby group. We examine on a regular basis any positive economic opportunity and work with economic development officials of the region. During the past two years we have examined such initiatives as independent power production and data processing services. We have also initiated a committee to coordinate the various economic development groups of our area. We have closely followed the development of the Adams mine recycling and solid waste project, now designated Rail Cycle North. We have also been following the televised hearings of this committee in preparation for our presentation today.

Bill 143 cannot be allowed to proceed if it rules out the evaluation of the Adams mine project. It is clear to us and must be evident to the committee members that a majority of the presenters before your committee see the changes in the bill that would limit the evaluation of alternatives, in this case the Adams mine, as an absolute violation of our existing environmental rights.

It is very apparent to our community that the NDP government did not want these hearings to come to Kirkland Lake. Only pressure from the opposition parties from across the province has got you here. We have been insulted by the obstinate behaviour of the Minister of the Environment. She called our region a remote community, made statements about what she thought and refused to consult with anyone in the area except special-interest groups which reflect her philosophy. The Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association, REEPA, for example, is scheduled to give six or seven presentations today. It does not represent the majority of the citizens of Kirkland Lake; it does represent a small vocal minority steeped with ideology who have demonstrated little concern for the economic future of this region.

We find it appalling that the government members from northern Ontario, Mr Bisson, Shelley Martel and Mr Martin, a member of this committee, continue to make statements that the north will be the garbage dump for southern Ontario. This reflects a complete ignorance of the agreements our councils have been able to develop with Metro Toronto and an ignorance of the real opportunities this project could bring to this region.

Let me also make you aware that our group supports this project if, and only if, the environmental assessment process results in approval. We are not grasping at straws due to our tough economic times. We do care about our environment and will not do anything to jeopardize it. Ruth Grier and her supporters do not have a monopoly on a concern for the environment. We do not need Greenpeace or Pollution Probe in Toronto or Northwatch in North Bay to make our decisions for us. These people have never been to the Adams mine. None of them has ever approached our councils. They are not informed on this project; we are.

We admit we are not scientists. We are willing to take a commonsense approach to protecting our environment, creating jobs and revitalizing our rail system, and all this through a consensus approach. That is democracy.

This brings me to an important event which happened in our community, the recent referendum on November 12, 1991. Our group believes this vote was the most positive factor for this community which has occurred in years. It awakened the community. It drew more candidates for the election than at any other time that anyone can remember. It was debated openly and honestly. The proponent did not buy off the community. It made people investigate the issue and make a decision, and it was the right question.

It is absolutely false that we did not know what we were voting on, as was insinuated by Northwatch in Toronto. It is absolutely false that it was a non-question, as stated by John Epps, the defeated candidate for mayor. We were asked to decide if we wanted this project reviewed under the environmental assessment process so the residents could be assured it is environmentally acceptable. The statement that we should have been voting yes or no on whether to take Toronto's garbage is an irresponsible, simplistic statement. How are we to know if it is acceptable without the assessment? It was the right question; it was understood by the majority of the people; the opposition had made a strong case for its position, and the people decided. Some 69% said yes. I believe that is about 30% more than the popular vote that elected this government today.

Our group did not rush to embrace this project. We have been impressed by the continued efforts of our councils, the proponent and Metro Toronto to keep information coming over the past two years.

All of this brings me to the mandate of this committee. Are you here because you were forced to be here by the opposition or are you really here to listen, consult and report the truth to Mrs Grier and her government? Are you here to find the best environmental solutions to solid waste disposal and the best solutions to stimulating the 3Rs across the province, as this bill is supposed to do?

If you are here to find the real facts, you will find they are indisputable. The delegations you will hear supporting the environmental assessment represent concerned, informed taxpayers who care as deeply about our environment as any opposed. But they also care about the economy, new jobs and our future standard of living. Our group, a strong cross-section of this community, completed a poll of our members months before the municipal election. Some 95% were in favour of an environmental assessment.

Finally, before I ask Dr Brookfield to speak, I suggest that the NDP government members take the message to heart which this community is giving to you today. By appearing here, we are working to get back to work, not just to protest a flawed piece of legislation. The people of Larder Lake, Englehart, Kirkland Lake and surrounding regions need hope. We need hope that a responsible and commonsense approach will prevail over an arbitrary, ideological mindset; we need hope that concern for the people of this region will transcend partisan politics. Let's have the responsibility. Let's have the intelligence. Let's have the integrity.


Dr Brookfield: Madam Chair and members of the committee, I thank you for the opportunity to address the standing committee. My name is Dr Jim Brookfield. I am a doctor of dentistry in Kirkland Lake and have been a resident here for over 20 years. I was born here in the north. I am a past president of the Ontario Dental Association and have been deeply involved in government issues over the past 12 years.

I do appreciate the complexities involved in developing legislation, and in particular the need to build constructive consensus with all stakeholders. It is because of that deep concern on consultation that I asked to have a portion of Mr Siemon's time today to speak to this committee.

Bill 143 as drafted must not become legislation. I am in disbelief that the Minister of the Environment, who is also the minister responsible for the greater Toronto area, could even entertain the idea of introducing legislation of this magnitude in October and demanding it be passed by December without public input.

It is because of that original intent that I also question the integrity of the consensus-building statements of this minister and this government. I also question, as did Mr Siemon, whether the government is here in Kirkland Lake to honestly consult. I believe it is your job in this democracy, if it is still a democracy, to take this information to rewrite or improve the legislation.

As a professional practitioner in this community, I see our citizens on a day-to-day basis. I have deep concerns that this government is not aware of the realities and the need for new economic strategies for the north. With such a limited time, I cannot convey a message to this committee any better than the letter which was written back in April 1991 to Shelley Martel, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, by John Folusewych, administrator for social services in Kirkland Lake. I want this letter to become part of the record of these proceedings regarding solid waste proposal for the Adams mine project. I will read it:

"Dear Minister:

"We are writing with reference to the solid waste proposal of the Adams Mine site.

"The economy of Timiskaming, as you are aware, has been severely crippled, the direct result of mine closures and slowdowns in other resource-based industries.

"The social service budget for this municipality was exceeded by 33% in 1990. We anticipate 1991 to be worse than the previous year. Many previous employees of the Adams mine are now only becoming eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. With the new federal legislation governing unemployment insurance, they will be qualifying under a reduced benefit period. There are approximately 40 families whose unemployment insurance will be expiring in May 1991. These are employees at a local sawmill. These same 40 families would have an impact over a 12-month period of approximately $480,000 on our budget.

"People who have worked regularly in excess of 20 years are relegated to standing in line at food banks and applying for social assistance. It is difficult to deal with a 50-year-old man who is sobbing in your office and telling you he only wants to work; he does not want welfare.

"These people are losing hope. Once their unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted, they are left with no alternative but to apply for social assistance. In their views, they have hit the bottom of the barrel. People need hope. When there is no hope, it only breeds despair, which only increases costs across the social service spectrum. We all need something to look forward to. We all need goals. We all have dreams. Hope for the future is what we want.

"The financial costs are only secondary, as consideration must be given to the human cost of losing everything that has been worked for. These people need something to look forward to in their future, where they have an opportunity to once again enjoy a previous standard of living.

"The environmentalists have achieved their goal by blocking the environmental assessment process. I doubt if anyone would be in favour of this project if it was not environmentally sound.

"Government officials have always told us that in order to be fair and to do the best possible job, we must remain objective. I believe we have tried to remain objective. Will we be left wondering and speculating, `What if?'"

That was almost a year ago. Things have gotten worse. Ask the volunteers at the food bank. Count the vacant storefronts downtown. Recognize despair at the churches. You tell the kids that there is no future in the north.

Your position in government regarding Bill 143 is seriously flawed. As is increasingly evident in the television hearings, the only support this bill is receiving on the issue of eliminating reasonable alternatives is from minority elements. Let me make it clear that we in this area are not dealing with the issue of incineration, only the portion of the bill which eliminates the movement of waste within the province. This is a provincial problem.

In Kirkland Lake and surrounding municipalities we are represented by municipal councils and by a democratic process, not fringe groups that spring up to oppose local initiatives before any true environmental assessment can be done.

Every municipality objects to the elimination of reasonable alternatives as required in part II. Every part of the private sector objects. Ordinary citizens attending your hearings object. I believe the majority of presenters are asking for the evaluation of Kirkland Lake or the Adams mine or the rail haul option or the northern option, whatever you want to call it. Can it possibly be that at the end of these hearings the NDP government and Mrs Grier will not understand reality?

This process is supposed to build consensus, provide input and build confidence in government. Elimination of the Adams mine option from consideration in this legislation goes against the fundamental safeguards now available in the Environmental Assessment Act.

Finally, it rejects a commonsense solution that may have positive environmental benefits for the north and the south and reflects an opportunity to build on partnerships in the public and private sectors and to share provincial assets to create long-term sustainable development.

It is inconceivable that this government can pass this legislation which will reject a fair assessment. We need and are entitled to a fair assessment under existing regulations. How can the NDP government ignore our area, the north, when we have initiated a project that utilizes garbage as a resource, helps the north, helps the south, helps the rail system and helps the environment, and this with no government handouts but with self-initiative, which this government wants to squash.

I believe common sense will prevail. I look forward to the amended legislation. Thank you.

The Chair: We have approximately five minutes. I am going to be very tight on time: one question per questioner. Mrs Marland first.

Mrs Marland: I would like to congratulate you on an excellent presentation. You have both referred to the fact that the minister has met secretly with pro groups. I just wonder how you found that out and how you felt when you found that out?

Dr Brookfield: We found out through our municipal councils and through public media. We felt that we were being slighted again here in the north and we are not going to take it any more.

Mr McClelland: In terms of the comment in the letter that you read into the record, "The environmentalists have achieved their goal by blocking an environmental assessment process," I wonder if you would care to comment on the two-sided edge of that sword, if you will, inasmuch as you are not saying that you are necessarily speaking in favour of the project. You are speaking in favour of the consideration bearing in mind that, God forbid, one day I should come with a proposal totally contrary to what everybody in the community believed in, but under the terms of Bill 143 and the same kind of mindset I could dictate whatever I wanted to.

Mr Siemon: We in the north are very reasonable people. We also have a sense of desperation, but the reasonableness overrides the desperation. We have a concern for the environment. We are much closer to the environment than the people in the city. We are closer to the trees and the forests. We are more actively involved in the recreation of the environment. It is right at our back door here.

Obviously we are concerned. We have fishing, hunting and trapping. We are very concerned about the environment. We would do nothing to downplay that or to hurt it in any way and we find it very confusing that these lobby groups would almost suggest that we do not have a concern. We require a balance between concern for the environment and the economy in this country. We both have children who want to live in this community. We are not out to hurt anything. Let's give it a fair shake, a fair look, a reasonable, commonsense approach. That is what we want.

Mr Martin: First of all I just want to assure you that I sense your sincerity. I think you have laid out well the work that you have done in this community in coming together around the challenge that is in front of all of us who live in northern Ontario as we look at an industrial sector that is falling apart. Indeed, the government has been active with many communities in trying to bring some alternative and to do some restructuring.

First of all, do you know that recycling and the moving of recyclable materials is not in any way inhibited by this legislation? Have you, in the Kirkland Lake area, looked at the issue of recycling outside of the garbage question and have you found that it makes any sense without that?

Mr Siemon: This community has looked at recycling. We are discovering the same situation Vaughan and York and everyone else discovered, that revenue versus the expenses is on a factor of ten to one. It is probably going to be worse in northern Ontario. We simply do not have the volume of recyclables. It does not work in these communities. We do not have the volume, we do not have the mass and we certainly do not have the money. We have looked at it and it has been found to be a terribly, terribly big weight on the shoulders of the municipal council in this region and very unaffordable at this point. That is one of the other benefits of having the Adams mine. We will get a free blue box program. We would be able to accept recyclables from all over the north.

The Chair: Question, Mr Sola. Actually, I am sorry. We are really out of time. We are not going to have time for another round.

Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate your coming before the committee this morning.



The Chair: Next I call REEPA. Please come forward and introduce yourselves for members of the committee. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Please begin now. We would ask you to leave a few minutes for questions.

Dr Durocher: Thank you, Madam Chair and members of the standing committee, for allowing me to make my presentation today. My name is Dr William Durocher. I am a family physician in Kirkland Lake and president of the Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association. I would like to address the political process that has occurred in this community as it relates to the Adams mine solid waste project and some implications to Bill 143.

It is important that people from outside this community be aware of what has gone on in Kirkland Lake, as they will not get the full picture from the Toronto and Kirkland Lake media. It is important to appreciate the various outside influences that have a played a role in this community. These include, for example, slick advertising and media campaigns by the promoter, lack of public consultation by Toronto politicians and statements by a Leader of the Opposition during our municipal election.

The sad part of this whole process to many residents of Kirkland Lake is how this community has been split by this issue, citizen against citizen. Much of this antagonism has been caused by misconceptions of this project, the Environmental Assessment Act and self-interest. This is not unexpected. There are large sums of money at stake for the interested parties, mostly for Metro Toronto, the promoter, Dofasco, and with a carrot the promise of jobs for a vulnerable community.

To my knowledge, this project was first publicly presented by the promoter in the fall of 1989. I give Mr McGuinty full credit for bringing a slick presentation to whoever would listen. It appears, however, that Metro and Kirkland Lake had a different view of what the project entailed.

Recycling: In Kirkland Lake, we were repeatedly told the project would not go ahead without a recycling component. Initially recycling was to be 25%, which was consistent with the provincial guidelines at the time. When we finally did see the contract negotiated between Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake, Englehart and Metro Toronto -- mind you, we were only allowed to see the contract as it was being signed -- the recycling component had decreased to 8%. That 8% -- section 5.7 of the contract, waste recycling plant -- was "subject to compliance with any such recommendations as may be contained in SWEAP's master plan document or documents for the management of Metro's waste during the term." In other words, the recycling was dependent on the solid waste environmental assessment plan's master plan, which was not completed at the time this contract was signed.

Our council and Metro signed this contract with recycling dependent on recommendations which were not yet completed. In my opinion, there is no guarantee of recycling in this contract despite what we are continually told publicly here in Kirkland Lake. It is interesting to note that when Mr McGuinty made his presentation to the standing committee in Toronto on 23 January 1992, he asked you to concentrate on residual waste. The residual waste is what is left over after all the recyclables have been taken out, ie, residual waste will need to be landfilled only. This is another example of how this project seems to change to suit the listener. With regard to the foregoing, it would be absurd to think that any significant recycling would take place in Kirkland Lake with this project as presently proposed.

Environmental assessment: We were told by our mayor and council that this was a long-term project and that it would not go ahead without a full environmental assessment. When we saw the contract, however -- section 2c, the "notwithstanding" clause -- this was not necessarily true: "Notwithstanding the foregoing, the host municipalities acknowledge and agree that Metro may make application under the Environmental Protection Act of Ontario for the interim use of the site in the event an exemption is granted to Metro from the provisions of the Environmental Assessment Act." In other words, the site was not only seen as a long-term site for Metro Toronto; it was also seen as an interim site, possibly used without a full environmental assessment.

During a SWEAP meeting attended by Dr Epps in February 1991, it was admitted that Kirkland Lake was seen as a contingency site: That is not what we were told in Kirkland Lake. Kirkland Lake was thinking long term with a full environmental assessment. Toronto was thinking contingency site to solve its crisis. Was this an attempt to pass this site under the Environmental Protection Act, thus avoiding approval under the Environmental Assessment Act, or would an approval under the Environmental Assessment Act be carried out later, while garbage was going into the pit?

We were also repeatedly told in Kirkland Lake that an environmental assessment would see if the proposal was safe. I ask you, is there any environmental assessment that will guarantee this pit will not leak? No.

Municipal question: I personally approached council in August 1990 with my concerns over this project. At that time, I suggested a public meeting hosted by council or a referendum on this issue, both of which were refused. Council was also approached by others on several occasions to call a referendum on this issue. These were also refused. Then, suddenly, three days before the deadline for our municipal election in the fall of 1991, a special council meeting was called to put a question on the ballot.

The question read, "Are you in favour of a full environmental assessment on the Adams mine solid waste disposal and recycling project?" What does that mean? Does it mean if I want an environmental assessment I want the garbage? Does it mean if I do not want an environmental assessment I do not want the garbage? Or does it mean if we are going to get the garbage I want an environmental assessment? Of course, anyone in Kirkland Lake would agree to that. This is a politically motivated and confusing question.

Our municipal politicians also stated we could have a referendum after an environmental assessment. As you know, the recommendations of the Environmental Assessment Board do not come back to the citizens of the community for final decision; they go directly to the minister's office.

To add fuel to the fire, the promoter set up a storefront downtown during our municipal election. This was placarded with yes signs that were placed in whatever building would have them. As you know, there is no spending limit for a municipal question as there is for a municipal candidate. He also placed ads in newspapers and on the radio. The radio ads bombarded the airwaves continually for four weeks. One ad stated, "This project will create 210 union scale jobs." There is, however, no guarantee of the number of jobs in our contract. I suggest that landfilling residual waste does not require many employees.

Posters are also up stating that an environmental assessment was "only a study." Brochures stated, "A vote for an environmental assessment is not a vote to bring Toronto's garbage to the Adams mine. A vote for an environmental assessment is a vote to study the proposal only." If it is only a study, some people believed that the environmental assessment itself would create jobs, and we could vote later to decide if we wanted the garbage.

Gloom and doom were promoted as a future option if we rejected the environmental assessment. Our mayor stated in the Northern Daily News, November 8, 1991, "Any town that kills an opportunity to study a prospect is a step closer to a ghost town." Michael Harris stated in the Northern Daily News, November 1, 1991, in regard to eliminating the Adams mine site, "I think it's a disastrous mistake for northern Ontario."

Our town has been faced with many job losses, mine closures, store closures and bankruptcies. It is no wonder that in an air of desperation and despair, and placed before that the promise of many union scale jobs, the vote was yes. When you say, "It's only a study and you will get the garbage only if it's proven safe, and you can have a referendum after an environmental assessment, and if you don't vote yes, you may get the garbage without an environmental assessment," and add to that the confusing question, it is no wonder 69% said yes. Who would not vote yes to motherhood and apple pie? But remember, Kirkland Lake did not vote yes to the garbage.


Also the municipal question did not ask residents of Boston township in which the site is situated. The other unorganized townships around the site, Otto, Marquis, Pacaud, McElroy, Lebel, Gauthier and Catharine, had no say as did the town people of Larder Lake and Englehart. None of these people was asked.

In summary, the Adams mine project is an example of a project that was developed under the old scheme when communities from all over Ontario were asked to take Toronto's garbage. Out of sight, out of mind. It is an example of a political process when decisions are made beforehand and people are asked later. While we were asking for a public meeting, the lawyers were negotiating details of the contract.

If this project is to be an exception under part II of the Waste Management Act, all other communities in Ontario would be open for exceptions. We would be back to where we started from. All rural Ontario would be fighting to keep Toronto's garbage out.

By making people responsible for their own waste in part II of Bill 143 and emphasizing reduction in part IV, this bill promotes responsible use of our resources.

The Adams mine proposal is already not state of the art. Even putting the serious environmental questions of fractures in a water-filled pit, leachate collection and polluted groundwater aside, transporting waste 400 miles to dispose of it goes against the conserver society of the 1990s. I ask those who oppose this bill in principle, what would you do with the waste? Would you go back to the old time when all rural communities in Ontario were fighting, or do you want to look forward to the 1990s?

Yes, we need jobs in Kirkland Lake. Yes, we are hurting. But we cannot afford to leave these problems with our children. We must deal with them today. Failure to prevent pollution could cost this community more than anyone can predict. This bill has the potential to make Ontario a leader in the 3Rs, reduction, reuse and recycling. It deserves our support.

The Chair: You have the floor, Mr Bisson. There are approximately 10 minutes in total. I am going to be very tight on the question time. Please make it short.

Mr Bisson: You raise an interesting point in your presentation in regard to the environmental assessment. What you were saying, if I understood you correctly, and I want you to correct me if I am wrong, is that if the government was to allow environmental assessment to go ahead, the people feel they would be able to turn down the project through a referendum? Is that correct?

Dr Durocher: That is correct. We were told in our town that we could have a referendum after the environmental assessment was done.

Mr Cousens: I have a comment and then a question. First, Mr Harris has always been in favour of a full environmental assessment process, and that process itself could be reviewed and revised and revisited. In supporting the Adams mine site, I want to make it very clear that from the Progressive Conservative Party it is an option to be considered under the environmental assessment process, and it is in that context that Mr Harris made his statements.

The question I have is dealing with the visits or consultation that your association may have had with the New Democratic Minister of the Environment. Have you had any dealings or conversations with Ruth Grier and her ministry prior to and after the first reading of Bill 143 on October 24?

Dr Durocher: I will answer that in two parts. First, I did not attend the meetings with Ruth Grier myself. They were involved with environmental groups from all over Ontario. We sent one or two members, but every environmental group from Toronto and all over Ontario was there. It was open to all the environmental groups.

Mrs Marland: But you were represented.

Dr Durocher: We had one or two members there.

I have one more part. I want to respond to the other thing you said about Michael Harris. It is interesting that Michael Harris was interested in an environmental assessment, because when he commented during the election campaign when he was touring in the Marmora pit by Orillia during the election he said, "Why spend a long time on environmental assessment when it takes me only 12 seconds to decide whether this pit is safe or not?"

Mr Cousens: I do not accept that at all. Madam Chairman, that is certainly not in the context of the way he has talked at any time.

The Chair: Mr McClelland, you have the floor.

Mr Cousens: I do not give lies, I will tell you that.

The Chair: Mr Cousens, this is a parliamentary --


Mr Cousens: If there is going to be this kind of misrepresentation of facts, I will not tolerate it. I know what Mr Harris stands for and that is not true.

The Chair: Order.


Mr Cousens: You can say what you want, but I am not accepting that. I will not accept that.

The Chair: Order, please. You have the floor, Mr McClelland.

Mr McClelland: Doctor, you say in your brief that you want some comment from people who oppose the bill in principle. Let me tell you very briefly why I oppose it in principle.

I oppose it in principle for the very reason you are here today, because I believe people like you and whoever they may be across this province have the right to voice their objections. I do not believe, as you state in conclusion, that the bill, although it does have the potential to make Ontario a leader in the 3Rs, is necessarily reductive in the sense that it also has the potential to shut down citizen participation, honest scientific evaluation of issues that require that. The folly in saying that is, one, that you said a conserver society is necessarily linked to waste management issues. They are two separate, distinct issues. They go hand in hand but they ought to and need to be dealt with separately.

Waste management requires active participation of the public. Bear in mind the following -- and I appreciate your comment. Do you recognize that the powers contained in Bill 143 could be turned around on you to the fullest extent, so that one sitting in the minister's chair, who did not share your views, could in fact under the powers of Bill 143 as much as dictate that Kirkland Lake would be the site? That is why we are saying you have got to allow the process and the integrity of the process and some objective analysis. Do you understand that opposition in terms of principle of the bill?

Dr Durocher: I realize there are lots of powers in the bill and we do have a question about them. It is interesting to note, though, when you look back at the exemptions to the Environmental Assessment Act -- and I have a whole list of them; I can offer you the papers later -- that under the existing legislation there are exemptions granted under the Environmental Assessment Act every day. A lot of those decisions may be done dictatorially without proper consultation as well.

Ms Haeck: Dr Durocher, I thank you very much for coming here. I do not really want to apologize for a member from the Conservative Party, but I guess I will because in fact it really was an inappropriate comment that he made to you.

Mr Cousens: You make your own apologies. If someone is going to start making statements that are not true, I am not going to sit here and idly accept it. You have to be honest.


The Chair: Order.

Ms Haeck: On pages 2 and 3 of your presentation, you refer to the recycling processes that were outlined in the contract and we heard during the last few weeks a presentation from CN and CP rail. One of the things they outlined to us was that in all likelihood there would be a very large recycling facility built in Vaughan before what was left over was shipped up to you. Have you seen that and has your group seen that? What kinds of comments would you make with regard to that particular proposal?

Dr Durocher: I did see part of that and that was one of the problems we had when we first saw the contract. We thought a lot of the recyclables would be taken out before we got the residual up here. That was very much a concern for us.

Interjection: No jobs.

Dr Durocher: No jobs, and it just does not make sense to recycle Toronto's waste up here. It should be recycled in Toronto.

Mrs Marland: Dr Durocher, you say in your brief on page 6 that Kirkland Lake did not vote yes to the garbage. I have to ask you, because you are here as an environmentalist and I speak as an environmentalist also, how would you expect Kirkland Lake to vote yes to the garbage without an environmental assessment first?

Dr Durocher: My response to that would be that the environmental assessment does not guarantee safety.

Mrs Marland: So you want to have a bill that does not guarantee anything.

Dr Durocher: It removes the power from the community. We were told that we would be able to have a referendum after the environmental assessment.

Mrs Marland: So you support the bill that does not give you any rights at all. Is that right?

Dr Durocher: We support Bill 143.

Mr Ramsay: You talked about the principle of the bill. What upsets most of us here is that the principle of the bill puts political consideration over environmental consideration in that the minister can make a determination. What if in the future we get a big, bad Tory Environment minister like Don Cousens? You might have trust in the present minister to do the right thing. This is a bill for all time in Ontario. Are you willing to support this bill and allow one person in the future, of any political stripe, to make decisions and force garbage down people's throats without public participation?

Dr Durocher: The advantage of having the power with the minister is that the minister is an elected official and we can turf him or her out after a certain length of time.

Mrs Marland: Are the mayors not elected officials?

The Chair: Order. Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate your coming before the committee.


The Chair: Order. I am going to ask for order from committee members. Until this time I think we have done quite well. I am attempting to get as many members on for questions as possible. I know that tempers sometimes run a little high, but I ask all members of the committee to stay cool.



The Chair: I call now Mary Kramp. Please come forward. I understand you are sharing your time.


The Chair: The hearings cannot proceed until I have quiet in the room. Please introduce yourselves. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation.

Mrs Kramp: Good morning. My name is Mary Kramp. I am going to share some of my time with my friend Bernadette Fernandez. I will start.

I welcome you to Kirkland Lake. I was born and raised in Toronto in York county. I have lived in Kirkland Lake since 1960 and I have a business here. As a concerned citizen and a land owner, I am taking the first step to protect my land and environment. The issue here is whether to take Toronto's garbage into northern Ontario.

We own close to 1,000 acres of land in Pacaud and Chamberlain township, with frontage on both sides of Highway 11. We have big plans for this land. My plans do not include having to concern myself with Toronto's garbage polluting my well water or the river and creeks surrounding it.

Having had the experience of living near a dump in the east end of Toronto, I know at first hand what the city and the developer are trying to impose on northerners. The dump in my area used to burn the garbage regularly, but we still had the rats and the horrible smell that used to come from it. Later, when it got full, they closed it down, put up a 20-foot fence and parked their spare transit cars. That is all the land is good for now.

One of my concerns is that the Adams mine was blasting for at least 25 years. This would mean that dumping in a megafractured pit that cannot be lined or sealed with any substance which would guarantee any degree of containment is just not feasible.

Another issue here is the creation of 200 jobs. I fail to see this happening when recyclable goods will be taken out in the town of Vaughan. What is going to be left to be recycled? All we will need will be front-end loaders to push the garbage into the pits. I doubt very much if this will create 200 jobs.

In a Toronto Star article I read about a recycling plant of post-consumer plastics in Brantford. It is 65 miles northwest of Toronto and one of the largest in North America. Each year it processes 5,400 tonnes of plastic bottles and more than 2,200 tonnes of plastic bags. One of the problems they have is getting enough materials to make their plant more efficient. Even though the blue box program is expanding, they still cannot fill the need for resources. They have to import at least 1,000 tonnes a month from the United States. If they do not have enough down there to recycle without importing it, where are we going to get it? Are we going to haul it from the United States also?

One of the third-largest dumps in North America is located in Montreal's north end, in Miron Park. The immense hole is filled with 33 million tonnes of rotting waste that produces a potentially potent cocktail called biogas. In 1968 the company began using the biogas to run its kilns. When the company was bought out in 1985, 28 million tonnes of waste had accumulated at the site. That takes in about 100 city blocks.

A recent study of the nearby homes found an 87% concentration of biogas, mainly methane and carbon dioxide, near the drains of people's homes. When the gas reaches the 100% level it explodes by spontaneous combustion. The gas seeps through the garbage and into the atmosphere, filling the air with an unbelievable stench. It creeps through the ground like a toxic plague.

Studies that have been done on this have shown that an increase in cases of cancer can be expected to occur among people who have had long-term exposure to the biogas. Consequently, this means the value of their homes on the real estate market has greatly decreased. Some lives will be in jeopardy from the effects of the biogas. I fail to see how the garbage being shipped outside the GTA would really benefit us in the long run. They are taking an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude. We must look into this much further than the creation of a few jobs. The long-term effect on our health could be devastating. We must protect our environment.

In my opinion, the lives of local and rural residents and their descendants could be in danger. One of the first areas to feel the effects of pollution would be my area. What would my farm be worth if I wanted to get rid of it after the well was polluted? Who would want to buy it? This is a very real and personal threat to my future. Therefore, I support Bill 143. Let them keep their garbage. You will find I have attached to my brief some maps and information from municipal election day and so forth.

Mrs Fernandez: Thank you very much, Mary, for sharing some time with me. This is an opportunity I have been awaiting for a long time, to voice my concerns, because at several meetings which I have attended there has been quite a bit of browbeating and denouncement of some of the speakers who oppose the municipal government's general inclination.

I wish you a good morning, a good day and welcome to Kirkland Lake. I am Bernadette Fernandez and at the moment I wear several different hats. I am a business owner, property owner, natural health care practitioner, nutritional consultant, iridologist and health researcher. The reason I am in the fields I have chosen is that I sincerely care about the wellbeing of others, and I believe in the prevention of disastrous conditions.

What I would like to say regarding Bill 143 is that it is refreshing to see a plan which makes sense and reflects maturity, responsibility, self-preservation and wisdom. Thus far in Kirkland Lake, from my point of view, we have been threatened repeatedly by unwise decisions which could compromise our safety, happiness and very survival. On more than one occasion some of the individuals we townspeople have chosen to represent us and protect our best interests have been inclined to jeopardize our safety. Their motives have been financial gain, job creation and possibly political popularity.

While not harmful in themselves, these ideas can cause shortsighted individuals to trade off certain irreplaceable possessions we are so fortunate to have in the north. Many of us who have chosen to live in Kirkland Lake and area do not wish to live in areas with polluted air or water. Some of us choose lifestyles that minimize the harmful impact we may have on our environment. We make these choices because we are conscientious and honestly care about what happens to us and others, even in the long term.


We have, however, made the mistake of choosing representatives who are not very creative when it comes to developing opportunities for safe and sane directions for employment. I like the example that the mayor of Cobalt, Mr Roy Scott, is setting by soliciting ideas for employment from his townspeople. This is truly rational action and shows non-egotistical cooperation with his community rather than the pursuit of environmentally questionable projects that would exploit a job-hungry community.

It is not reasonable to have jobs at any cost. Surely we can progress economically in a direction that does not involve moving trash vast distances at great expense. While I know that high unemployment is one of the most stressful situations we are facing in the north, it is nowhere as distressing as a possible environmental disaster could be. If our leaders are so gullible, so blinded by the glitter that salesmen dangle before their eyes, so biased towards short-term gains with long-term risks, so uninterested in listening to our varied concerns -- not only jobs -- then I feel they are unfit to lead. I do not want to be led to risky, potentially devastating situations and I do not want the trusting, innocent people in Kirkland Lake and area to be misled and insufficiently informed any longer.

Anyway, again concerning Bill 143, I believe as the Honourable Ruth Grier obviously does, that unless one deals with the negative consequences of one's negative behaviour this behaviour most likely will continue. From this point of view, garbage transporting does not make sense. It makes about as much sense as my allowing my child to scatter her personal stuff to other places around the house because she has so much stuff cluttering her own room. It also makes as much sense as walking my hypothetical dog a few blocks away to defecate in someone's else's yard so that I do not have to deal with the mess.

Thank goodness Bill 143 includes regulatory measures which will protect us. I am happy to see that we as a society will be directed to conserve, to be responsible for our own waste and to care enough about our future and that of our children, grandchildren and future generations so that we do not squander their resources by being greedy, thoughtless, consuming creatures. May we do the greatest good for the greatest number and not just for a few and may we be recognized as being conscious people who cared enough to leave the resources the future will need and an environment that can sustain healthily those who continue to live.

Mr Ramsay: Bernadette and Mary, I accept your presentation with the sincerity you bring to it today. Thank you for that. Much of what you say in both your presentations could be true; I cannot argue that today. I am not an expert; I do not know. In both your presentations you talk about people having information. This project may not be environmentally sustainable. What does anybody have to fear from a full environmental assessment on this project?

Mrs Fernandez: In my opinion, it is not so much that I fear an environmental assessment; it is that I do not believe we can afford the money to have an environmental assessment I do not agree with in the first place because I do not believe that transporting the waste from southern Ontario is wise. I do not agree with that move. I believe the energy it expends as far as what some people would consider a viable employment strategy, such as the transportation through the railway and all that, is concerned does not make enough sense to me.

Mr Wiseman: My question is to Mrs Kramp. You made a comment about growing up beside a landfill site in eastern Toronto. I was trying to think which one it could be, because I grew up beside the Brimley Road site, which Metropolitan Toronto ran. Just last year, a million tonnes of that slid into the road because it was not taken care of properly and did not have the kind of perpetual care that is necessary.

The Chair: Question.

Mr Wiseman: That was not it, so I thought it might be the Morningside site in north Scarborough, but that was not it. I thought it might be the Beare Road site on the Pickering boundary but that was not it. You have me. Which one was it and what do you think of this perpetual care problem?

Mrs Kramp: In the first place, I was raised on Seymour Avenue. That is the east end. I do not know if you know the area, off Shudell, the last street in between Boultbee and Danforth.

Mr Wiseman: Oh, that site.

Mrs Kramp: It was not a megadump, but it was a dump.

Mrs Marland: Obviously you have done a lot of research and you have gone into this example in Montreal. I am wondering whether you are aware of the North Sheridan landfill site in the city of Mississauga which also has methane gas and on top of which have been built, very successfully, about 67 homes. Are you aware of that site?

Mrs Kramp: No, I am not aware of that.

Mrs Marland: There are no problems whatsoever with the gas.

Mr Ramsay: I have the same questions you do. Is it environmentally sustainable to be transporting waste material to the north via train compared to truck travel in southern Ontario to dumps that have yet been unnamed? Again I have the same questions and wonder about it. That is why I think the proposal should be given the full light of environmental assessment so we have those answers. Because you may be right again; we do not know. So let's have this out there. What do we have to fear to learn more about this?

Mrs Fernandez: Can you repeat that again, please?

Mr Ramsay: I was just following up. You mentioned, for instance, the feasibility of shipping waste north.

Mrs Fernandez: Okay, I got it. What I believe is that the less distance one would have to travel with waste or anything, the less energy is expended. That just makes sense to me. I do not think we need to have an environmental assessment to figure out whether transporting locally in Toronto and area would cost more or less than via rail up here.

Mr Martin: As Mr Ramsay did, I accept your presentation here with all the sincerity it is delivered, as I did other presentations this morning, particularly the one second before yours. In that presentation and in others there was some reference to perhaps your not being credible deputants in front of this committee because you came from some marginal group somewhere and did not represent real people somehow. We had some people in front of us yesterday from Sault Ste Marie, Chapleau, Manitoulin Island and Sudbury who expressed the same sentiment as you did. Whom do you represent and who are you?

Mrs Fernandez: I am an individual. I have always been concerned about issues that get out of hand. I am from the United States originally. I have seen a lot of issues get out of hand because political intervention and financial greediness seem to carry issues into fruition and end up becoming laws or concrete experiences for people, and myself as well, who find them very disagreeable; polluting water systems and depleting water systems in my case, polluting the air where I am from. I just do not want to see that happen up here. I feel a lot of people have moved up north to escape those kinds of threats. As an individual, I want to survive. I want my family to survive. That is why I am up here in the first place.

Mrs Marland: I am sure you believe in a democracy, as do I. My father was one of thousands who died that we live in a democracy. In your presentation, I notice that you say the townspeople have chosen people to represent them and then you go on to describe those people's motives. Would you not agree, since you have had at least two municipal elections since this issue has been on the table, that in a democratic society, if the townspeople in the majority have chosen those people who represent that opinion, that is fair, or do you have an alternative to democracy?

Mrs Fernandez: No, I believe it is fair but I do not believe the average person goes out of his way to investigate environmental issues. I believe that often we do not get representatives from both sides, especially when one side has much more money to spend than any other of the environmental groups that present their points of view.

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


The Chair: I would like to call next M. J. Labine. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask if you would begin by introducing yourself. Speak right into the microphone. Do not worry about anything, and leave a few minutes at the end for questions, if you would. Please begin your presentation now.

Mr Labine: My name is Mr Labine and I am not a member of REEPA, although I support them. The first portion will be the written brief.

Some have said Notre's proposed landfill could become one of the world's largest. After hundreds of presentations by the proponent, not once did he ever mention paying compensation to those most affected biologically through groundwater and airborne contaminants. Since the proposal was announced land values have fallen relative to the linear distance to the site. A planned subdivision not far from the Adams mines site has not been heard of since McGuinty came to town. A tourist resort has been cancelled as well.

During the winter of 1991, I communicated with Sherman at Dofasco concerning magnetite accumulated on the shores of Mousseau Lake. The source of this material was from over a span of 25 years of blasting operations at the mine site. Dofasco refused to supply a few loads of fill to cover the aerobic leachate. They claimed there was iron in the lake bottom even though they knew very well there was no elevated magnetometer readings on the lake and the many drill holes were negative for iron.


To make matters worse, an official from the Ministry of Natural Resources told to me to take the back of a rake to rid the beach of red rust. In item 1 after page 4 you can see the iron content of the water. It is not exactly what Mr McGuinty says it is.

With that type of answer, how do you get them to pay for the mess they leave behind? The air above my land is not mine in absolute terms but Dofasco must pay for damage caused by encroaching on my air space the same way a landfill must compensate for foul odours.

The Adams mine, with its many tailing dams, if allowed to go unchecked could present a problem even greater than the one experienced at Matachewan. The preliminary hydrology report by Golder states the Notre proposal would require the use of all its land holdings. Please see items 2 and 3. You can look at them later on if you choose, for verification.

What you are not told is that half of the mine property is held under mine leases CLM 104 McElroy township and CL 411-a Boston township. These leases are granted for mining use only and not once since leases were introduced has this rule been broken. The pits on this property generate enough water to supply a town of 2,000 people. Please see items 4 and 5. It is kind of complicated; you will have to look at it when you are on your own. One well that was drilled generated 100 gallons a minute. The other well generated 50 gallons a minute. What you have is a veritable aquifer. I think a lot of small communities would like to be able to pump water out of the ground at that speed.

The area surrounding the Adams mine site to the Misema River going east and the Montreal River on the west could contain as much groundwater as, for example, Lake Ontario. See item 6. The drawing shows only a portion of this huge aquifer. It is also known to extend northward along an ancient buried valley system emptying into James Bay. The exact flow patterns of this water source have never been determined with any great accuracy.

The water is beyond any doubt the greatest natural resource we have in northern Ontario. There is enough water here, in the event of a major environmental disaster, to supply fresh potable water to all of southern Ontario as well as the eastern portions of the province of Quebec and portions of Maine and Ohio. The Canadian government has negotiated water agreements with the United States that we are all bound to respect. Until now, that not been done concerning this garbage matter.

At Notre's early presentations, a video used was taken at a landfill owned by Rueter, the same man wanted by Interpol for bribing politicians. In view of the preliminary findings by the consultants as well as what is visible to everyone, an environmental assessment is best described as a waste of money.

In 1961, a review was taken in the local mines on radon daughters. The results were alarming and subsequently censored and classified. The effect of this was the hundreds of lives lost to lung cancer by those who worked in the gold mines. Ask yourselves, should a study prove harmful, would it be censored the same way that radon was carefully hidden in 1961?

In this century, men have died for gold. A cynic might conclude that in the next century men will die for gold and garbage.

I wrote a few extra notes here. You will have to study the appendix I put to this. It gets a little complicated. I would like to submit this to the panel.

The Chair: Our clerk will take it from you.

Mr Labine: These are pictures of the lake they want to pollute. I wrote a few notes here. As you noticed coming in, there was a big snowman. According to the town bylaws, it is too close to the road. It is too high. It is illuminated and it is a controversial piece. According to law, you cannot have that near the roadside. I contacted the building inspector. I contacted the local police department, and none would enforce the bylaw.

What I ask you to do in this particular case, when you are driving to back to Toronto tonight, is ask yourself how you personally apply this and define "fascism". Please do that. Even the school board this morning had to act against Mr Mavrinac's request to have children join the parade. The school board asked the parents to make sure there was a written note sent to each child that attended the parade under protestation here. It is pretty bad when the school board has to intervene in the mayor's actions.

Golder Associates did the study at the Adams mine. Golder Associates also did a similar study in Port Hope. In Port Hope what they measured for was travelling radium. They knew very well radium does not travel. They did not measure the decay products that do travel. This is what you get when you hire an environmental forum. They come up with the results you want them to give you. They are paid to give you what you ask them to give you. What we should be doing right now is not saying, "Look, let's hire this guy and that guy to tell us what's there." Why don't we just open our eyes and take a look at the pits. They're filled with water. The Misema goes all the way down to the Montreal River. I mean, we can see this with our eyes. We do not need these studies.

I notice too that Mr Mavrinac is not here. He only listens to one side of the argument.

The Chair: Order, please. I am sorry. That is not unacceptable in the committee hearings. I ask that everyone allow the deputations to have their say and to be heard whether you agree with their point of view or not. That is respectful. That is the process for our committee. Please continue.

Mr Labine: This morning there was a song on the radio by a local recording artist, Bob May. It was sung to the lyrics, "Hey, What About Me?" Even copyrights are being broken. This is okay. It is for Joe's benefit, you know. We have to have law, and you know, copyrights have been broken. This is a serious thing. I would not want anyone stealing copyrights of the material I have written. I plan on writing a book, and I would be very offended if someone stole my material that I have written.

I do not think I have much more to say except that Mr Bisson over there has left now. It is unfortunate -- not Bisson, excuse me, what is his name?

Interjection: Cousens?

Mr Labine: He was referring to Mr Harris of North Bay. I think you people should consider the remarks attributed to Mr Harris of North Bay in the Northern Daily News lately, and you should seriously consider whether the man needs help, because you just cannot make remarks like the type of remarks he has made about our native population. Without the natives none of us would be here today. He is poking fun at them as though they were merely nothing, and I find this quite unjust. I am sorry that the man who is representing the Conservative Party is not here at the moment.

I suppose this is about all. You will have to study the items in my brief. There are six items in it which go into detail where I got my information and the source and everything. It is fairly detailed.

The Chair: You gave the committee three copies of your brief. We will see that it is reproduced and all members of the committee will receive it. It will also become part of the public record.

Mr Labine: Okay. Thank you very much. That is about it. You may ask questions if you choose. I would like you to ask questions.


Mr McClelland: As much by way of comment as question, sir, what you said is fundamental. We do have to have law. We need certainty in law. I draw to your attention that much of Bill 143 undermines 40 years of evolution of law in terms of environmental protection: Ontario municipal law, the Planning Act and acts that allow local governments to be actively involved in the planning and operation of their community.

I ask you rhetorically, not necessarily looking for an answer, and the deputants that went before you: Do you not also realize that Bill 143's underlying principles would also potentially allow a minister to direct that a rail haul proposal such as the Adams site shall or must go forward? You have to ask yourselves that question. If you sit here today and say you support Bill 143 -- it is not an issue, re rail haul, in the narrowest sense; it is an issue about which you have to ask yourselves the fundamental principle. Do you recognize that Bill 143 says the laws that have evolved in this province to afford citizens such as yourselves full participation and ownership in your community are in jeopardy and at risk and could be turned against you? Do you understand that and, if so, do you still support Bill 143?

The Chair: Do you want to respond to that? You do not have to if you do not want to.

Mr Labine: No, I am not going to.

Mr Bisson: There are two parts to my question. I will try to keep it brief because we do not have the time. From what I am hearing, you are saying there are a number of people out in the community who do not have all the facts before them, either one side of the issue or the other. One of the points that has been made over and over again -- and some of the people from the committee have actually made the point -- is whether people are aware that the interim measures within the act would not be possible, as far as Kirkland Lake being an option, because the transportation part of it is excluded from the act. That was the first question.

The second part is: Do people understand that if an environmental assessment went ahead and indeed the Kirkland Lake site was found to be environmentally and economically sound, they cannot kill the deal because the power would then remain with the minister to make the thing go ahead? Why would a government spend $10 million on a study only to turn around and have it turned down at the very end? Do people understand that? The $10-million figure is cheap. I am just using a number.

Mr Labine: You know yourself, once you spend $10 million you go ahead. Nothing is going to stop it. If you get an environmental assessment, the garbage will be dumped there. I think I made it quite clear in my brief. It is the same as the radon daughters. Incidentally, I am a cancer victim. I am one of the people who was lied to, and I have done health research in the industrial field now for the past seven years. I am a survivor.

Once you have spent $10 million on research, it goes through whether or not it is safe. Only an insane person would stand on those pits and say it is safe. You simply have to read the Golder report. If you do not understand the terminology, you get a friend who understands it. Hire a chemist, hire a geologist and have them sit beside you and explain the terminology to you because I am sure you can talk to me about things I am not going to understand. I am not going to know what the heck you are talking about.

When we come out with briefs like this on rock stress and so forth, I am quite sure none of you understands fully. You understand some, but not exactly what is being said, and this is why you need experts beside you to explain what has already been done, what has already been shown. Once you see what Golder has already shown and fully understand it, there is no need to go ahead. There is absolutely no way this can be made acceptable.

We have a huge water base there and water is important. The way everything is being polluted today, we cannot damage this water base. As I mentioned in the brief, if the American people ever need fresh, potable water -- we have no right to make them die of thirst. We do not have that prerogative. The boundary across Canada and the United States does not prevent the United States from coming over here and getting fresh water. These are negotiated treaties. We have no right even to stop Mexico from coming over here and getting fresh water.

We have to preserve every bit of fresh water we have, and what is being planned here is more or less a colossal disaster to our water resources. No one has talked water, but that is what this whole thing is all about: water. Without fresh water you have nothing, and you need that fresh water.

What do you have in southern Ontario? You have no aquifers, none whatsoever. We have a few around Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie. After that, we go through two provinces with no aquifers. We go through the major part of Quebec with no aquifers. But we are blessed in Ontario because here in Kirkland Lake at the Adams mine site we have one of the biggest aquifers in the entire continent. People are planning on dumping garbage on it, and this has never been made public. No one wants to talk about it. This is a little thing they kept out.

Mrs Mathyssen: I want to thank you for coming to testify, Mr Labine. Ms Kramp and Ms Fernandez referred to long-term development as opposed to short-term. My question actually did revolve around the aquifer. We know very little about aquifers and I was planning to ask you: Do you think the long-term development of Kirkland Lake would be compromised if this aquifer is jeopardized by putting garbage residue into the Adams mine?

Mr Labine: Just by continuing to talk about garbage, the future prospects of Kirkland Lake are diminishing. I know businessmen who are pulling out of Kirkland Lake now. I mentioned in the brief that one subdivision was cancelled and one tourist resort was cancelled. What more do you want? You do not need any more proof. Can you imagine what would happen once the garbage got in? I know I would leave town. I have quite a few houses and if I am ready to leave town at sacrificed prices, I think a lot of people would follow suit. What you are talking about is destroying a town. Joe Mavrinac does not care. As long as you have those cameras pointed at him, he does not care. Just keep pointing the cameras and Joe will say anything.

This is not what life is all about. We have to think about those who will come after us. We have to try to leave the world a little bit better than we found it because we did find it in a bit of a mess too. There were a lot of tailings all over here when we were born. They had already started polluting, but we have to try to leave things a little bit better than we found them.

I think these people say: "Let's pollute this and let's pollute that. Let's do a little bit of this and a little bit of that." Ask them once in a while when was the last time they dug in their pocket to give money to a worthy cause and how much they gave. Do not be afraid to ask how much they gave because I find most of these people are nothing but cheapskates anyway, always trying to get something from the government for nothing, like the flow-through people. It is the same thing, always asking for something instead of saying, "What can I do for my country? What can I do for people?" and not just waiting to have things dropped at your feet. Right now, what do you call someone expecting to earn money from garbage who does not do anything to earn it? Is that not what you call procuring?

Mr Wiseman: I really appreciate your presentation. I was getting a little worried there for a minute because when I heard the presentation I was beginning to think Metro might have found some place other than an aquifer to put its garbage. In every instance you look at where Metro looks for landfill sites, they are all in river beds, on aquifers or on the headwaters of streams. I was getting nervous to think that they might have changed their pattern. It is nice to see they have not.

Mr Labine: You do have an aquifer around the Windsor-Hamilton area. That is the only other one you have. I understand that one is already polluted.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation. I appreciate your coming before the committee today.



The Chair: I am going to call the last presentation before we break. William Dennis, please come forward and introduce yourself for the committee. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions, but that is up to you.

Mr Wiseman: It seems the rule is more important than hearing the presentations.

The Chair: Please begin your presentation now.

Mr Dennis: My name is William Dennis. I am chairperson of the Round Lake and Area Local Service Board.

First I would point out that, though I may differ on some issues with the proposed legislation, I find that I can support its main thrust, in particular the non-shipment of waste. The transport of waste defeats the main purpose of waste management, which is reduction, reuse and recycling of resources. Transport is counterproductive for the following reasons:

1. The act of transporting garbage reduces greater Toronto's incentive to reduce by establishing an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, as indeed does landfilling in general, and disregards incentives used successfully by other municipalities to reduce waste.

2. It removes resources from recycling facilities currently operating in the Toronto area. It increases the cost of the raw material for said resources due to increased transport charges and handling, thereby reducing the desirability and competitiveness in the marketplace.

3. The transport of garbage reduces the incentive for the provincial funding to finance research facilities and universities on waste management and overlooks companies currently specializing in waste management already established in high-density populated areas where most of the waste is generated.

4. The haulage cost of waste in Metro in 1968, as per government publication, was 28 cents to 35 cents per tonne per mile and was considered prohibitive. With the current cost of transport and the extended distance of 600 kilometres, the cost must be equally prohibitive as well as morally wrong.

5. The increased transport distance also increases the potential for spills, an occurrence we have experienced several times in the past year, for example, sodium hydroxide, Matheson, contamination of surface water and groundwater.

6. The transport of untreated human wastes such as faeces, mucus and sputum, even as small percentages of the garbage, introduces vectors and pathogens that we lack the facilities to deal with. National Health and Welfare reports show that even with our technological advances, the incidences of waterborne disease have maintained their levels or have increased over previous years. The re-emergence of some diseases not seen in several years has called into question our foresight and ability to cope with such situations.

7. The issue of transport of garbage is not new, nor has it solved the problem. In 1967 Toronto and Vaughan township took the issue before the Ontario Municipal Board. Vaughan township did not then and does not now wish to take Toronto's garbage. The municipal board rejected Toronto's request for a 450-acre landfill site but granted a compromise of 60 acres and sent Toronto back to reconsider its long-term needs before returning to the board. Toronto chose, rather than face stiff opposition from the residents of Vaughan, to follow the dictates of a $175,000 study and go to incineration and acquire landfill sites outside the greater Toronto area. They are still trying to do the same 24 years later. No serious effort at reduction has been attempted.

8. The proposal of transfer stations is not new, having been suggested to Metro in the above study. However, the beneficiation program proposed by the Canadian National yards in Vaughan would further reduce the Adams mine project to a poorly disguised landfill site, the chosen method of both Bob Ferguson and Paul Christie of Metro.

9. While on the discussion of new technology, I would point out that technology is no more perfect than the human mind that conceived it. Some examples would be the Andrea Doria, an unsinkable liner that sank on its maiden voyage, or the Voyager space shuttle which exploded due to an o-ring malfunction, or the solar arms of a Canadian satellite which failed to open regardless of all the gyrations it was subjected to. The new waste haulage cars and containment equipment are as liable to failure as any of the above.

10. I am a resident of the unorganized townships and a property owner in Boston township, which had no input into the deals negotiated by the councils. I must protest their methods and rationale, as well as state the deal is ludicrous, especially since landfill costs in 1968 in Toronto were estimated to be between 75 cents and $2 per tonne, where at the Adams mine project, we will be paid $1.10 a tonne. The McGuinty-Lamarche proposal from Bristol, Quebec, which was rejected, had far greater environmental safeguards written into the agreement. Toronto's current tipping fees and those paid to American landfills -- 200 tonnes per day legally shipped by waste management to Lewiston, New York, for incineration -- far exceeds those proposed here.

11. The hazards of placing waste in the Adams mine, an area of faults, fractures and shear zones and therefore subject to ground movements, are many, and I do not suggest that I know them all:

First, the risk of contaminating the largest groundwater shed in eastern Ontario by sundry contaminants.

Second, the unknown and unpredictable effects of this Pandora's box of chemicals, and their potential for synthesizing new materials, toxic and otherwise, in the process.

Third, the unlikelihood that a $4.5 million waste treatment plant will be adequate to reduce toxins, particularly since Kirkland Lake's own water treatment and filtration plants will far exceed this cost, and the one proposed at Bristol, Quebec, was double the sum.

Fourth, the detrimental effects the sediments, heavy metals and nutrients will have on aquatic life, such as reduced sport-fishing populations, is predictable.

Fifth, the byproducts of 25 years of blasting, plus the nutrients generated by the heat and decomposition of many millions of tonnes of garbage, cannot help but affect the adjacent waterways, hastening eutrophication by algae buildups in the waterway.

Sixth, studies show that eutrophication occurs more rapidly in northern lakes due to bacteria and nutrient cycles. This process adds further strain on the game fish by inducing rough fish, further taxing the reproduction of the desirable species.

12. I would like to point out that these projects have risks and limited results:

On recycling:

Bob Ferguson, commissioner of public works, Toronto, in the Toronto Star, April 17, 1991: "I don't see reduction, reuse and recycling resolving this garbage crisis."

Dave Oehring, ex-reeve of Larder Lake, June 21, 1991, Northern Daily News, study feasibility of recycling in Cochrane and Temiskaming: "`Study participants were warned not to fight over who gets the recycling plant,' the reeve said. `This does not generate a lot of jobs,' he said. `It doesn't generate a lot of income.'"

On methods and assessments:

Toronto councillor Dale Martin, Northern Daily News, January 19, 1990: "Toronto councillor Dale Martin said the city should be doing more to reduce its garbage, rather than dumping it on class-A farm land."

On transport of garbage:

Conservative leader Mr Mike Harris, North Bay Nugget: "The idea isn't in the best interests of Toronto because it's too expensive. Toronto would be better off finding a site in the greater Metro area."

Mike Harris, campaign 1990 news release, August 3, 1990, comment on the environmental assessment at Marmora: "Under the Liberal process, it will take at least 12 months to determine that this is not a good place to throw garbage. It takes anyone standing here 12 seconds to reach the same conclusion."

He then goes on to state that his party would simplify the approval process. Mr Harris also stated that in a letter to the chairmen of the five regions of the greater Toronto area. David Peterson, then the Liberal leader, promised on August 2, 1989, that even more municipalities would be able to use the short cut.

Since both opposition parties have suggested streamlining the Environmental Assessment Act, I feel they must, at least in principle, support Bill 143 in this respect.

I again state my support for Bill 143 and thank the Chairperson and the panel for their attention.


The Chair: Thank you very much. First question, Ms Haeck.

Ms Haeck: I would like to ask you specifically, because you have made mention of the fact that you live in the unorganized townships and that you own property in Boston township, could you for this committee's edification indicate where you do live, or how far from the site you are, and if you were consulted, whether your vote really counted for something with regard to the placement of this project?

Mr Dennis: The property is within three or three and a half miles of the Adams mine, south and west. Was I consulted on this? Not one bit. The only reason I knew the proposal came about was that I attended Mr McGuinty's first proposal here in Kirkland Lake at Northern College. It was the only indication I had of anything being planned in the area.

Mr Sola: I notice that on page 3 of your brief you complain about waste being transported to the United States and the amount of money being paid for that privilege. Yet you support Bill 143 which does nothing to alleviate that problem. Bill 143 does not ban the transport of waste to the United States. As a matter of fact, all Bill 143 does is, in the future it will take away your right to appear before a committee like this to voice your opinion on whether you agree with something or not, if the minister so chooses. Right now you happen to agree with the minister. In the future you may get a minister with whom you disagree, and if he or she uses the same bill to declare by the same decree that this garbage shall go right into your backyard, you will not even have the opportunity to protest. How can you support Bill 143 when you take both edges of the sword into consideration?

Mr Dennis: You mentioned about the American transport of waste. I do not condone transporting waste to the United States. As a matter of fact I do not condone waste. I think our government should be aiming at reduction and reuse through legislation. I think recycling, which is being promoted here, is definitely not the way to go. It is a Band-Aid situation. I mentioned this to Mr Lucien Bouchard when he was the minister. I also mentioned it to Mr de Cotret. I also mentioned it to Jim Bradley, who was the Minister of the Environment, and I have carried this on to over Ruth Grier. They know my stand on that.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to clarify something. A number of times today the opposition has indicated that your rights have been eroded by this current legislation. This is not the case. The minister has emergency powers and has the right to do pretty much whatever she wants or what is necessary.

An example of this is the P1 landfill site in north Pickering, which was determined to go there behind closed doors by the former Premier and a couple of regional chairmen. It was put there under an Environmental Protection Act, which is an abrogation of your rights under the Environmental Assessment Act. This was done without any legislation. It was done by a caveat of the minister and of the previous Premier and it was unappealable. In the minds of those of us who fought that proposal there was not any possibility at any time that the P1 landfill site, which sits at the headwaters of three rivers and on top of groundwater, would ever not become a landfill. So when the opposition starts talking about taking away your rights, certain limitations of the Environmental Assessment Act are included in this bill.

But this is a bill and it is going before the Legislature. What they did at P1 and site 6B in Brampton was to do it without ever coming before the Legislature with the bill, without ever coming before any kind of committee and without ever consulting the people who are involved in those communities. I think when you hear that, you have to be very clear that this bill greatly restricts the powers that the minister has to do a number of things. If I had more time, I would go into them in some detail.

For example, it restricts the rights of the minister to expropriate land for a landfill site until a certificate of approval has been granted. In north Pickering, both the federal Liberals and the provincial Tories expropriated 43,000 acres of land for an airport that was never built. If you want to talk about the rights to expropriate, those rights are restricted by this bill. The rights of the minister are restricted by this bill, so it is contrary to what they are saying. This bill is better in the sense that it does say exactly what the minister can do and what she cannot do, and this is a big difference from what the previous government did in my riding for P1, by just dictating that there would be a landfill site on government-owned land in the north end of my riding.

I am getting just a little bit tired of the insinuation that the minister is going to use draconian powers. Those powers have been there and they have been used in the past. This bill says that this minister cares about the legislative process to the extent that she brought it before the House in order to debate it in the House.

Mr Bisson: Just to follow up on that very quickly, the other point that Mr Wiseman is referring to is that under the bill it should be understood that there would not be a possibility of doing an EA on such a situation as Kirkland Lake, because the whole right of being able to ship the garbage out of Toronto in the first place is exempted under the bill. There is no question of somebody's rights being abused, because you cannot get the process going because it is not allowed out of Metro in the first place.

I just want to go through, first of all, that your presentation gave quite a bit of fact --

The Chair: The question. I have another person from another caucus. The time is up for your caucus. If you want to place your question, you may.

Mr Bisson: The question very quickly is that there are a lot of facts brought forward through your brief. One of the things that I hear quite a lot coming out of Kirkland Lake is that people feel as if not all the facts are coming out. What do you attribute that to?

Mr Dennis: I think people are being misled. I think there is a government publication, the EA Update, that would benefit people. It is free from the government for anybody who is interested in it. It goes into the rules for exemption. It is something anybody who wants to be educated on the environmental assessment should definitely read. I think most people in Kirkland Lake are believing other people's interpretations and are not looking any further for their own. I think basically they should definitely look into this environmental assessment.

Mr Sola: I have to rebut the statement Mr Wiseman made about accessibility, or the belief of the Minister of the Environment in the legislative process, because had it not been for the two opposition parties, this would have been law with three days worth of debate. It was just the fact that both opposition parties opposed the rushing through of this bill that let the people who are affected have the opportunity to have their say. All Bill 143 does is assure that in the future the minister will be able to avoid public scrutiny at her whim, because she will be the deciding factor of what is a crisis and how that crisis will be solved. I just wanted to reiterate that, and tell you that by supporting Bill 143 you are actually putting a muzzle on yourself in being able to present your views in the future to a government panel like this.

Mr Dennis: Might I respond to the gentleman?

The Chair: You have just a minute remaining.

Mr Dennis: I have read the Environmental Assessment Act several times. I understand that the bottom line reads that the Minister of the Environment has the power to do what the Minister of the Environment chooses to do, regardless of which party. I am afraid we all have to live with it.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today. I want to thank you for taking the time. All members will receive a copy of your presentation.

I have some housekeeping for members of committee. The standing committee on social development will reconvene at 2 o'clock this afternoon to continue hearing presentations.

At this time, for the information of committee members and staff, please see that your luggage is in room 105 before 1:30 pm, when the room will be locked. All the luggage must be there; that is the holding room.

Because of the shortness of time between this session and the next, lunch has been arranged for committee members and staff in the adjacent room. After you have moved your luggage, you can get lunch there.

The committee recessed at 1242.


The committee resumed at 1401.

The Chair: The standing committee on social development is now in session. Please come to order. I would like to welcome everyone this afternoon. We are having public hearings on Bill 143, Waste Management Act, 1991. Can everyone hear?


The Chair: I would like to call our first presentation for this afternoon, Pacaud-Catharine township. Please come forward, take your place at the table and begin your presentation by introducing your delegation. You have 20 minutes for your presentation and we ask if you would please leave a few minutes for questions from committee members. Would you begin your presentation now, please.

Order, everyone. I would ask for quiet, please. Please begin.

Mr Morin: Good afternoon. My name is Jean-Jacques Morin. I am the chairman of the Pacaud-Catharine local roads board. I am also a committee member for the north Timiskaming local government study. I am pleased to be here to make a presentation before the committee regarding Bill 143, Waste Management Act, 1991.

The people of Pacaud-Catharine township were never given the chance to voice their opinion or make their concern public in an open fashion regarding an environmental assessment for the Adams mine proposal to import greater Toronto area garbage. It is not democratic for a municipality like Kirkland Lake to have a referendum for an area outside its municipal boundaries. They also did not allow the people of that area to vote or participate in the issue. The referendum question was politically motivated. The question should have been clear, honest and to the point, such as, "Do you want Toronto garbage, yes or no?" The results would have been totally different.

In my view, a lot of people have been misguided with the Adams mine proposal and presentation. They have also been misled with the referendum question during the November 12, 1991, municipal election.

The Adams mine proposal and the north Timiskaming local government study, which is to establish regional authority over unorganized townships, both started in the fall of 1989. At the July 16, 1990, north Timiskaming local government study committee meeting, Germain Lacoursiere, who is a senior adviser of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, emphasized that that waste proposal was not part of the study and it would not be discussed any further. On April 22, 1991, an 11th resolution added at the last minute called on the provincial government to allow the Adams mine proposal to proceed with an environmental assessment. This resolution was moved by a committee member whose brother is one of the major shareholders of Notre Development Corp and was seconded by the reeve of Larder Lake. This shows Notre Development Corp tried to manipulate different ministries and municipalities.

In my view, the local government study is biased and will permit Kirkland Lake to have control over the Adams mine site because of the influence from Notre Development Corp, which took advantage of the desperate unemployment situation in the area. The motives of Mr McGuinty, president of the corporation, are for his own personal gain, and not for the best interests of the environment or the community.

I support Bill 143. Each region would then have to take on its own responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle. We should prohibit the export of waste and long-distance transportation by road or by rail -- no more out of sight, out of mind approach to garbage.

In this area, approximately 1,000 feet above sea level, geographically speaking, water flows south from the Adams mine site. The Misema River, which runs by the Adams mine site, ties into the Blanche River and then flows into Lake Timiskaming, which is the origin of the Ottawa River. As you also see on the map you have in front of you, the railway goes through the whole township of Pacaud. Kirkland Lake and Larder Lake are not jeopardized by the water flow or the transportation regarding the greater Toronto area garbage.

I will put a little humour into it. Our primary concern is to preserve the environment and the wealth of the land. Short-term jobs are not worth the wealth of the land. Garbage or trash in your backyard will not increase the value of your land. Tourists do not spend cash to see the trash. Fishermen do not put sick fish in their dish. It is a shame to hunt for lame game.

As a proud northerner, I am dismayed by all the garbage activity. We have the yes and we have the no to separate our communities. I hope the garbage problem will be solved soon and all the wounds will heal. Let Bill 143 set us free and let the next generation make better preparation.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I would like to thank you for appearing before the committee today. I very much appreciate your coming. I would like to call next --

Mrs Mathyssen: No questions?

The Chair: Nobody pointed out to me that they were interested in asking a question. Mrs Mathyssen, question?

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for your presentation. I appreciated it very much. You are a resident from outside of Kirkland Lake. I wonder if you could clear something up. I have heard some varying information about how far the nearest person living adjacent to the Adams mine lives from the site. I have heard six miles or six kilometres, and I have also heard that there are only 24 people in Boston township who are more or less affected. Is that an accurate description of the affected population, or could you give me a sense of who outside of the town of Kirkland Lake is affected?

Mr Morin: I really appreciate you asking the question. I will get into a little bit more detail. I was hoping I would make a short presentation to be able to handle many questions, and I guess I must have been wrong, because nobody was prepared. I have been accused of doing many things, like taping the meetings. I am glad -- I have already confirmed that with the clerk -- I am allowed to tape, because on the local government study, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs had a vote and did not allow taping.

The Chair: For your information, and everyone else who is watching, Hansard is recording everything that is said at these meetings. It becomes part of the public record as well as all the presentations that are made, and Publications Ontario will have the Hansard available in about two weeks so that everybody will be able to read and review exactly that was said. It is perfectly okay for you to tape if you wish, but the record is being made by Hansard, which is run by the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Morin: Thank you. To get back to your question where you asked how many people, we have been given figures by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs regarding very many different issues. As you look through the documents you have in front of you, you will find that people were there because of intimidation. Everybody agrees they were there because of intimidation on that committee. They gave us figures. They said there were 28 households in Boston and they gave us a whole outline of all the different townships, but I am not from Boston township, as you will see on your map. The area I am from is highlighted. We have two townships and we are the most affected immediately after Boston township. I own property up to three quarters of a mile from the railway. I listened to a few presentations this morning, and I heard some pretty harsh accusations. At no time has anybody in the township of Pacaud or Catharine been approached by any municipality that was requested for the host area to make decisions for us.


The local government study is not put to an end. It is still dragging. As you can see, you have the newspaper clipping of Thursday, February 6, 1992. This study was supposed to be done within a year. It started in 1989 and it is still dragging, because where I am mentioning this local government study, they allowed an 11th resolution. It is an environmental question, it is an environmental problem, and it was addressed to the wrong ministry. It should never have been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

The Chair: Question, Mrs Marland?

Mrs Marland: I was just wondering, M. Morin, if you would have any difficulty with the environmental process going ahead so that you might then learn that there may not even ever be a possibility of using the Adams mine site?

Mr Morin: I do not understand your question.

Mrs Marland: I am trying to look at this from both sides of the issue, and I am very glad to be here to hear from the people in the community rather than learning and hearing about it in Toronto, but I am trying to understand what there is to be lost by going to a full environmental assessment if this government would permit it. I recognize that the problem with Bill 143 is that it does not permit it, but if we could get an exemption or get the bill amended so it would permit a full environmental assessment, what difficulty would you have with that?

Mr Morin: I wish I could agree with your view, but we all have different views. You can see the map. I am immediately affected and I represent the people of those two townships which are highlighted. If we did favour an environmental assessment, the way you are putting it, does it mean to bring greater Toronto area garbage to the Adams mine site, or is it just an environmental assessment for northeastern Ontario?

It is a complicated question. If you would be more specific, and if the referendum question had been very specific, "Do you want Toronto garbage? If you do, we'll have an environmental assessment" -- if not, then why spend the money for an environmental assessment if the people do not want the garbage?

We do not want the garbage, because if we do accept the garbage in a big hole, we will have a megadump, we will lose our identity, plus our property will depreciate. The other thing is that the 3Rs -- reduce, reuse and recycle -- will not be practised. So the whole bill would be a complete waste of time. All the time of the whole committee, including yourselves, would have been a total waste of time. It would have been more like a charade.

I hope we have some kind of government to protect us. As was said here today, everybody heard it that the outside communities were all supporting. The district of Cochrane is going to be making a presentation here today too. How come there is another municipality, called Black River-Matheson township, which is Matheson, and it was not supporting the proposal? They were asked to endorse it and they refused to endorse it because the people will not take the responsibility. I can quote that, that Matheson will not endorse it. So they jump to the next community.

How come some of the unorganized townships were not asked? As you can see on the map, we are the most affected. Automatically we will question it. Why should the railway go right through our township? It is not a matter of population, how many people live there. We have never at any time -- until this local government study is done, if the boundaries are moved, then the area authority will have jurisdiction. Until then, we still have our rights, we have the right to voice our opinion, and this is the first time we have ever had the opportunity. I am glad I was able to relate how the Ministry of Municipal Affairs relates to the Ministry of the Environment. I do not think that should have been accepted.

The Chair: Mr Sola, you are next. I have a question from the parliamentary assistant on your map. You do not have it well marked, but is this where the mine site is on your map?

Mr Morin: That is the pits, the tailings, and that is where the mine site is.

The Chair: Thank you. Mr Sola, you have the floor.

Mr Sola: Sir, you have said that you represent the people of Pacaud and Catharine townships, and you mentioned that you are also on the northern Timiskaming local government study. You are claiming to represent the people of that area. Have you been elected by those people, have you been appointed to these posts; in what capacity do you represent the people in that township?

Mr Morin: I have been elected. We have elections every year, and I have always been elected with a majority.

Mr Sola: Fine. I would like to comment on your second paragraph. You say, "The people of Pacaud-Catharine townships were never given the chance to voice their opinions or make their concerns publicly." Then, on the last page, you state, "Bill 143 set us free." Bill 143 will just put the final touch to never giving you the chance to voice your opinion again, because it will give the Minister of the Environment the ultimate and sole authority to determine what is a crisis and how to handle a crisis.

Do you not see the contradiction? You are complaining about not having your voice, and you are giving support to a bill that will ensure that you will never again get to have a voice.

Mr Morin: I think it is you who missed the point; I do not think I am contradicting myself at all. Whereas I say we are supporting Bill 143, we have never, ever given the right to Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake or Englehart to represent us. We were never approached; they took it upon themselves, so why should we not leave it in the power of the minister, who is making a decision at the time in our interests? It is not the Minister of the Environment who has draconian power, it is the mayors of the local area.

Mr Wiseman: My question has to do with the location of the mine site. Is this north? Okay. Perhaps you could explain the drainage patterns. What would be the impact on the local river system when it leaks?

Mr Morin: As you see, the railway goes right through Pacaud, and then the Misema River goes right through Catharine. There is Boston Creek and many other streams, all those streams that you see highlighted in blue. That is a map from the Ministry of Natural Resources. We have people here from the Ministry of the Environment in Timmins, and I am sure they can really point out that this is a right map. All that water would flow through the two townships I represent, Pacaud and Catharine.

Mrs Marland: To get back to why you are opposed to the environmental assessment, if your concern is that as a result of the environmental assessment this community, which impacts your community, as you have described, would end up accepting a contract with Toronto or Metro for its garbage that helped this community economically, if it was environmentally safe, why would you still be opposed to it?

Mr Morin: It would be nice to be able to quote you on what you are saying, but there is no way we could sell it. I am not a slick seller, and I kid you not. All I am doing is trying to keep the people's best interests at heart, and the reason I would not support it is that we all know that it would be economically unsound.

Mrs Marland: Why would it be?

The Chair: Mrs Marland, you do not have the floor.

Mr Morin: It would be environmentally costly and economically unsound. We cannot predict the costs of transportation. Right now in Toronto, it is impossible to transport it far. It was thought before that transportation was a high cost, so why would it mean it would be cheap to transport it into a bigger hole? The recyclables would be left in Toronto; what we would be getting is the trash. We do not want your trash, because the 3Rs would never be practised.


Mr Ramsay: I want to talk about just the bill in general and why I am against it and not the Adams mine proposal, and I want to ask you, would you support a bill such as this that would give the Minister of the Environment, and any future Minister of the Environment, the power to dictate without any public participation or environmental assessment where a dump would go? A future Minister of the Environment could say, "The Adams mine site is where Toronto's garbage is going to go."

Mr Morin: To make it clear, my understanding is that Bill 143 is mostly directed to the problem in the greater Toronto area. That is where the bill would be most effective. I understand your point, what you are saying, but right now we have people just taking advantage of those powers which we do not even have a right to vote on or have a say on. They could put it right in our backyard because the mayor made a deal. It has all been engineered. I would not say by whom, but we know it has all been engineered. That has been highly promoted, and it sold well. It was even sold to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Morin, for the presentation. We appreciate your taking the time and coming to speak to us. All members of committee have received a copy of your brief.

Mrs Marland: Madam Chair, can I say something? I just want to explain to the people present that because I was subbed into this committee for yesterday and today, and the flight leaves at 3:20, I have to leave now. But I want to assure the deputations that make their presentations this afternoon that I will be reading fully their presentations in Hansard. I apologize for having to leave, but I understand it is the only choice with the flights out of here this afternoon.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Marland. I would like to call next Roger Richards.


The Chair: Mr Richards, would you begin your presentation now, please? You have 20 minutes in total.

Mr Richards: Madam Chairman, honourable members, I would like to thank you first for the opportunity to express what are my personal views. I am Roger Richards, a very concerned citizen of Kirkland Lake and a local business operator.

I come before you today to express my concerns regarding the proposed interim waste bill, Bill 143, particularly part II, waste disposal sites. I personally believe this proposal as currently written is totally against the great democratic system of government that the people of this province, indeed this country, have fought for and, yes, have died for, done so that we could live without dictatorship or tyranny. This very system of government has been synonymous with the free world.

I will address specifically part II, waste management, regarding environmental assessment, subclause 14(1)(a)(iii): "An environmental assessment for a landfill waste disposal site referred to in section 12 is not required to contain...use of other single landfill waste disposal sites in the primary service area."

Also, clause 14(2)(a): "The environmental assessment is not required to contain any description of or statement of the rationale for, or any description or evaluation of any matter relating to...an alternative of waste reduction or reuse or recycling if that alternative would involve incineration of waste or the transportation of waste from the primary service area to any other area."

This wording can only refer to the proposed Adams mine waste reuse and recycling unit, a proposal which Minister Grier has made quite clear and in no uncertain terms she is personally and dictatorially against, one that she will personally not allow to benefit from an environmental assessment for feasibility studies.

We, as much as anyone, are concerned about waste management and environmental protection. This is why we sought and voted for an assessment. An assessment will determine the feasibility and environmental safety of such a proposal. The people of Kirkland Lake have not said yes to garbage, but rather an assessment to determine whether or not the location of a garbage waste, reuse and recycling facility should become a reality. We need to determine whether the benefits of such a proposal are sound. This can be determined only by the environmental assessment process.

Both opinions regarding this issue have validity. The only commonsense approach to this matter for all concerned is an assessment. Should an assessment show it is unfavourable, that would be it, once and for all. Should it prove favourable, then the next consideration could be studied.

Kirkland Lake's people, to some degree, see this proposal as a chance for honest work, doing something positive towards recycling, beneficial diversification from a shrinking resource base such as mining and timber and a chance to rebuild a community -- in other words, plain and simple, jobs and hope for a future.

Through all the discussions surrounding this proposal, I have yet to see a positive, feasible plan for Kirkland Lake in terms of economic stability other than the Adams mine recycling project. Let's at least have the opportunity to explore this proposal. All we have heard to date from the minister, Mrs Grier, is a flat no. Not only is Mrs Grier so opposed to this consideration, she is prepared to bypass the procedure of environmental assessment for the further use of the Keele Valley site so as to defeat any possibility of the Adams mine site proposal.

This reeks of a close-minded government, an uncaring government and, yes, a non-democratic government. I have always believed in and stood proudly for a government of the people, by the people, for the people. My father served in the Second World War for this principle and against dictatorship. I served in my country's armed forces in the cold war period in the same belief. "For the people" means all the people, not only those who may have voted for the sitting government.

For too long, the people of northern Ontario have been ignored and passed by. During our recent municipal election, a referendum vote was taken on whether or not the people of Kirkland Lake were in favour of an environmental assessment of the Adams mine waste disposal site. The results were a solid 69% of the voters stating, "Yes, we want an assessment so as to be more fully informed." Are we being told again that the government refuses to acknowledge the wish of the people; that the same government which espouses the democratic process as its mandate, now that it is in office, will refuse to follow its own party line? Where is the process of, by and for the people?

Is the NDP government telling the hardworking people of Kirkland Lake that they, the people, are not capable or intelligent enough to know what they want so as to reach an informed decision? Or is this a case of simple retaliation on the NDP's part for our having the audacity to not elect the representative for the NDP in this riding?

As a citizen of this country, this province and, more important, this town of Kirkland Lake, I have followed closely the events surrounding Bill 143. I am surprised that persons who, by their own words, represent a good majority of the people of Kirkland Lake who are in favour of this bill, would see fit to speak on this matter in Toronto rather than in the town they claim to have so much support in. But then, true to form, one of these same persons indicated in our recent election he would follow the people's mandate on the earlier-referenced referendum, provided, of course, they voted the way he felt -- this from the same person who has stated he requested an open referendum some three to four times from local government and then, when the referendum was put on the voting system, refused to vote on the issue himself. If this person and his group of environmentalists are so concerned, why are they not protesting the proposed bypassing of an environmental assessment of the Keele Valley site?

As a candidate for council in our recent election, I tell you now, the people who have worked in the mines, the forest industry and the service sector and everyone else said yes -- 69% yes. We may not live in a greatly populated area, but we are, none the less, as well informed as any other citizens of Ontario. We have asked for the assessment so as to make a more informed decision on the proposed site at the Adams mine. We are asking for the opportunity to see if it would be beneficial economically, socioeconomically and environmentally to our area.

The enactment and passing of Bill 143 is the greatest slap in the face to the people of our town and the greater Toronto area, and indeed Ontario as a whole; the people like my father and the multi-ethnic groups that, for years, supported the NDP when it had few seats in government, these very same people who had the faith that some day they would see the NDP in power. The eyes of many will be watching to see if indeed the NDP government is truly the government representative of the working people, if they indeed believe in the right to bargain in good faith.

I suggest to you here today that the passing of this proposed bill without amendments or alternative considerations will speak loudly and clearly that what we are burdened with is surely a dictatorship of ruling by might rather than right. We have seen in recent years the greatest physical symbol of socialism and dictatorial government, the Berlin Wall, come crashing down. The people look to the west and democracy as an example of life. Should the present government of Ontario and the honourable Ruth Grier ram this Bill 143 without due consideration of amendment, they will be laying down the first brick of a new wall between the people and the presiding government. This cannot and must not take place. Please live up to your party line.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to express my views.



The Chair: Thank you very much. Order. As I said before, it is really important, whether you agree with the presentation or not, that you just allow the presentation to go forward. The demonstration that you make just takes time away from questions that could be asked. Mr McClelland, you have the floor.

Mr McClelland: Sir, I might add that from time to time as we are talking with others or whatever, all the material will be read. That goes for all the other presenters as well. As Mrs Marland said, I want to assure all deputants that we will take, and indeed do take, the time to go through everything that is said.

With specific reference to what you have said here, I noted today in one of the Toronto papers that Mrs Grier has said there will be no changes and we should not have any hope for it. I guess that has to call into question why we are going through this process. Is it a sham? I can only ask those questions. Do people really want to hear? It has been my hope that the New Democratic Party members sitting on this committee, many of whom I personally regard as friends and very decent people, will rather begin to fight for the people of northern Ontario and the people of this province in terms of democratic rights and principles that they once espoused.

I have asked, and I have not heard from people a direct answer. I heard somebody, actually, from the back say, "Yes, yes, yes," when I asked that question, somewhat rhetorically. Do you not understand, sir, the very things that you said? This bill is not just about Adams mine; it is about some very fundamental principles that can be turned back against people.

Mr Jean-Jacques Morin said that he does not believe in the proposal, but surely people such as yourself would believe in the right to argue, to put forward your cases honestly and openly, and to believe they would be considered. You said it so well. If I were to say it, I would be accused of being dramatic, but you, who served this country in the armed forces, said it well, that people are laying their lives on the line for principles that are at stake in Bill 143.

I hope that message will be heard, and I hope my friends on this side will decide that it is time not to roll over and die and buy the party line, but to understand that you cannot have principles applied in one part of the province and different principles in another part of the province at different times. These principles are fundamental to what we are all about in this society, and one of them is the right of people such as yourself to be heard, to have a voice, and to have the law that you fought for and stood up for respected.

The Chair: I have allotted approximately five minutes for each caucus. You have just used about two of them, Mr McClelland. There is five minutes and I have four speakers, just to let you know.

Mr Richards: I appreciate your remarks. I am a firm believer that all bodies of government, when approached by the people, will listen. I believe they are taking to heart that whoever is a representative of the government in this province or this country, once they are addressed by the people and if the people speak loudly enough, will in fact listen. It is my hope that by coming here today, my one voice may help to make an amendment to this bill. That is why I am here. I believe in the governmental system of Canada.

Mr Bisson: I would like to start off by saying that I too served in the Canadian armed forces as a member serving my country. I too believe in the democratic principle, and do not see Bill 143 as in any way changing the democratic process.

My question is twofold. You state at the beginning that you are a person from the small business sector, so obviously you understand the economics of this. What you are referring to in subsection 14(2) is that the question of doing an environmental assessment on this particular project is a non-starter because the bill precludes and does not allow the option of transporting waste out of a community.

As such, if the bill says in 14(2) that we are not going to allow as an option the transport garbage out of Toronto or any other municipality to another, why would we spend $10 million, $15 million or $20 million on an environmental assessment that in the end would be terminated as not possible to do because of what the bill says? This is a crucial argument in this whole thing, because if I have heard one thing from the presenters and if I hear the members of the opposition, they are saying we should allow this EA to go ahead in order to take a look at this project. But what the bill says -- you have to understand what this bill is all about -- is that the municipality shall deal internally with its own waste problems.

We have put the onus on the municipalities to get into a program of reducing the amount of garbage within those communities going into landfill sites, and the rest of the 3Rs. If we are excluding transportation as an option, the reason we are doing that is because we do not want to be able to pass the buck by sending the garbage out of the community and deferring away any ability we have to deal with reducing the amount of garbage within a municipality like Toronto. If through this bill we are saying we are not going to allow garbage to go out of Toronto and come to another community such as Kirkland Lake, why would we spend $10 million, $15 million or $20 million on an environmental assessment when in the end it does not matter what it says, we could not do it because of the bill?

The second part of it is that a lot of people in this community feel that if we go ahead with the EA, somehow they would be able to stop the project. But I say if you go ahead with an EA, you do not stop it, because once a decision has been, it has been made.

Mr Richards: Not to be ignorant, but I sort of lost sight of your question because you went on so long. First I will address the economics of my business in Kirkland Lake. The devastation of the loss of economics in Kirkland Lake --

Mr Bisson: One moment. I went about as long as --

Mr Richards: Excuse me, if I may. Madam Chair, may I reply?

The Chair: Yes. Please allow him to reply.

Mr Richards: In the first place, my business has not suffered because of the economic devastation to Kirkland Lake. So it is not based on what I will gain from it. I am answering your question, if I may, without retort.

Second, the reason that I have asked for this and that it has been -- the Adams mine site was proposed some two years before this was even discussed. I have yet to see another alternative to the Keele Valley landfill site. So I am not asking necessarily that this be changed. But if you are going to have landfill sites, then there should be alternatives other than just the arbitrary statement that this is and will be the only one.

Mr Bisson: No, but you did not answer the question.

The Chair: You do not have the floor, Mr Bisson. Your time is up. Mr Ramsay.

Mr Ramsay: Thank you very much, Roger, for a very passionate presentation before us. It is interesting to look at the present situation of waste disposal in Ontario today. Unlike what one of the members of the panel just talked about, how this government is against the exportation of garbage from one jurisdiction into another, this government allows right now the transfer of garbage from Kingston to Ottawa. Also I believe Halton county garbage goes to New York state. It is exported right out of the country. I do not quite understand the two-faced nature of this and what is going on.

I think it is imperative for this government to come clean and to tell people where it really stands when it comes to waste disposal. I would just like to ask you, Roger, why you feel the people in Kirkland Lake who are against environmental assessment fear that. What is there to fear in having a full environmental assessment on this proposal?

Mr Richards: I am not really sure what their fears are. To be fair, I think in some respects there has been a lot of misinformation all the way around this issue in understanding what the environmental assessment process is. I firmly believe within myself that it will settle the issue for both sides. It will clear it up for the people of Kirkland Lake. This has divided the town. There are people who are for and against. It has divided friends. In some cases it has divided even family members.

I firmly believe in people having the right to express that opinion, but it is not coming to a decision that is pleasing to everyone. The best system I know to do that is the environmental assessment process. Let's settle the bloody issue and get it over with one way or the other.

The Chair: Mr Wiseman, you have one minute.

Mr Wiseman: I have to raise the issue of the transportation section as well. If the environmental assessment process were to go through as you have described it, not only would you put Kirkland Lake on the list, but you would put on Ignace, Timmins, southwestern Ontario, Lambton, Plympton, Marmora and Pickering. I have to tell you that one of the things I have fought against for a long time is to make sure Metro cannot bring its incompetent landfilling techniques back to my riding, even though they have tried to do it three times.

I think it is important for you to understand that if you are asking me to open up the whole section to the Environmental Assessment Act, you are doing a number of things. You are asking me to put my constituency back on the table. You are also going to prolong the process, and there will be no landfill site anywhere in Metro for Metro's garbage within the time frame that is necessary for Metro to have a landfill site.

Mr Richards: I still have not heard a question, but thank you very much for your time.

The Chair: I want to thank you very much for your excellent presentation.



The Chair: I am going to call next Central Timiskaming Economic Development Corp. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Would you begin by introducing yourself and leave a few minutes at the end for questions.

Mr Wilson: I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today and make a presentation on Bill 143. I am the director of the Central Timiskaming Economic Development Corp, which represents nine communities in the central Timiskaming region. Two of these communities, Englehart and Larder Lake, are part of the proposed host region for the recycling centre, and presentations by the heads of both councils were made to you this morning.

Part of my job is to support and improve the economic base in the region. This is no small task, especially in northern Ontario. Before some of you are tempted to discount what I have to say, let me assure you that economic development officers do not promote unbridled development for its own sake. We must take into account the needs and aspirations of the communities we represent, and that development must be sustainable. It requires the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the communities, trying to identify possible barriers to development and how to overcome them, and also identifying potential opportunities which can be undertaken to the benefit of the community as a whole.

I see some of the best potential for increasing employment in the region by further processing or adding value to products which are already produced in the area. These products are primarily based on the natural resources we have in our area, and for far too long the value added portion has been traded away and shipped off, usually to southern Ontario.

Much of the employment in our region is based strictly on the current reserves and the cost of raw materials, thereby establishing production levels. A decrease in demand automatically results in less employment. Conversely, adding value means less reliance on the availability and cost of the raw material. To provide a forestry industry example to what I am talking about, the doubling of a pulp mill's capacity will yield little additional employment in the plant while culling twice the resources. However, adding a fine paper line will significantly increase employment without using more wood. The result is a better return for the community on the resources used. Recycling is also an example of further processing, which means jobs.

This preamble is necessary to clarify my objection to Bill 143, specifically part II that denies the transporting of waste outside of the Metropolitan Toronto area. We are not allowed in the legislation to have our alternative considered or an assessment carried out on the potential environmental impact of that alternative.

Through years of working in the field of economic development, I have learned that one person's waste is another person's resource. Minister Grier seems intent on calling it "garbage" as opposed to "waste." This is mere semantics. Her ministry, on the other hand, considers it a valuable resource. By example, refer to the opportunities highlighted in the Canadian Waste Materials Exchange publication which you will find at the end of my presentation. This includes the Ontario Waste Exchange component, which is sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment, the Ontario Waste Management Corp and Ortech.

This valuable system tries to bring together the waste of one industry with the needs of another. Once enough waste is identified, it creates the critical mass from which we can start to delve into areas of possible value added opportunities. One restaurant's waste grease has little value; the amount generated city-wide does. As you have heard, the costly blue box recycling program will not yield any value added opportunities for Timiskaming district because the amount of waste which will be generated is not large enough to sustain any type of profitable recycling. Once again we will be sending a local resource down to southern Ontario, where it is going to be recycled, thereby generating employment elsewhere.

The opportunity which arose between Metropolitan Toronto and the communities of Kirkland, Larder Lake and Englehart addressed a very real need. For a change, rather than having southern Ontario solutions given for northern Ontario problems, the reverse was the case. Indeed, one area's problem is another area's opportunity, and that is what we were responding to with the Rail Cycle North proposal.

As I have stated previously, we in northern Ontario have sadly become accustomed to the idea of our resources being taken away to be further processed and seeing the employment from this increased value being enjoyed in another community. We have been told that, this being a free market economy, there is little if anything that can be done from a legislative point of view to ensure that such processing is done in the area where those resources have been generated. Now when the direction is reversed and there is an excellent opportunity for enormous benefits to our region, as have been cited by previous speakers, the government has chosen to legislate against the transportation of this resource to a full recycling facility located in Timiskaming.

If the government feels that it can legislate against a legitimate deal between two partners which would see a semi-processed resource from one area being sent to another then I respectfully ask that that same government review the current practices by which the multitude of our resources, be they forestry, mining, agriculture, tax revenue or our youth, end up leaving northern Ontario to be further processed in the south.

As a northerner, I have often mused about the enormous benefits which would accrue if companies were forced to establish their full processing where the resources are, but of course this is unrealistic, hard-line and individual companies would never be able to meet this requirement. The required legislation would never pass. Yet section 2 of Bill 143 does just that. Therefore, I have to ask you, why the double standard? Why is it that when we come up with an opportunity which offers significant benefits to our region by accepting the resource from another area of the province this whole idea is ridiculed, consideration refused, and we are treated like naïve children who do not understand the implications of what we are asking? We understand all too well.

Let me reiterate for you a few of the substantial benefits from this opportunity which would stimulate economic development.

First, the Ontario Northland Railway: As you have no doubt heard before, with the closure of two mines in Timiskaming, there has been a continuous downsizing of the labour force and the maintenance crews for the railway. As Englehart is one of the main railway centres for the ONR, we have felt these effects on an almost monthly basis. If this project were to go ahead, it would generate significant annual revenue, approximately $10 million, and ensure the economic stability of the railroad for at least the next 20 years.

Without this type of increase in the traffic on the ONR, and if it is losing money over a long period of time, I seriously question whether the ONR will be able to maintain the system in its present form. If it comes to the point where we might conceivably be facing the loss in service that the ONR provides for our area, I can guarantee you that our ability to attract new industry will be dealt a severe blow. This vital infrastructure link is a very attractive but costly asset. Moreover, I can predict with great certainty that if alternative cargoes do not present themselves in the near future, you will see the government of the day lobbied for grants just to keep the line afloat after a viable opportunity like this was ignored.

Second, the research and development component: In the agreement that was signed between Metro and the host communities, an annual contribution of $250,000 is to be set aside for research and development related to solid waste disposal and recycling technology. This is made even more exciting when one realizes that this is only the trigger money, that these dollars could be used to leverage more funding through the various provincial and federal programs which are set up to encourage R&D investment. Given the type of R&D under consideration, that of environmental technology which is receiving worldwide interest, this could mean that we can develop leading-edge expertise here in northern Ontario that is in great demand. The positive impact to the economy as a whole is self-evident.

Third, employment: It has been estimated that in the operational phase, approximately 150 jobs would be created. In addition, as was previously mentioned, this would involve some very significant high-technology jobs and research opportunities. This government and its predecessors have paid ample lipservice to the unfortunate fact that northern Ontario youth are migrating out of the region, and the government has been trying to find out reasons for this phenomenon. With all due respect, before embarking on yet another lengthy study, let me offer a simple reality: The lack of jobs and professional opportunities is the reason. This proposal will deliver both. Our educational system can deliver in northern Ontario the technical skills necessary to educate our youth to take on this exciting new industry. The enormous potential benefits of this project are very real to those of us on the front lines.


In conclusion, I would like to leave the committee with one final thought. In economic development in northern Ontario we are often left with numerous realities which cannot be changed: single-industry towns, small population base, the distances and high transportation costs to market and a host of other difficulties in establishing viable manufacturing operations. We accept the challenge of these realities and are working together to identify innovative methods to enhance our region's economy.

But when we are stymied in our efforts rather than assisted by the very government which has been encouraging us to take matters into our own hands and to be the engines of our own future, it infuriates us all. It is no wonder that throughout the north, a resurgent call for self-determination has begun and a call to recognize our basic rights to live and work here. Thank you very much for you attention.

The Chair: Thank you for an excellent presentation. There is approximately 10 minutes remaining. I will divide it between the two caucuses.

Mr Bisson: Obviously, in your capacity as an economic development officer, you look as well at other alternatives to develop a local economy. I thought it was interesting this morning that one of the mayors from one of the northern municipalities, when I asked the question, "What impact if any could this proposal have on the tourism industry in northern Ontario?" dismissed the tourism industry categorically. It was not important. Is that your view as well?

Mr Wilson: It is not my view at all. Although I represent nine communities, we are not a political organization. The mayors and the reeves do not have a direct link and say, "You'll concentrate on this." We will take any advice we can.

As far as tourism goes, it is important that we recognize that as also being a use of that raw resource that we have. One of the projects we are working on right now is an economic development strategy for the area and a tourism component. That element has to be a part of it.

One of the things that has come up a few times, and people have asked me, "If this proposal goes ahead, what do you see as the impact on tourism?" I am being possibly a little lighthearted here, but it seems to me that if this facility we have been talking about, which is being presented on recycling, can come to pass, then that to me would be a hell of a tourist draw with a lot of people who have been talking about the 3R program and holding that up as something they want their children to very much believe in and their grandchildren to believe in for the future. So why would it not be the physical embodiment of that philosophy? Why would that not be something that they would want to take their children to see? It seems to me that actually a facility like this might have some positive spinoff for tourism. That is not to dismiss the fact that we were talking about one area as opposed to all the tourism we deal with in northern Ontario and that is an integral part of the mix of resources we have.

Mr Ramsay: I welcome you, Harold. That was a good presentation. I was wondering if your economic development corporation or if other development corporations in Timiskaming have done any work on potential spinoff industries that could come from such a proposal if it was to go ahead.

Mr Wilson: Yes, we have. In fact, the Kirkland Lake Economic Development Corp has put a lot of time into taking a look at possible opportunities and some actual contracts which would be able to come to pass should we be able to get this facility, the further recycling component.

One of the things my office did before I came was to put together some potential things, methane gas being one possibility, to be able to have those exact recycling facilities here on a very product-specific basis. Once you had that critical mass in one area, which is what I was talking about with the waste exchange, there are enormous spinoff businesses that could come. We really will have to do an assessment on exactly the waste that comes in, how we will be able to break it down and what we will be able to offer investors. But when you have enough of that in one area, we are quite excited about the types of businesses we could attract, given that we will have that resource.

Mr Martin: I wanted to talk to you for just a few minutes about your job as an economic development officer and let you know that I identify with the struggles, in light of the present state of the economy, and actually the lack of a larger industrial strategy for the north and how difficult that is. In looking at that, I share with you that we as a government are committed to an industrial development for the north that will be very much based on a value added approach to the things we do best up here, and also local ownership and control.

When I look at this particular project, I see it as very precedent-setting if it goes ahead for the north. As I said this morning, I see again a case of high-grading, where the best recyclables will actually stay and be recycled in the south and we will get the residual or what is left over. I also look at this, as I look at some of the contracts that have been signed in terms of ownership and control, as very much owned and controlled by Metro. In fact, the town of Kirkland Lake stands to get $1.10 per tonne tipping fee as opposed to the $150 Metro is now getting where it tips its garbage. In light of that, I have to tell you it causes me great difficulty.

Mr Wilson: I appreciate your point about the local ownership and control, and that is something as well. One of the things we are lacking sometimes is entrepreneurs who have the experience and the dollars to make some of these things roll. This is something we are also working on now as economic development officers, to get that.

Regarding your point about the control coming from Metro Toronto, with respect, sir, I would say that one of the problems we also have in northern Ontario is the amount of control that is presented through all the crown land that is out there. There are a lot of municipalities, and our office as well, that would have some wonderful designs to further adapt some of the crown land and bring that under local control. We are stymied in every opportunity we have to really start talking about this. They brought out the crown land as a development tool, as a program, and that never went anywhere, I am afraid. It just ended up stopping.

The fact that Metro Toronto would have some control over this, that could be something that we would like to have more local control over. If enough opportunities spin off, we can have a lot of local ownership of those other things. But given the enormity we face with crown land, as an example, where the control and ownership is elsewhere, I do not see this as being much different than that.

Mr McClelland: Mr Wilson, as an economic development director, I would like to put three points forward for your consideration and response. One is the curious switching from time to time, and obviously I have a particular bias, but it seems to be easy to switch from the concept of "resource" to "garbage" as suits the discussion of the day. Do you have any comment on that? The difficulty you have as an economic development director for an area where there are different principles of law applied in different parts of the province and different policies of waste management applied in different parts of the province; does that sends any signals in terms of predictability of a government that is willing to change the policy and change the principles depending on what time of day it is and what part of the province you live in?


Second is the basic question at the end of the day. As economic development director, having looked at a proposal that was determined not to be environmentally sound, would you have any support for that? I think the question is self-evident, but the point I want to make is self-evident too. Please comment.

Mr Wilson: Regarding your first point, I agree that semantics get into it. To some people it is garbage, to others it is waste. I have been calling it a resource. We are all trading a lot of different definitions of it, just different words, but I think that is some of the confusion. I mean, the whole idea about garbage -- one imagines things that were mentioned by a previous speaker about litter being tossed astray all over the place from this kind of issue. That is not what we are talking about. We are talking about solid waste, something different.

On the second point, it is true that we have been looking at different policies for different areas, but I can tell you truthfully that in northern Ontario we have become quite fleet of foot. We are used to having some of the rights we see in southern Ontario not always being enjoyed here. Sometimes it comes down to land ownership, which is what Mr Martin was talking about. I talk about crown land as a big resource we cannot seem to use.

As for your third point, yes, I think there would be a lot of support out there if this were allowed to go ahead. As I said, we are not talking about development for its own sake. First of all it has to pass the environmental assessment process so that we know it will be safe, so that we know it can be sustainable. Once that happens, there is a lot of support we can get out there and a lot of parties interested in trying to develop this resource.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today. We appreciate it.


The Chair: I would like to call next Kathy King. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask that you begin by introducing yourself for the record. Leave a few minutes, if you would, for questions from committee members.

Mrs King: My name is Kathy King. I am a concerned citizen and a nursing professor here in Kirkland Lake. Good afternoon, committee members.

The saying goes that there are two sides to every story. I would like to share with you my experience in obtaining the two sides to the Adams mine story. In the spring of 1990 I attended a presentation by Notre Development regarding the Adams mine site that proposed shipping garbage from Toronto to Kirkland Lake via the railroad. I enthusiastically told my family of this proposal. My husband was elated, but my father was upset. My husband was elated because he drives a train for the Ontario Northland Railway and was working in North Bay as there was no longer full-time employment available to him in this area. This proposal would dramatically increase his chances of obtaining full-time employment close to home. On the other hand, my father had grave concerns about future environmental problems that could be created by such a massive dump. Amidst family discussions of the pros and cons of this proposal, I decided to become informed on the issue.

As I was gathering my information, I became less enthusiastic and, in the end, became disillusioned and disappointed. I realized that I had to consider the implications such a large project would have on the future. I could not say yes to a project that would create jobs today and pollution tomorrow. Society, both individuals and politicians, must look beyond what is best for "me" today and consider what is best for "us" tomorrow. The future and the environment must always be considered in all political and private sector planning and decision-making. Exporting Toronto's garbage to Kirkland Lake is not an environmentally sensible option; it just does not make sense. Having to accept Toronto's garbage is not right. This is why I support the ban on exporting waste in part II of Bill 143.

Individuals, citizens' groups and communities protesting landfill sites are often in the media. For example, a citizen living near the Keele landfill stated, "They know not the hell of negotiating a community life next to a megadump...the mental anguish and psychological stress wondering what health risks are posed to ourselves and our children, the rampant, migrating rodents that move around freely and the fear of the cycle never ending." However, I cannot recall seeing or reading about a community that was requesting a mega-landfill, except of course Kirkland Lake. Why is this? Normally the prospect of a megadump would cause outrage in any community. Why is it that there are people in Kirkland Lake wanting to take millions of tonnes of garbage from Toronto when the rest of the province is opposing it? I would like to share my analysis with you.

Toronto is experiencing a landfill shortage for its garbage and Kirkland Lake is experiencing economic instability. It just so happens that someone has a site in Kirkland Lake and it just so happens someone has a chance to make a lot of money and sees a profitable opportunity in having Toronto ship garbage to the Kirkland Lake site. People in Kirkland Lake are frightened of losing their livelihood. They want work and they want money. They are told over and over again that they will not have the dump unless it is environmentally safe, that this project will create 100, 150, no, make it 210 jobs and that an environmental assessment will be held before they have to decide whether they want it or not. I quote the mayor of Kirkland Lake, "All we want to do with that assessment is to get the facts" and, "How can you have a referendum until all the facts are in?"

When you receive such information as we have in Kirkland Lake, who would not say yes to any proposal that promises 210 jobs and environmental safety? But what I discovered during my personal research alarmed me.

1. From the US Environmental Protection Agency, "Even the most sophisticated landfills ultimately leak."

2. An environmental assessment cannot and will not guarantee environmental safety of a landfill site.

3. Kirkland Lake could not make the final decision on accepting or rejecting Toronto's garbage after the completion of an environmental assessment, as this decision would be made by the provincial government.

I know these facts, as do the committee members before me, but many people in Kirkland Lake were not aware of them, so when asked, "Are you in favour of a full environmental assessment of the Adams mine solid waste disposal and recycling project?" it begged a yes answer, because we were told that if the project was not totally safe, we did not have to accept it. I voted no because I knew what the question should have asked, "Do you want Toronto's garbage?" I voted no because I was aware of and concerned about the long-term implications.

Why were the citizens of Kirkland Lake insufficiently informed regarding both sides of the story? In my opinion it has to do with the various groups that took on the responsibility of educating the public; namely, the municipal government, Gordon McGuinty, FACTS committee and REEPA.

First, the municipal government: The town council did not provide any public forums by which the citizens were informed of the weaknesses of this proposal. Public input was allowed at two council meetings only, 15 minutes prior to the signing of the contract and for less than one hour prior to the passing of the municipal question. You can hardly call this public participation. On two occasions I requested that town council play an informative, educative role; for example, to invite the Ministry of the Environment to speak about environmental assessments. However, nothing ever transpired. I have been repeatedly disappointed in what I have observed and experienced at town council meetings. I thought autocratic leadership had gone out with the 1950s.

Second, Gordon McGuinty of Notre Development: Mr McGuinty presented the proposal to the public. It must be remembered that he is reputed to make $35 million if the proposal succeeds. I therefore question the objectivity of the information presented. I attended several of Gordon McGuinty's information sessions. I remember at one session concerns were raised regarding seagulls, methane gas, pollution etc. He informed us this would not be a problem; in fact, we could see for ourselves by touring Keele landfill site. I ask, if the Keele site is so safe and aesthetic, why did the mayor of Vaughan state: "Garbage blowing in all directions, dust, seagulls. It is a disaster and we would like to see it end. There are very grave concerns....What happens with effluent that is brought to the disposal plant? Is the disposal plant able to detoxify...all the chemicals before it goes to the lake?"

Now, why is there such a discrepancy? Who does one believe? A man reputed to make millions or a citizen living near a megadump? In addition, the information presented by Mr McGuinty was supported and reinforced by the municipal government, various business associations -- for example, the chamber of commerce -- and the media. If you hear and read something often enough, and it is something you want to hear, it is easy enough to start believing it. Unfortunately, this is what I feel has happened to some of the people in Kirkland Lake.


3. The FACTS committee, Committee for a Fair and Corroborated True Study of the Adams Mine Proposal: The FACTS committee paid lipservice to being neutral when in fact it just reinforced the information Gordon McGuinty presented.

4. REEPA, Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association: REEPA is a group of concerned citizens of Kirkland Lake and surrounding area who oppose the transporting of Toronto's garbage to Kirkland Lake. This group encompasses a cross-section of all age and socioeconomic groups. The most distinguishing characteristic is that they are not motivated by personal financial gain but rather because they care about their community, their environment and humanity in general.

However, local media and municipal leaders have been very slow or negligible in acknowledging this. Mayor Mavrinac in a letter writes that "these dissenters, who are at best a select group of friends, are irresponsible, to say the least." REEPA has been labelled radical and uninformed, but believe me, many of them are more informed of the facts than are those who scorn them. It is difficult for the public to believe a group of citizens who are denounced by the town leaders each time they try to make a statement.

What the last two years have demonstrated to me is that the past municipal government failed in its responsibility to provide the citizens of Kirkland Lake with both sides of the story. It was not the responsibility of Gordon McGuinty, the FACTS committee or REEPA to inform the citizens of the pros and the cons. This was the responsibility of those whom we elected, the town council. Town council relinquished its responsibility in exposing potential weaknesses by relying on an environmental assessment. I criticize this elected body for not exposing the weaknesses along with the strengths of this proposal during the past two years. Whatever the citizens voted last November 12 in the municipal question was based upon insufficient information. Had the citizens been fully informed I believe the outcome of the vote would have been different.

There are additional comments I would like to make. First, Mr Kelly, director of solid waste management for Metropolitan Toronto, stated: "Nobody wants to be right near one" -- referring to a landfill -- "so why bother the people when you can locate something that they're far enough away from it. Everybody down here says they don't want it. Everybody up there, they're saying they want it." For the record, not everyone here wants Toronto's garbage. Second, it is this attitude of shipping it up north where it cannot be seen or smelled that makes me believe shipping garbage is wrong.

Second, Joan King, Metro councillor, chairperson for the Metro works committee, stated, "Does it make sense to keep it" -- referring to the garbage -- "right where all the people live, breathe, drink the water, or does it make sense to look where it won't have a social impact, where it will be environmentally safe?" I just want to state that I hope she was not still considering Kirkland Lake when she made this statement because no one can guarantee the environmental safety of a landfill site. I am here to tell you that it will have a social impact. We may be smaller in number but the impact will be experienced by each and every one of us as much as it would be by those in the south.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Ruth Grier for having the courage to introduce a long-term plan to improve waste management in Ontario. This covers most of what I wanted to say. I thank you for your attention and I welcome questions and comments. Any of the quotes I did use are referenced at the back.

The Chair: Thank you. There are about seven minutes remaining and I will divide that equally between the caucuses.

Mr McClelland: That was well done and well put together and well presented. I have an interesting agreement to disagree with you. You said that there are two sides to every story. One of the axioms in political life is that there are three sides: their side, my side and the truth. I say that by way of introduction because I think that is basically what is happening here to a large measure. There is a sense that people are becoming polarized. There is a sense that there is division -- not a sense; that is the reality. That is unfortunate.

I would also say, and I do not mean this in any pejorative or judgemental sense, that you would probably find me somewhat uncourageous in the sense that I would not presume to introduce a plan that I felt I could provide all the answers to. I would also think by implication that you might think I would have relinquished some of my community leadership. I will tell you why. I was faced with the situation where I made the following statement. Although I did not necessarily agree with the proposal that would have brought a landfill to the area I represent, I said I was prepared, because of the belief that there is our side, your side and the truth out there. To the extent that it is possible -- and it is not possible; we do not live in a perfect world -- we set up systems in our society where independent people who are charged with responsibility, sitting in a group of three or more, can, to as great a degree as humanly possible given our frailties, arrive close to some objective analysis of what the truth is.

Those, in short, are the philosophical underpinnings of the EA. I am glad that you told me today, and told us, that you had not had an opportunity for somebody to come out and explain the EA process to you. I think that is critical and important for this community and any community that is faced with the prospect, because I sense, quite candidly, not only from people who have been here today, but perhaps even -- I say this with no disrespect to members -- colleagues of mine in the Legislative Assembly and some who might sit on this committee, that they do not really understand fully the Environmental Assessment Act. It is not an easy thing to work your way through. I hope you will be afforded that opportunity.

I hope you will consider the fact that I think there are some very basic principles here, that in none of us reposes all wisdom and truth. Quite frankly, I am not courageous enough to come out and say I am prepared to make a statement that I know best under all circumstances. You applaud the current minister for doing that. So be it. I believe I am capable of making mistakes and bad judgements. I believe it needs to be bounced off other people and has to be challenged. Those are some of the safeguards I think important to our society. I thank you for your position and your opinion. I respect it.

Mrs King: If I can comment, you were talking about two sides. That is my point here, that I feel the municipal government -- not REEPA, not Mr McGuinty and not the FACTS committee -- had a responsibility to tell the citizens of this community both sides of the story, or just one little fact about the weaknesses. Weaknesses were never identified, and when anybody even tried to ask, "What if...," "Should we consider...," or "Could we look at...," they were always -- and I use the word -- denounced. That is my big concern. I think somehow that even I myself at some point was thinking that Mr McGuinty -- but it was not him, it was not his responsibility. He was a salesman selling his goods. Anyhow, I just wanted to make that statement to make sure it was clear. The three sides of a story, I would like to consider that.

The Chair: Mr Bisson, you have three minutes.

Mr Bisson: Thank you. I would like to thank you for a presentation that comes from the heart, as we have heard from people on all sides of this issue. I think you were saying that a message has been lost out there and that really we need to get to the information.

I am curious about something, because it runs back into a couple of things we heard this morning. You say on the second page of your report, "Why is it that there are people in Kirkland Lake wanting to take millions of tonnes of garbage from Toronto when the rest of the province is opposing it?" I am just wondering, because I am looking here at the Northern Daily News of Thursday, January 21, 1988. The then mayor, who is still mayor of Kirkland Lake, said: "They can keep the garbage, I don't want any part of it." Then it was said by the mayor from my community that this type of thinking is typical of southern Ontario mentality. The obvious question I have is, why the change of heart? Is there something I am missing here?

The second part is, how do you respond to accusations that have been made, because it touches your presentation, having groups such as REEPA and other concerned people named as fringe groups. How do you respond to that?

Mrs King: First of all, why the change of heart? I think bucks, money. I really do believe that. I think, as Bernadette Fernandez said earlier today, having gold dangled in front of their eyes. I am not really sure. I think also being close-minded, hearing that there is this fantastic project that is going to create jobs and not really taking the time to ask, "How great is this?" That is my own opinion.

Second, how do I feel about being considered a fringe group? I think what really concerns me is that never once in the media has Mayor Mavrinac or the town council said: "Gee, thank you. You're some citizens in this town and you seem to care. You care enough to use your own time to collect some information. I want to thank you for that. Maybe you could share a little of it with us." That never, ever occurred. As for being a fringe group, I do not even think we have that status, to tell you the truth.

It is really upsetting to me. I am raising my own children and try to state to them that if you really believe in something, you have to stand up for yourself, go to your elected leaders and speak to them. But it is most disappointing when you go to your elected leaders and they will not give you the time of day. I hope I have answered your questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your making a presentation before us today. Everything you say is recorded in Hansard and becomes part of the public record.



The Chair: I would like to call next Richard Denton. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes for questions. Would you please begin your presentation now.

Dr Denton: In answering Mr Bisson's question of who I am and am I part of the fringe, I would just like to say that I am a general practitioner. I was born in Sudbury. I grew up in southern Ontario and have now returned to the north, practising here in Kirkland Lake for the last 15 years. I have been active in the community, from little theatre, community choir, chairman of JSANO school of the arts, to being past president of our local Rotary Club, Paul Harris recipient, president of our medical society. I have also served on the Ontario Medical Association northern affairs committee, and I am currently president of the Timiskaming federal Liberal Party and a northern director of the Liberal Party of Canada, Ontario.

The Chair: Do you think we should extend your time because your CV has taken so much of the presentation up?

Dr Denton: I have also been on a national church board for three years, as well as the national board for the Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Maybe that is a fringe group.

More relevant to the issue today, though, I have been chairman of the Marquis local roads board for several years, and I am the environmental director for the Round Lake and Area Taxpayers' Association and treasurer for the Responsible Environmental and Economic Prosperity Association. I have represented Marquis local roads board on the north Timiskaming local government study. I have attended numerous presentations of Notre Development Corp, toured the Adams mine site with Mr Gordon McGuinty and have read numerous reports from Notre Development, the soil and water environmental enhancement program etc, and I have made presentations to our town councils, both in Kirkland Lake and in Englehart. I have no financial interest in this project.

In summary, I am a medical doctor concerned about the health of my patients and neighbours. I live and have been active in the community for the last 15 years, and I am particularly interested in the environment. I have stated no financial interest in the outcome of the proposed Adams mine dump.

I should now like to go from the general to the particular, first discussing Bill 143, then looking at the Toronto garbage situation and finally at the Notre Development so-called solution. I would first like to say that I am in favour of Bill 143. As a Liberal, I believe that government should regulate for the public good, and I believe that this bill does that. I am particularly happy with part IV, in that it broadens the definition of "waste" and "the natural environment." It also looks at waste reduction, reusing and recycling, and I feel that this is a key point.

Section 28, to do research into packaging, is vital, and I feel strongly that much of our current packaging can be eliminated or standardized for reuse. Sections 29 and 30, therefore, are also excellent. The answer to the garbage problem is not to bury it like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand but to reduce and eliminate waste through decreasing and eliminating packaging and reusing and recycling that packaging. For this reason, part II is important.

In the past, we have just found another site to dump the garbage, without looking at reducing the amount of garbage. When a municipality has to look after its own waste, there is suddenly a much greater incentive to being creative in reducing that amount. Therefore, I strongly support the philosophy behind part II. It should have been done years ago. For too long we have put off the inevitable. Now the crunch is coming and we look for another place to hide the waste rather than dealing with constructive ideas on decreasing the amount of waste.

I would suggest to our present government to limit the size of cities and to limit the paving and development of prime agricultural land in southern Ontario through land banks and regulations. I applaud the government for decentralizing industry and in particular for bringing many ministries up north. We have the land up here for people and industry. Now with modems, computers, faxes, satellite dishes and fibre optics, one does not need to be on Bay Street or in downtown Toronto.

Kirkland Lake used to be the 20th-largest city in Ontario back in the 1920s and 1930s. It was the location for all the head offices of mining companies, and I believe that this could occur again. I think government can improve transportation by getting back our night passenger train and upgrading our airport. Once the infrastructure is there, and with government showing the lead in moving its offices, industry will follow to use the available resources, natural and human. Civilization does not end at Barrie.

This is why it is crucial to put the responsibility with Toronto for managing its own waste. For too long it has expanded uncontrolled, always able to pass the buck for waste management elsewhere. This act will make it necessary for Toronto to be master of its own house and to be responsible for it too.

Finally, I would like to comment on the suggested Notre Development so-called solution to point out its difficulties. With the closing of the Adams mine putting many people out of work, our town fathers have naturally looked for suggestions to provide jobs and income for the town. I feel, though, unfortunately our current mayor has put all his eggs in one basket in backing Mr McGuinty's project. Not diversifying is often the problem here in the north.

Like many, when I first heard of the Notre Development project for turning the Adams mine site into a recycling plant providing money and jobs, I and the local community were elated, but with time and further inspection and seeing the documents that have been signed by the three mayors and Toronto, I feel that this plan has become very flawed.

Looking at the environment first, that is our main concern. The north is noted for its natural resources, mineral wealth, forests, agricultural land, tourist playground for hunting and fishing and clean water. I believe that this project threatens these resources. The Adams mine site with its many natural faults and numerous secondary faults from over 20 years of blasting is a probable sieve through which leachate may pass into local groundwater systems. Being on a height of land, this leachate may contaminate the watershed from here down the system into not only Ontario but also Quebec. As a doctor, the best treatment, I believe, is prevention. Once the water is contaminated, there is no economical means of purifying it of toxic compounds. Even if you have a third party environmental monitoring group, this is not going to be helpful because once they detect a problem, it is too late to correct it.

It has been said that the Adams mine is dormant, not dead, but it will certainly become that if allowed to be filled with waste. We up here in the north once considered that gold mine tailings were waste. Now they are being reprocessed for gold with better extraction methods. I would like to point out that there is still iron in the Adams mine.

Now I would like to talk a bit about Mr McGuinty's solution, how he plans to deal with the leachate by pumping it out of the bottom to a treatment plant. When questioned on this, the pumping is for 25 years, not a long, perpetual time. I believe that this is not adequate protection for the long haul; maybe for him to make his money, but not for the sons and daughters of this area.

It is interesting that the preliminary test drilling did not go down to the bottom depth of the pit or even to the water table, which is above the bottom of the pit. Thus I believe there is a risk of contamination of the water table.


Golder Associates mention a worst-case scenario of blocked pipes and failed pumps, and I believe that this is a good possibility. Supposing all goes well and the leachate is pumped out to the treatment plant, how is it then treated? I asked Mr McGuinty at a public meeting how he would treat the leachate, and I am still waiting for an answer. At the time, he mentioned using chlorine to kill the E coli, but that does not remove the toxic chemicals. Presumably he will simply dump the waste on to the present tailing site, and we in the north know what happens to tailing sites with toxic chemicals going into the Montreal River.

I am also concerned that the initial proposals spoke of 25%, maybe even 50% of Toronto garbage being recycled at the Adams mine. Now it seems that less than 12% will be recycled. This means that the Adams mine will be a dump and not a recycling plant.

It is interesting in the agreement signed by the three mayors and Toronto that the definitions have been changed from common acceptance; ie "recovery" means the recovery of material resources or energy resources from mixed solid wastes, ie aluminum cans etc, and that "recycling" means the extraction from waste of material for the purpose of its sale and subsequent utilization in an agricultural, commercial, manufacturing or industrial process or operation such as methane gas and fertilizer. It is clear from the various comments from the various parties involved that the recovery, really recycling, will occur down in Vaughan township, and that we in the north will get the garbage of the waste, possibly methane extraction.

The waste recycling plant is to be built after the plan is up and running for two years, and is subject to the master plan of the solid waste environmental assessment plan, which allows an out for Toronto. Under condition 9, Metropolitan Toronto can back out at any time, but the host regions are tied into it. Section 12 says that if it is not in this agreement, it is not in the agreement. Therefore, many of the things which Mr McGuinty has been talking about are not in the agreement.

Jobs: As mentioned above, this area has been devastated by mine and plant closures. We need to replace these lost jobs. Without a major recycling component the number of jobs is small, being only about 75 for the solid waste facility, if that. The major recycling will occur down in Vaughan township. This is where the large numbers of jobs are involved. Therefore the jobs will occur down south, not up here.

The role of the Ontario Northland Railway has been mentioned, and we would all like to see it prosper, but one of the reasons that the Adams mine closed was that the railway lost its subsidy with free trade and could not compete, with empty cars going back up north. This proposal would not change the original premise, only the direction; the empty cars would be going back down south.

Money: In Notre Development Corp's initial submission to the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee on December 28, 1989, it was stated that there would be a reverse depletion fund of 2% of the tipping fee for all solid waste deposited in the landfill or a minimum of $1 million annually. This is not part of the present deal. Instead, the host region gets $1.10 per tonne, which does not change over the years and will represent a fraction of 1% in years to come. Therefore the north takes the environmental risks and gets paid peanuts, while the big money goes to Notre Development, Toronto, and Dofasco.

There will be $250,000 set aside per year for research. This is again really a very small amount of money. In the initial proposal, 1% of the tipping fee was suggested for research. This is a dramatic reduction since December 1989. On March 4, at a public meeting, Mr McGuinty said that a minimum of $1 million would be set aside for research; again, a decrease. Why, when research and development in such a new field is needed? Finally, what money will be set aside to look after the environment, for cleanup, for maintaining surveillance and operation after the project is completed?

I would now like to conclude with a few other comments. It has been suggested that we should wait for environmental assessment first before discussing the project further, but if you look at what is involved in an environmental assessment it is a very costly process which gives money to lawyers but not to the communities affected. It is similar to building the $24-million Red Squirrel Road only to have it not used. Once the process is in progress the proponent can make modifications, but the final say is once again up to the Minister of the Environment. An environmental assessment does not guarantee environmental safety; it only recommends the best alternative. Therefore I am against going ahead with an environmental assessment.

It should also be pointed out that the people downstream from the mine and closest to the mine have not been consulted in the referendum. The referendum also asked a motherhood question rather than, "Do you want Toronto's garbage?" I therefore believe that the referendum does not make us a willing host.

In conclusion, I strongly support Bill 143. I feel that it is the right way to go, expanding the definitions and scope of waste and looking to reduce, reuse and recycle. I believe in making communities responsible for the management of their waste rather than wasting fossil fuels transporting the problem 600 kilometres to bury it like an ostrich head in a hole in the ground. The Notre Development project is bad for the environment, does not give us the jobs we need and does not give us the economic base we are looking for. The people directly affected have not been consulted in a referendum. An environmental assessment is a costly, time-consuming exercise that does not guarantee environmental safety. Therefore, let's pass Bill 143 and get on with solving the problem. Thank you.

Ms Haeck: Thank you, doctor. This is a most marvellous presentation. You have added an awful lot to my knowledge base by your presentation. I have a couple of quick questions. On page 3 towards the bottom in the last large paragraph, E coli bacteria basically is created by sewage, is it not?

Dr Denton: That is correct.

Ms Haeck: So in this whole issue of dealing with purifying water you are really talking of what he addressed in his comments to you, basically dealing with sewage. Is that something that you ever expected to have to deal with?

Dr Denton: No. I think that is the point. Sewage is only one part of the problem of waste. There is a host of other problems. We have a means of treating E coli. You can add the chlorine. But when chlorine is added to all these other chemicals, the dioxins etc, I have yet to see a way of removing those. We may get a whole host of new chemicals when you add the chlorine to it.

Mr McClelland: Doctor, thank you. You said it was your belief that the government should regulate for the public good, and I accept that.

Dr Denton: Correct.

Mr McClelland: The presenter before you said "It's frustrating when you go to an elected official and that person won't even give you the time of day." Obviously you and I have a considerable difference of opinion, but I would simply submit to you again that one of the things governments do in the public good is to set up a process whereby people have a right of appeal. Sometimes governments kicking and screaming have done this, but because of public pressure they have been compelled to put in place processes and institutions that are somewhat apart from government that allow society a fail-safe mechanism, a check and balance, if you will.

Notwithstanding your support for Bill 143, I say very clearly to you that I believe the inherent danger in that is that it can be flipped back against anybody at any point in time. It is the old fable about the leopard that was still a leopard and it can go one of two ways depending on the mood it is in at any particular time. Without those fundamental protections in place -- I am not arguing the merits of the proposal -- some day they may be the very thing that you, in the community you represent, would wish were there to call upon for your ultimate recourse when there is a government in place that you do not happen to agree with.

The Chair: Thank you. Did you wish to comment?

Dr Denton: I agree with that. I am not sure just specifically what you are referring to, though.

Mr McClelland: If that is a question back, what I am saying is that Bill 143, by its very philosophical underpinnings, says in effect that decisions can and should be made by one person. It allows that individual, whoever he or she may be, to make very significant decisions that preclude participation of the public and that preclude the opportunity of the public to challenge that decision and to have an appeal process, if you will; in other words, the environmental assessment. I think it is fundamental for us to understand that.

If you will, it is a citizen's court of appeal against the elected officials that Mrs King said sometimes are not there. I am not sure everybody has sight of the implications of what is taking place here today. Some day you may say: "My God, how did we ever allow Bill 143 to pass? Now we want protection and can't get it because it has become the precedent by which people are shut out."

Just parenthetically, as a Liberal I believe one of the things we have to do is to provide institutions in society that are apart from political interference, hence the EAA process.

The Chair: Thank you very much, doctor, for your presentation.



The Chair: I call next Martha McSherry. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We would ask that you begin by just introducing yourself for the committee. The microphone is controlled by the little button at the front. If you have any problem with it, just press the button. We would ask you to leave a couple of minutes at the end for questions from committee members. Please begin now.

Mrs McSherry: My name is Martha McSherry. I am a public health nurse in Kirkland Lake and I have lived in the area for 15 years. Thank you for the opportunity to present my views as a concerned citizen of Kirkland Lake to the standing committee on social development regarding Bill 143, An Act respecting the Management of Waste in the Greater Toronto Area and to amend the Environmental Protection Act.

I will focus my presentation on part II, which outlines the Interim Waste Authority's responsibilities with respect to finding three landfill sites within the GTA. The environmental assessments of the three sites do not require an evaluation of alternatives. Incineration and transportation to sites outside the GTA will therefore not be considered.

Before I start on my brief I want to mention that after attending the sessions for the better part of today, we have to put Kirkland Lake in a broader perspective. Jobs are important. We across the north are suffering. This community is a boom-and-bust community, as are all communities dependent on natural resources. The country is in a recession. High unemployment and social service rolls are prevalent across the country, not just in Kirkland Lake. I have been closely following the prospect of transporting Metro's garbage to the Adams mine site for several reasons.

1. These pits have been mined and blasted for the past 28 years. The bottom of these pits are well below the groundwater table. The developer, Notre Development Corp, tells us the impermeability factor of the pit walls is pretty good. The Environmental Protection Agency in the US, in drafting federal standards for municipal solid waste landfills, identified those sites unsuited for landfills in its draft plan dated August 30, 1988. A mined or subsidence-prone area can result in rupture, deformation or other damage to liners or final covers that may release waste directly into the environment. This mine site is unsuited for landfill or waste.

2. Considering that approximately 1% to 2% of household garbage is hazardous waste, if 1 million to 1.5 million tonnes of waste are shipped annually, then the mine site would be receiving from 10,000 to 30,000 tonnes of hazardous waste per year. We have a long way to go in cleaning up our garbage.

3. The Adams mine site is approximately 27 miles south of the arctic watershed, a dividing point of high land where the river system flows south. Any leachate that seeps through fractured rock would be difficult to locate and irreparably degrading to our environment. Our northern water is one resource we need to protect for the sake of the province, particularly if we continue in the direction we are headed in. We will be establishing a dangerous precedent in putting garbage at our headwaters.

I just want to put an aside here that I voted "no" on the environmental assessment question because I feel the risks outweigh the benefits. The environmental assessment question we have heard many times put before the people of Kirkland Lake. I want to quote Mr Roger Clarke, supervisor of the waste unit at the environmental assessment branch of the Ministry of the Environment. This is his response to that question:

"The municipal question is confusing. It's worded very awkwardly. It's hard to understand what the intent is." That was in the Northern Daily News, November 1991. I think the citizens of Kirkland Lake have the right to a clearly understood question on such a major proposal. Notre Development Corp has been the primary source of information on the project, doing one-sided presentations to sell the proposal for financial gain. This cannot be called effective public consultation.

Looking at the agreement between Metro and Kirkland Lake, the final agreement dated November 19, 1990, was voted upon as favourable 24 hours after it was received by council. A concerned citizen, Ms Gamble, was denied an extension to review and respond to the 19-page document. The council was not making any efforts to encourage public input or feedback. I raised my concerns in a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. Mr McGuinty of Notre Development responded to my letter. He wrote me to say that a one-page statement of principles from the agreement had been available to the public in advance of signing the agreement, implying that it took the place of the 19-page agreement. I have copies of the statement of principles as well as four pages from the Metro agreement for your perusal. I draw your attention to three areas not in the statement of principles that were of particular concern to me.

Section 2: A "notwithstanding" clause whereby Metro may make an application under the shorter Environmental Protection Act for the interim or short-term use of the site. Mayor Mavrinac has stated publicly many times that the Adams mine site must undergo a full environmental assessment in order to establish safety of the environment. Kirkland Lake council signed this agreement before the Minister of the Environment put a ban on export of garbage outside the GTA. Here we are with a signed agreement permitting Metro to go for an exemption under the Environmental Assessment Act. Approval under the Environmental Protection Act does not require public input. The proposal would have the Adams mine pits full within five years. Our council signed an agreement with that clause.

Section 5.7: Waste recycling plant. The agreement gave Metro complete control over the type and quality of recycling at the site. I heard from our mayor this morning that he seemed to have some idea of what that recycling would be, and I am anxious to hear. Only 8% of the total volume of garbage was recyclable; 92% was to go directly into the pits untreated. The success and expansion of recycling is dependent upon markets. Unknown markets for undefined recyclables in remote northern Ontario are doomed to failure. While resources, the iron ore pellets, have been shipped out of Kirkland Lake, the Adams mine site, to Dofasco in Hamilton for 20 or more years, why were we not getting the secondary industries up here to process those pellets into commodities? Were we too far from the markets? Was the transportation cost too high? Those same concerns are going to be problems for us in trying to do something with any recyclables we would receive from Toronto.

Section 8: Conditions to Metro's obligations. Metro may, at its sole discretion, waive or reject any or all consents, approvals or agreements referred to in the various subsections of section 8. The subsections include section 64 of the Ontario Municipal Board Act, an agreement with the province confirming the status of the host municipalities as receptive communities for the purpose of obtaining an exemption order for interim or short-term use, and all necessary approvals and consents for use of the site from each and every government, board, agency, commission or other regulatory or administrative body, whether federal, regional or municipal, to the satisfaction of Metro. Metro appears to have unlimited powers. Why have the mayor and council signed such an agreement, but at the same time publicly insisting that the Adams mine site must have a full environmental assessment?


I contend that Metro and the developer created the belief that the greater Toronto area was in a waste crisis in order to have the option to get an exemption from the province. Metro had a signed agreement and the legal power of turning the Adams mine site into a short-term or interim site under the Environmental Protection Act. The people of Kirkland Lake had been misled by the developer, the mayor and council and by Metro.

Now that the Interim Waste Authority has the authority to address the GTA waste management difficulties, there seems to be a change of tune. We are hearing from Mr Ferguson, Metro works commissioner, that Keele Valley has an extended life from 1995 now to 1999. The Minister of the Environment is now being accused of imposing a waste crisis on the GTA. Whether there is a waste crisis or not, the GTA has an urgent waste management problem that needs serious attention.

I support part II of Bill 143, which bans incineration and export of garbage, putting the emphasis on reducing waste output to a minimum while increasing recycling and reuse to a maximum and thus conserving precious resources. Incineration and export to a megafill are incompatible with the 3Rs. They are not reasonable alternatives for the citizens of Ontario. Both are extraordinarily expensive to build and operate. In order to pay these costs, tipping fees are charged for each tonne of garbage that is burned or buried. Both these waste disposal systems depend on a constant supply of garbage. Both these alternatives ultimately contaminate our environment.

I have attached to the brief the American Public Health Association January 1991 stance against incineration of solid waste. I think it is a very well-researched article you might find interesting.

In conclusion, keeping GTA waste within its own boundaries forces change at a critical time. With the urgency at hand, building new megafills or new incinerators now will put us back 20 more years. The GTA boundaries may be arbitrary, but where do you draw the line? The Minister of the Environment has had to make very difficult political decisions caused by years of political neglect. That is the presentation.

The Chair: Thank you very much for a very interesting brief.

Mr McClelland: One of the things I find interesting in your presentation is that some of the very things you find disturbing are the very things I find disturbing about Bill 143. When all is said and done there are some things that people talk about on Bill 143. It happens that in this business people gravitate towards you and say, "I like X, Y and Z, so it must be good." If I speak against Bill 143, then other people would seek to create an impression that because I am against Bill 143 I do not agree with X, Y and Z. In fact, I very well may agree with certain aspects of things that are set out in the bill.

You mention on page 3 your concern that the subsections and the agreements set aside sections of the Ontario Municipal Board Act. Let me tell you why I do not like Bill 143. It sets aside the Environmental Protection Act, it sets aside the Environmental Assessment Act, it sets aside the Ontario Municipal Board Act, it sets aside the Planning Act and it sets aside another series of acts that deal specifically with the greater Toronto area.

Then it goes on to say, translated into layman's terms: "If I as minister have forgotten any other act or any other impediment that may stand in the way of my imposing my policy, dictating my policy to people in and around the province of Ontario, we will deem them not to exist. If there are legal, binding agreements between citizens and people from whom they purchase their home, if there are legal, binding agreements between municipalities and home owners and citizens groups, we will deem them not to exist." If people are financially injured or lose the value of the property, that is not even being considered now. Apparently that is going to be removed.

When I look at that and read that you have problems with process in terms of protecting people's rights, I can only say that I agree exactly with the kind of sentiment you are expressing. That is why I oppose Bill 143. I think there is too much at stake when you are prepared to say on the basis of an individual, whoever he may be, whether I agree or disagree with him, that he is entitled to override all the legislation and the binding agreements that have been made in good faith between people. I think that is too much for our society, which prides itself in freedoms and citizen participation, to accept. I think it is a terrible, unacceptable price to pay to get ourselves out of the problem. We have to get out of the problem but I quite frankly am not willing to pay that price in terms of principles I think are very important to all of us in Ontario.

Mrs McSherry: I think we agree in that respect.

The Chair: Mr Bisson, you have the floor, and you have approximately four minutes for your caucus.

Mr Bisson: First of all, just to clarify, under Bill 143 on any long-term site you will still have to do an environmental assessment. That is not at question here. I think the way it was put was a little bit confusing. Any future site considered a long-term site would have to undergo an environmental assessment. Under the old legislation you could circumvent the EA by going to an EPA. This brings me to this document I have never seen. I take it this is the master agreement between Metro and Kirkland Lake.

Mrs McSherry: Yes, it is.

Mr Bisson: I am going to quote, because this disturbs me greatly. This is contrary to everything I have heard up till now. It says in the document: "The host municipality acknowledges and agrees that Metro may make application under the Environmental Protection Act for the interim use of the site." What you are saying is that people were aware that -- it could conceivably have happened that this thing would never have done an EA in the first place.


Mr Bisson: I will leave the time for my caucus. That is very disturbing because I am being told through this whole debate that the whole purpose of this is to provide an EA and I find in the document that the EA could have been circumvented in the first place, and people were aware of that. I find that quite distressing.

Mrs McSherry: I agree.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to point out that this is not a big surprise to me because the use of the Environmental Protection Act was introduced at the science centre in Toronto in March 1988, where host communities of the GTA were asked to put sites on the table. The Keele Valley site was offered up as the York region site under the Environmental Protection Act. Site 6B was offered up as the Peel site. P1 in my riding was offered up as the Durham site. All of them were to be given exemptions from the Environmental Assessment Act to the Environmental Protection Act, and Metro had to come up with a site of its own. Using the SWISC process they decided they could perhaps do it anywhere in Ontario, so it is not a big surprise to me to see that one of the proposals Metro is going to put on the table for its interim site, at the same time as trying to get it to be a long-term site, is Kirkland Lake.

I did not know about this until very recently, but it was an interesting juxtaposition. When people talk about rights and what this bill does, none of the exemptions to the Environmental Assessment Act for any of the sites I just listed ever went to legislation in the Legislature. If you are talking about taking away people's rights, it seems to me that while Bill 143 does limit certain aspects of the Environmental Assessment Act, which is the elimination of incineration and long-distance transportation, at least it is doing it by act of Legislature and not by Premier caveat. My question to you very simply is that, given that legislatures are elected to rule, is it not better that if they are going to change the rules they do it by coming to the Legislature instead of doing it behind closed doors in secret deals?

Mrs McSherry: Absolutely.

Mr McClelland: I have a question for the parliamentary assistant. I think it might deal with some of the issues Mr Wiseman raised in terms of understanding about who brought in the EPA and EAA and how they fit one with the other. I think there is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding. I say this with great respect. I think Mr Wiseman just demonstrated his complete lack of understanding of how the EPA and the EAA has evolved. I am going to ask the parliamentary assistant if he would commit, on behalf of the minister, to send some staff into Kirkland Lake to make it available to people such as yourselves and citizens groups to do an educational forum wherever you may choose; if you would undertake to contact citizens groups in this area so that they would come up -- ministry staff, not political staff, but ministry staff -- to do an educational as opposed to indoctrinational review of the EAA and EPA and how that fits in the scheme of environmental law in the province of Ontario. Mr O'Connor, are you prepared to do that?

Mr O'Connor: I think the community here would probably welcome an opportunity to see exactly what is involved in the EAA process and the environmental protection process as well; then they would maybe have a little better understanding. I think it maybe would concur with some of the people presenting that the way the ballot was worded in a referendum led to just one answer that should have been answered. I think they would appreciate the opportunity, and I think it is a fair recommendation that I would, yes, suggest that the regional office come and make a presentation to the community, whoever was interested in it.

Mr McClelland: As a point of clarification, that would not be political staff, it would be ministerial bureaucratic staff to set out the framework of the process in an empirical fashion.

Mr O'Connor: That could be handled, I think, through the regional office in Sudbury, because this is the area it is in and it would be an opportunity for them to enlighten some of the community.



The Chair: I would like to call next the Anti Garbage Coalition. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We would appreciate it if you leave a few minutes at the end for questions. Please begin your presentation now.

Mr Raftis: On behalf of both the group members and the individual Anti Garbage Coalition Members, I welcome this opportunity to express some of the concerns we have with the existing legislation and support the proposed Bill 143.

This opportunity is especially welcome after spending the last 18 months attempting to present a perspective that is a stark contrast to that of the heavily finance-backed Notre corporation. For community-based organizations, it is difficult to compete with a paid, full-time promoter and staff, especially when the promoter is motivated by $35 million for arranging the deal.

I am an engineering technologist and owner of Blanche River Power, a company that is in the process of developing hydro-electric generating plants on the Blanche River. I will be detailing some of the environmental ramifications of this Adams mine proposal to the surrounding area and to the farming communities located downstream from the proposed site. I will be using examples of other sites similar to Adams mine, where contaminated materials were buried beneath the groundwater table, and depict the disastrous consequences of groundwater contamination that resulted. I am doing this to point out the fact that the pre-bill legislation left little democratic component when it came to siting a waste disposal site, with Toronto's ability to expropriate any piece of land it wanted to in Ontario. I will also be showing how existing legislation would have allowed economic gains to be put ahead of environmental concerns.

I will also be doing a comparison of the Adams mine site, a pit storage concept, with state-of-the-art storage methods. I propose to show you how these two concepts would have vastly different effects on the environment. I will also show that a site heavily promoted as an ideal site in an economic perspective with existing pre-Bill 143 legislation is, from an environmental perspective, a proposal that would most certainly have resulted in massive and irreversible contamination of aquifer water source, the single source of water for both the towns of Englehart and Earlton and the surrounding farming communities.

The site: The Adams mine site proposal would have seen waste disposed of in a series of rock pits that are heavily fractured due to blast-induced effects. Major faults exist that run 150 metres in length. Figure 1 shows a scaled map with the farming communities beginning within three kilometres of the pit. I will just give you a minute to look that up. Just tear them off the back.

The pits are located there at the left, and you can see Boston township boxed in there. I am going to use this map to show you a proximity map for height later on. This one shows where the farming townships start in Chamberlain, with some of the river flow through Boston Creek and Misema River, and where Round Lake is situated as a result. It also shows the town of Englehart.

Also shown on the map is the surface drainage of the headwaters of Boston Creek. The surface level dropped from 200 metres at Gull Lake and 400 metres to feed the Misema River, which is a 40%-by-volume tributary to the Blanche River. The Blanche River flows through the farming lands of Chamberlain township down to Sutton Bay on Lake Timiskaming. This lake is the town water supply for the towns of New Liskeard, Haileybury and Cobalt. This river system has the largest drainage pattern of any river feeding south in Ontario and goes along to feed the towns of Timiskaming, Mattawa, Deep River, Pembroke, Hawkesbury and Ottawa.

Figure 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the same land base. The pits are located on a height of land 1300 feet above sea level. The vertical lines indicate the depth of intrusion for both pits and wells in the area. The upper edge of the water table, away from the pits, is around 80 feet below the ground level. The mine pit bottom is over 500 feet down into the water table. The farming area of Chamberlain derives its water source from groundwater; mainly deep wells. The town of Englehart, shown to the right, can pull over a million gallons of water a day from its well. All of these wells are fed from underground streams which have their source in the surrounding area, more so the surrounding heights of land.

The concept: Figure 3 shows a section view of the pit storage concept. The proposal involves the pumping out of leachate through the pipes installed as the pits are filled. During initial stages of filling, the large volume of water will be contaminated as both surface water and all of the infiltrated water from the fractures wash down over the fill.

Leachate pipes can clog up due to silt, mud, growth of organisms, chemical reactions that lead to precipitation of minerals, or can collapse after chemical attack.

When leachate collection pipes clog up, or stratified compression areas halt the flow of leachate in the landfill, fluids will build up a hydraulic pressure that will force contaminants through rock fractures. While the blockage of leachate drainage is of concern at all landfill sites, the magnitude of the problem is directly proportional to two factors: (1) the height of the pit and (2) the ability of the container to hold hydraulic fluid. In this proposal, the pit will build up to 2,000 pounds pressure per square inch at the bottom of the pit. This is one of the fundamental shortfalls to deep-pit storage. The deeper the pit, the more pressure there is to force out leachate at the bottom. In the Adams mine site there is both pressure due to the height and a pathway due to the fractures. A safe site must offer not only physical but hydraulic containment.

When a blockage occurs, or when the pumps are shut off, the mounting pressure will build up as the water level in the pit rises to a pressure adequate enough to puncture any non-porous barrier. This will allow leachate to be forced, with a mounting pressure, out through the many fractures in the pit. Leachate will be propelled out through these fractures and into the river system of underground streams that feed our water table.

The aquifer is a delicate reserve of water that drains down through the upper soils and rocks, and in doing so is purified. This water is then transported by a maze of underground streams not unlike the river systems, with small streams running into larger. The reason the aquifer is prized is that it is clean and isolated from groundwater contamination sources, due to inherent filtering of both soils and rocks. These areas are like the human body: Once the contamination has passed the protective layer and entered the body, contamination and bacteria can spread both quickly and irreversibly over long distances.

Pit storage has a legacy of leakage that is both fast and long-range. Once the contamination leakage is in the water table there is no way to stop it. That is why present-day technology does not store waste in a water table.


I would like to point out that contamination of our groundwater on a massive scale is not mere speculation. In South Platte River, near Denver, defoliants and pesticides gained access to the aquifer through a surface pond, resulting in the poisoning of 30 square miles of farm land and the killing of livestock. A million-dollar well was drilled and a 96-acre, asphalt-lined lagoon was built in an attempt to halt the migration of contaminants. Migration continued despite the continued expenditure of $78 million in an attempt to confine the spread of the contaminants.

I guess the reason I am bringing these in -- they seem quite dramatic, but I think in northern Ontario we have never been exposed to the serious problem of groundwater contamination and I think we have to bring it into perspective. We are hearing lots of talk about the economics of the project, but we do not hear a lot about the other side of the equation. The other side of the equation is as extensive as the economic side, and I think with the presentations we have been getting from the Notre corporation, they have been heavily biased on the one side with nothing showing on the other. So I will continue.

In New Jersey, Jackson township, a mine pit was used to dispose of landfill. There was no topsoil or clay, making it simple work for the chemicals to reach the water table, and 140 wells in a 3-mile radius had to be closed down. In the same state, 100 wells in Perth Amboy township were closed due to contamination. The legacy of years of historic mismanagement of waste in New Jersey is 14,000 people dying yearly of environmental cancers, 24,000 people in the development stages of cancers, and 25% of the population of the state will be touched by some insidious disease. These are taken from a reference.

In 1974, the township of Dover passed an emergency order in which 148 contaminated wells had to be cemented over. The access to the aquifer was found to be four miles away.

In these examples, the scale of contamination is small in comparison to the massive size of the Adams mine pit. The potential for groundwater contamination as a result of the incredible volume of waste stored is magnitudes larger than the South Platte River example, and this situation is aggravated by the inherent characteristics of the particular pit storage concept and, on top of that, the height of the pit.

What is a secure landfill? A secure landfill is a carefully engineered depression in the ground into which wastes are put. The aim is to avoid any hydraulic -- water-related -- connection between the waste and the surrounding environment, particularly groundwater.

A sensible alternative, figure 3.1, shows the basics of a depression-type landfill and the measures that are taken to prevent the landfill material from reaching the groundwater. Notice that there are a series of barriers and a low-permeability soil to reduce the potential of contaminant loss to the groundwater. If leakage occurs, then the second level of protection can be turned on. If both of these fail, the clay will slow the migration of the contaminants by a filtering process similar to aquifer filtering by soil overburdens. These sites are only developed above water table.

Compare this to the burial of waste over 500 feet into the water table. The pit storage ignores the major concept of groundwater isolation from the landfill material and attempts to isolate these using hydraulic pressures. The pit storage will also ignore the fact that open fractures are not subject to hydraulic vacuum. They will act initially as drainage pipes of leachate into the water table and later as pressurized pipelines of contaminant injecting leachate into the aquifer.

I think the other thing that comes up at this point too is that with the pit concept, you can shut the pump off initially, after the system has been used for a number of years. Once it is filled up and capped, the water coming into it is non-existent and it drains down and the pumps can be shut off. The problem with the deep pit storage is that there is always going to be water coming into it, and with the depression type, the liners will break down. They are very terminal. They maybe last 20 to 30 years. After that point in time, the pit is dry to the point that the leachate transmission is not a problem.

In the pit storage we are proposing here, we have the worst of about three different worlds. We have a continuous water supply. That means that when the barriers do break down, we basically have 60 million tonnes of contaminant sitting in a rock place with pressurized exits to it. Eventually what will occur is that every water-soluble contaminant in that mass will be washed out of it at some point. This is not a 20-year project we are talking about; this is from now for ever, and the contaminants characteristically will not stay there. The pit storage concept, when full and capped, will continue to contaminant millions of gallons of water yearly. Pit storage is only a physical storage concept. It has no ability for long-term hydraulic containment. Every water table contaminate in the pit will eventually wash down.

In conclusion, present legislation has allowed both private sector and political promoters to propel a project that would have been more expensive than sites in the GTA and many times more environmentally damaging. With pre-Bill 143 legislation, this site could have been put into place without full environmental assessment and without public consultation as an interim site. Existing legislation would have allowed the private financial interests of Toronto, which stood to earn billions of dollars on the tipping fees, the involved companies, which stood to earn hundreds of millions of dollars, and the developers, who stood to make $35 million, to be prioritized ahead of the interests of the environment, with what could only be called a 60-million tonne experiment -- all this despite the many examples of pit storage leakage and the huge economic and environmental cost of shipping 60 million tonnes halfway across the province. The economics of the project allow many politicians to throw objectivity out the window and assume a position of political promoter. This is a fundamental breakdown of the democratic process. There was a lot of money for one viewpoint, while the others were actively disregarded by municipal politicians and the media.

The proposed legislation does not solve all the waste problems. Legislation alone will not do that, but what it does do is force a more level playing field. Previous legislation allowed Toronto to have a garbage cash cow where for 20 years it disposed of its garbage free in someone else's yard and charged outside municipalities for the use of it. Not only did they get free disposal for 20 years, but they accumulated $200 million from the process. This, in a fiscal sense, allowed Toronto to tax surrounding areas.

The Adams mine site proposal looks more like an attempt to rip off taxpayers in the GTA by charging exorbitant tipping fees to form an environmental tax -- a new sin tax. The proceeds from this would be squandered on environmentally damaging concepts of pit storage and transportation, along with development fees.

We would like to express our strong support for Ruth Grier and Bill 143, because this legislation not only confronts the waste disposal problem with a fresh sense of honesty -- no more backroom deals -- but strikes also at the base cause of the garbage conflict by forcing municipalities to be responsible for their own waste.

We would also formally like to request a public inquiry into the Kirkland Lake affair. We already have evidence of politicians accepting graft in the form of meals and entertainment -- I have references -- but there are presently more questions than answers. Why did Metro pay $1.5 million to the Notre corporation even after the announcement by the Ministry of the Environment that an alternative waste management group would be developed? Why was Toronto so supportive of a proposal that would have cost the citizens of Ontario hundreds of millions of dollars more in transportation costs? Why did Toronto offer to pay the owner of a mine an additional $35 million when it would have been happy to walk away from its $4-million commitment to clean up the site and would likely have sold the site for a dollar? Why was the developer promised $35 million when the property costs to date were only $250,000? Who in the political stream received financial benefits to date, and what was promised for the future? What was said in the closed-door meetings where the deals between host communities were developed? Why was a recycling project promised and not effectively involved in the agreement? Is it ethical for private promoters to organize and fund public interest groups and pretend they are independent? Why is a developer allowed to be involved in third-party issues during municipal elections on such critical issues? What effect did these expenditures have on decisions of the electorate, and is this not an infringement on their democratic rights?

It is important for the public to understand what has really happened here. It is also important for politicians to understand very clearly the line between political corruption and responsible, objective economic development. A future environmental bill of rights may allow citizens to name politicians in liability suits who have thrown aside their role of an objective leader and replaced it with that of a partisan promoter. It is important for politicians to understand both their responsibility and their potential personal liability positions they may be putting themselves into in this new role.

A public inquiry would give us valuable insight into the present state of affairs and equip us to continue on with building a fair and honest waste management system. I am sure the opposition members who spoke so eloquently on the effects of Bill 143 on the democratic rights would support our request for an inquiry, as this would give us an excellent baseline study on which to judge present Bill 143 legislation and future amendments to it. I thank you for your time and will attempt to respond to any of your questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate you coming before the committee. There is no time remaining for questions and I would encourage any members of the committee who have any questions to talk to you privately afterwards.



The Chair: I would like to call next the Kirkland Lake and District Chamber of Commerce. Please come forward and take your place at the microphone. Please introduce your delegation. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation and I would ask if you would leave a few minutes for questions, although it is your choice whether you decide to do that or not. Would you begin your presentation now please.

Mr Major: I am Edley Major, a business and management consultant of Kirkland Lake operating throughout northern Ontario. As a member, past director and currently an adviser, I speak today on behalf of the directors of the Kirkland Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, which is dedicated to the better economic development of this area and to the wellbeing of all residents. I am accompanied by Peter Duscharme, the immediate past president of the chamber and a businessman of this town.

In my work as a business and management consultant with over 30 years experience, I am frequently called upon to advise clients with respect to the feasibility of proposed projects or plans for the improvement of existing businesses and to assist owner-managers to solve business problems. There is only one way I can be effective in this work, and that is to be aware of all the facts pertaining to the project in hand and to be aware of all the options available. It is impossible, without such knowledge, to assist clients to evaluate the project and make wise decisions. It is imperative, irrespective of the nature of any proposal or problem being considered by any individual or group, that all facts, figures and options having any bearing upon the subject be available for evaluation to ensure wise decisions.

The members of this committee have no doubt been plied with mountains of statistics during many presentations, and I would assure you that I do not intend to burden the committee with more, but instead will keep my comments to the expression of simple points of view upon the subject.

Toronto, and the surrounding municipalities which make up the greater Toronto area, is faced with a serious problem, the disposal of its waste. It is a problem shared by many other cities in the world and a problem that may face many others in the future. The problems are not the need to dispose of an existing pile of waste as a one-shot deal, but rather it is an ongoing and increasing problem of great concern and requiring a long-term solution.

We are without doubt the most wasteful of all the animals on God's earth and we produce waste at an alarming rate. Yes, we need urgently to find ways of reducing the waste we create and of avoiding our terrible wastage of materials. I applaud the efforts of those who are searching for ways to accomplish this, but we must accept the fact that waste will be with us for a long time yet.

What are the options available to the greater Toronto area for waste disposal? Apparently there is only one. The GTA must keep it in its own backyard, as any other possible options have been to all intents and purposes dismissed without even being fully considered. Bill 143, especially part II, appears to have effectively closed the door upon and muzzled those who might offer possible alternatives for consideration.

One can admire a minister who makes a firm decision, even an unpopular one, if the decision is based upon careful evaluation of the results obtained from expert assessment of all possible options, but I cannot in all conscience accept and condone the action of a minister which closes the door firmly upon anything other than a personally conceived view. The retention by the minister of sole power to vary the intent of Bill 143, if it so suits, does not in any way make Bill 143 any more palatable. Even if the concept of the bill is well intentioned, it is a travesty of ministerial power to force a single viewpoint upon the people of Ontario. There must be choice based upon consideration of alternative solutions.

Kirkland Lake, and indeed this whole region, has been faced with many difficult problems during the past few years, one of which was the loss of hundreds of jobs due to the closing of the Adams mine and the serious negative spinoff effect upon the local economy which resulted. In addition, the downturn in the overall economy of the whole country seriously affected this region's forestry, manufacturing and mining with the loss of more jobs. Unemployment in Kirkland Lake and the surrounding areas is extremely high, and the number of welfare recipients has increased alarmingly. It is a sad thing to see hundreds of men and women who are able and willing to work denied the opportunity to do so simply because a possible source of employment cannot be assessed or even considered because of the restrictions of Bill 143.

Commerce in general has suffered greatly, with the result that many businesses have closed or declared bankruptcy. It is not the happiest of times, but the people of northern Ontario are determined people and have tried hard to find solutions to the problems facing them. The economic development officers, the mayors, reeves and councillors, the chambers of commerce and groups of people and individuals of this whole area have considered any and every possibility in efforts to create employment and improve local economics.

One private sector proposal, to develop the Adams mine site as a process centre for waste, was and is considered a viable possibility for the creation of much-needed jobs and a boost to the local economy. A considerable amount of serious thought has been given to this proposal by the people of the area, and these people who call northern Ontario home and whose roots are deep in this land, although welcoming an opportunity such as the Adams mine proposal, will not just grab at any opportunity without consideration of the possible costs involved.

The forests, the rivers, the lakes and streams, the flora and fauna of the north are an integral part of their lives and, therefore, in no way will they countenance any proposal which might jeopardize these assets or the health of themselves, their children or future generations without being assured that there are not environmental hazards.

It has been made clear to me by many people and groups in this region, and this is also the firm conviction of the directors of the Kirkland Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, that the use of the Adams mine site for the disposal of waste would certainly be welcomed, provided that (a) the project would not simply be a landfill dump but would have a guaranteed comprehensive reclamation and recycling component, as outlined in the private sector proposal and (b) the project could be confirmed by a full environmental assessment as posing no risk to the environment or to the people of the region.

In proviso (a), ensuring the inclusion of comprehensive reclamation and recycling components can be assured through the good negotiation of firm agreements between the parties concerned, but for proviso (b), only a properly conducted, full environmental assessment carried out by experts can adequately ensure there will be no risk.

The feelings of the people of Kirkland Lake were made known in a referendum during the recent municipal elections when 69% voted yes to having a full environmental assessment of the proposed project. There is no doubt that a full environmental assessment would cost a considerable amount of money to carry out, but on the other hand, how much more will it cost in welfare payments to support those who might otherwise be gainfully employed if the proposed project became a reality?

All possible options which would be available to the greater Toronto area community for disposal of waste must be open to full consideration. No avenue of possibility must be left unexplored in the search for solutions. The people of Kirkland Lake and area, all of whom are an integral part of Ontario's economy, as such, deserve the opportunity to develop projects which will generate long-term employment and provide economic stability or security.

It is respectfully requested that this standing committee on social development (a) prevail upon the minister to rescind, withdraw or alter Bill 143 to effectively remove any impediments which restrict in any way the right of municipalities to consider all options for the disposal of waste and (b) prevail upon the minister to ensure a full environmental assessment of the proposal to use the Adams mine site as a fully comprehensive reclamation and recycling processing centre for waste.

Madam Chair, the directors of the Kirkland Lake and District Chamber of Commerce express to you and to the members of the standing committee on social development their sincere thanks for visiting Kirkland Lake and for these hearings.


The Chair: Thank you very much for a very interesting presentation, Mr Major. In total, just for the information of committee members, there are approximately 10 minutes remaining. I will divide that between the two caucuses.

Mr Martin: I want to start by saying that I have nothing but admiration and respect for your organization. I work as closely as I can with the chamber of commerce in my own community because I certainly see it as a significant part of the folk who lay it out there, in good times and in bad, to make sure that all of us have a way of earning a living. They contribute, not only in that way but also in other ways, to our community and to its quality of life.

I hope, even if this proposal for the Adams Lake mine to be used as a site for landfill does not go ahead, that you will still be interested in the area of recycling and the impact it could have on our economy in the north, and that you would be willing to explore every avenue that we could detect. I hope that you would understand that this bill in no way impedes the movement of recyclable materials across the province, so there are opportunities that we can explore.

However, having looked at this myself from the perspective of my own community and having looked at it in light of some of the discussion here, the issue of recycling is a much more complicated one than I think we see it at first blush, because it is certainly much less costly to do it closer to the source of the waste than it is way up here and then to have to send it back down again. Having made those comments, I would ask, have you done any exploration of recycling opportunities above and beyond the Adams mine proposal, and do you propose to do any of that if this proposal does not go ahead?

Mr Major: It is rather difficult to answer. The chamber, in general terms, has an ongoing mandate to look at and examine any possibilities that may come forward, be it manufacturing, recycling or anything else. I do not know at this moment if there are any direct examinations of alternative proposals being carried out. I am not aware of there being any specific plans to look at alternatives, in the form of recycling or other things. I know that the town has considered the segregation of different kinds of waste from local areas, but I do not think we have looked at, or I certainly have not heard of our looking at the concept of bringing in only the recyclables and doing something with them and shipping them out. I do not know if in the local area there would be sufficient volume to call for a large-scale operation for reclamation.

Mr Ramsay: I would like to congratulate the chamber on a very good presentation. I would like you to speak to some of those presentations we just had before yours this afternoon. To me, this morning and this afternoon have been excellent opportunities that the social development committee has afforded the people in Kirkland Lake to really sit down all together, people on both sides of this issue, and really start to discuss this issue in a little more detail.

The point has been brought up by many people today that up till now we really have not had that opportunity. I guess it is part of the flaw of the present process that until something like this happens or an environmental assessment starts, you do not have this type of discussion. We have only scratched the surface today, but I think many things have come to light and it has been very constructive for everybody. I certainly welcome the opportunity to be part of the committee this week and be involved in this, and I want to thank everybody for his contribution.

The Chair: Mr Wiseman, you have the floor.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to pursue something with you. It has to do with the fact that my taxpayers have indicated to me very strongly that they are really getting a little irritated about paying property taxes, and it has to do with the economics of this deal.

Over a 20-year period, I calculate that Metropolitan Toronto will collect, on a million and a half tonnes a year, somewhere in the neighbourhood of $4.5 billion. That constitutes the amount of waste that is projected to come to the Adams mine site by the proposal. Kirkland Lake is going to get $1.10 a tonne on 20 million tonnes, which in my calculation is roughly $22 million. It is going to cost approximately $40 a tonne to ship it. What I am having difficulty grappling with is rationalizing in my mind what I could say to my taxpayers, who, in this proposal, are going to put out a large portion of the $4.5 billion, 92% of it, for it just to be tipped into a hole.

Mr Major: You are getting into the areas of economics and commerce here. From our point of view, we are interested in the creation of jobs and so forth, not in making fortunes out of somebody else's garbage.

You have indicated a certain amount of money will be coming to this area for it. It seems very small in comparison with the amount that your people will be pouring out for the services concerned. Surely, that is something that is a local matter there. If you are prepared to pay heavily for a service, you cannot blame the people at the end of the line who are getting fairly paid for it. I think that would have to be dealt with more in the south than in the north.

Mr McClelland: Mr Martin, you may want to stay just because I am referring to you. In response to Mr Major's concerns, you stated that Bill 143 will not prohibit the transport of recyclables. For the benefit of our deputants, I want to ask the parliamentary assistant, is the waste or resource, whatever you are choosing to call it, from which compostable material is derived a recyclable?

Mr O'Connor: As far as Mr Martin's comment about transporting the recyclables is concerned, there is no problem at all with that. To get a little further into what you are referring to, perhaps we could ask Drew Blackwell from the waste reduction office if he can come up to a microphone and respond.

Mr McClelland: It seems to me it is a yes or no answer.

The Chair: Perhaps Mr Blackwell will answer yes or no.

Mr McClelland: Is the waste or resource from which compostable material is derived a recyclable material?

Mr Blackwell: To my mind, that would be, "Are compostable materials considered recyclables?"

Mr McClelland: For purposes of policy.

Mr Blackwell: Under the proposals that designate materials as recyclables in Initiatives Papers No 1, the answer would be no.

Mr McClelland: Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I appreciate your coming before the committee today.



The Chair: I would like to call next David J. Oehring. Please come forward and introduce yourself to the committee. This is our last presentation for the day. It has been a long day. I want to compliment everyone who has been here for the decorum and tell you that it has been wonderful being here in Kirkland Lake. You have been wonderful participants in what I think has been an important, although tiring, process for many people. If we could just have your attention 20 minutes longer, I would appreciate that.

Mr Oehring: Thank you, Madam Chair. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. You only have 20 minutes left, so stay awake.

The Chair: Is that not what I said?

Mr Oehring: Pardon?

The Chair: Did I not say something like that?

Mr Oehring: I am reiterating.

The Chair: Well, we will wake them up. Okay everybody, 20 minutes more. There we go.

Mr Oehring: I am the former reeve of Larder Lake. I was the reeve for 11 years. I was one of the cosigners of the original agreement between Metro Toronto and the three municipalities.

My presentation starts with a definition of the word "decent" from Webster's Dictionary. Decent means "fitting or becoming; modest; suitable; comely; sufficient." In a democracy, it is a basic principle that the government should pass laws which are in the best interests of the population in general. Further, laws should be written so that they do not infringe upon the rights of individuals or other governing bodies or contain sections that usurp the authority of existing laws. Bill 143 does both these things. A moral, decent society should have laws that are decent. Bill 143 is not fitting, not becoming of a democratic government. Its designers are not modest. It is not suitable or sufficient. Bill 143 is an indecent act.

The weaknesses in Bill 143 have been competently outlined by various municipal and legal presenters in the past weeks and by members of the opposition parties in the Legislature. The aim of this presentation is to use only some of those weaknesses to illustrate to the NDP members of this panel why Bill 143 will have a negative effect on how people in Ontario will view the government and politicians in general.

People in elected positions are concerned about what the electorate thinks of them. All of you here today feel that way. When you ran for election in 1990 you were very concerned. Surely Mr Rae wanted to create a favourable impression when he promised that no landfill sites would be developed without a full environmental assessment. It seems now that the NDP members of the Legislature no longer care what people think of them because they are preparing to pass Bill 143 with all of its anti-people characteristics.

What kind of people would think of passing a bill dealing with environmental protection that has the hypocrisy contained in part III, subsection 17(7) and section 18, exempting the actions of the authority from environmental assessment? How will the voters feel about members who support a bill so mean-spirited and punitive, as illustrated by the proposed section 19(1) of the EPA, as to force any one of the regions in the GTA to receive waste from outside the region? How does the Minister of Municipal Affairs rationalize an environmental law that supersedes the act he is responsible for? How can NDP members pretend to support such an unsuitable, unseemly bill?

All Bill 143 will do is waste millions of dollars on consultants and lawyers, establish environmentally questionable landfill sites on some of the most expensive land in North America and postpone for years the development of a sane, efficient, safe way to deal with garbage.

In a time when people feel that they are not being well represented by politicians at all levels, this only serves to prove to the people that their elected representatives are not doing the job they promised to do. The people in various towns in the Toronto area made it clear that they did not want to be recipients of Toronto's garbage. The NDP candidates agreed with them, but now these same candidates feel it is all right for other people to receive Toronto's garbage, and possibly garbage from other areas. How will those people view the government if that happens? How will the people affected by these landfill sites view a government that takes such a simplistic, ham-handed approach to a serious problem? Will they judge that it and the Minister of the Environment really took the matter seriously and that their rights and lifestyle and local governments were seriously considered?

On January 23, 1992, this committee received a submission from the regional municipality of York, part of which was entitled "Sky is Not Falling." If there is no great need to find new sites, then why is the minister pushing Bill 143? From the point of view of a municipal politician and a science-minded person, no other conclusion can be drawn than that the Minister of the Environment made a serious error in her response to southern environmental groups and is too stubborn to change the approach taken.

In return for support during the last election, NIMBY groups around the GTA were promised that their areas would not be considered for landfill siting. To appease these groups the minister, not realizing that Ontario is a huge province, made a blanket statement prohibiting transporting garbage. This must have been a hastily decided approach. Otherwise why did the minister cause Metro Toronto to pay $1.5 million to guarantee its option on the Adams mine site, then a few days later ban its eventual use by Metro with her prohibition? Why else would the minister ignore good, proven technology in waste management and favour the 19th-century approach of burning garbage in your own backyard? If the NDP caucus did adopt a policy banning the long-range transport of garbage, were the members educated in various waste management alternatives so that they could make an educated decision? Why is garbage now being transported to the United States? Is this not hypocrisy?

I would like to comment on the minister's apparent lack of knowledge about the size of the province of Ontario. She referred to Kirkland Lake as a remote northern community. I am happy to see that you people discovered that you can indeed get here from there. It is not so remote, after all. This is not uncommon, because ever since I have been old enough to follow politics, there never has been a provincial government that actually realized the size and the potential of all Ontario. They never have realized that they are called the government of Ontario, not southern Ontario, not Metro Toronto. I think that if the attitude were taken by the government that it had a whole province to deal with, and not just little sections, that might change the way it handled garbage.

Since the inception of the idea to use the Adams mine site to handle Toronto's garbage, members of the NDP caucus have refused to hear anything about it, as if they had been ordered not to pay attention to it. Is this the behaviour the people of Ontario deserve? Is this how the government will behave, to not listen to any idea which is contrary to the policy of a powerful minister? Is this the image the NDP wants to portray? Of a government which makes decisions involving technology without using technological knowledge, refuses to listen to others who may just happen to have a better idea and then is too intransigent to reverse a bad decision? The people deserve better government than that.

It can only be concluded that the Minister of the Environment wields great authority in this government, because I cannot believe that a majority of NDP members think Bill 143 is a good idea. Assuming that a majority are smarter than that, why has this bill received support? Do members have no input as to the appropriateness of new legislation? If Bill 143 proceeds with substantially little change, and is supported by all NDP members, then, in this writer's opinion, they will be morally bound to resign, because this act has no place in a democracy. The people of Ontario deserve better behaviour by its government.

What will the people think of a government that ignores personal and municipal rights in order to force a political solution to a real problem? What will they think of a government whose members blindly support a very unsuitable law simply because its architect has a high profile in the caucus? Stubbornness can often be an admirable trait, especially when the cause is just. In this instance, "intransigent" better describes the stance taken by this government.

Bill 143 exists because anyone can figure out that there is no way any site in the GTA can pass an environmental assessment. The criteria for site selection to be used by the waste management authority have 10 sections: agriculture, archaeology, biology, design and operation, hydrogeology, heritage, land use, social, surface water and transportation. A practical person would choose a site to which the least number of those criteria apply. The Adams mine site and other sites like it in this province are perfect choices because many of the criteria do not apply. No reasonable person would consider for a moment that any area in the GTA can suit all 10 criteria.

There are eight recommendations.

1. A Minister of the Environment who is willing to investigate new technology is required.

2. Scrap Bill 143 because it is not necessary.

3. The Rail Cycle North proposal by Notre Development must be allowed to proceed.

4. Other sites like the Adams mine should be investigated.

5. Legislation to reduce the volumes of material we buy, and which eventually become waste, must be developed.

6. Industry to use blue-boxed materials must be encouraged.

7. No new blue box programs should be developed until those industries are developed.

8. Incineration of organic waste must be viewed as a respectable way to get rid of organic waste.


Before I conclude my presentation, I would like to share with you an observation. Today you have heard from a group called REEPA and one called the Anti Garbage Coalition. These two groups have cross-membership, so you really have two presentations from one group. Also this afternoon you heard from at least three individuals, and perhaps more, who belong to REEPA. So in fact you have heard five or more presentations from one group, REEPA. REEPA was created in response to the Notre Development proposal and never has had anything to do with economic prosperity, as its name suggests. The whole raison d'être for REEPA is to promote the ideology of its membership, which is really a NIMBY group. Therefore, the opposition is not as great as it may appear.

I would also ask you to weigh very carefully the importance you give to the reason these presenters give for their opposition to the Adams mine proposal. None of us are environmental experts. Questions about the environmental safety of the plan can only be answered by a full environmental assessment. The fear voiced by these people amounts only to environmental paranoia because we do not have the facts. We all have opinions, but none of us have the real facts.

In conclusion, Bill 143 is a make-believe solution to a real problem. The solid waste situation can only be solved with technology and decent laws. The people of Ontario deserve no less. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much for a very articulate presentation. There are approximately 11 minutes remaining and I will do my best to hurry along each of the questioners so that everyone gets a chance to get on with his or her question. Mr Sola.

Mr Sola: I think, since the major focus of the presentation was the NDP government, I would like to leave most of the questioning to them, because --

The Chair: Question.

Mr Sola: I have one question which was not touched in your brief. You were an original signer of the deal.

The Chair: Question.

Mr Sola: The question of compost rehabilitating tailings has been raised by several people, but they have not explained the process, how it would occur. Could you perhaps enlighten us on that, please?

Mr Oehring: That idea arose after the original agreement was signed because, I think, Mrs Grier had said that compost facilities would not have to undergo an environmental assessment; it was merely an option. I am not an expert in composting. I have seen only some plans. I do know we felt there would be a market up here because of all the mine tailings that need rehabilitating, and it looks as though environmental laws are going to get tougher and tougher on mining companies. That is about all I could say to answer your question.

The Chair: Mr Martin, question. One minute.

Mr Martin: I have a brief comment and a question. Is that okay?

Interjection: Go for it.

The Chair: If you do, you take time away from Mr Oehring.

Mr Martin: Threading through your whole presentation seems to be some question about the democracy of how we operate as a government. I just want to assure you, sir, that we did not get into power by default or by some quirk of chance. We were elected by the same people you were and we will face the electorate in three years. In the interim, we will also be asked to make some really difficult decisions. I want you to know that we will have the fortitude to do that. Sometimes the decision will not be popular, but we will do it anyway, and we will, all of us, face the music and be proud and happy to do that at that time.

My question is, in light of your concern for democracy as flowed through here and your comment re the grouping of the anti-proposal people, would it not be fair to say that the pro people who presented today were in some way connected as well?

Mr Oehring: Yes, they are connected in that they have a common concern; that is, the economy of the area. You can certainly imagine that they come from a very broad base in the community.

The Chair: Mr McClelland?

Mr Ramsay: I will go.

The Chair: No, I thought we could leave you to the end. As a courtesy, usually the sitting member goes last.

Mr McClelland: How soon we forget. Thank you. One brief comment: You talked about the basic philosophy and some of the principles of this bill, and I have been trying to talk about that a bit this afternoon.

The Chair: Question.

Mr McClelland: The cornerstone of the NDP's Agenda for People in terms of environmental law was an environmental bill of rights. Can you comment, because I know you know what the impact of Bill 143 would be on an environmental bill of rights had it been delivered as promised.

Mr Oehring: The people of Kirkland Lake are very concerned about the fact that the Adams mine project may not proceed and then we will be out of jobs, but if I were living in the greater Toronto area I would be extremely concerned for my rights. I have been watching some of the presentations of this committee on television. I saw last week one developer who already is probably planning a lawsuit because he has property around the Britannia Road landfill site. So you can see that already there is a kind of feeding frenzy getting going, that people are looking around for money to get compensation for their rights being trampled on.

It is fine to cry "emergency," but you have to take the consequences for what people do to you afterwards. I do not see how this law cannot infringe on people's rights, municipalities' rights. Even the other laws of the government are going to be thrown aside.

Ms Haeck: I do not represent a riding that is part of the GTA. In fact, my riding is St Catharines-Brock. It is next door to the Ontario Waste Management Corp, which will be accepting, if it is built, your toxic waste. So yes, we do have an interest, all of Ontario, because it is going to be visited upon us. So I guess my major comment is that I really do not think your comments are particularly fair and objective. Thank you.

The Chair: Mr Bisson, one minute.

Mr Bisson: Jeez, I would love to have about 10 minutes, but unfortunately I only have one. There are a couple of parts to this. First of all, I was surprised in going through the actual document between Metro and Kirkland Lake, of which you are a signatory, that you would have known, or I hope you would have known, that by signing this document -- in effect you would have known that you could have gone ahead with this site without an EA. That is the first part of it. I really wonder about that, because that is the first time I have seen that.

The second thing is that I am looking here at a quote that you have made. I will just state what you quoted on June 21, 1991, that this does not generate a lot of jobs related to the Adams mine site, and it does not generate a lot of income.

I ask you the same question I have asked a number of other people. Why is it all of a sudden a change of heart? Is it possibly an ideological position on your part? Are you are opposed to this because it is coming from a New Democratic government, or is it a question that you are really opposed to it because of actual issues? Because I will tell you what this bill does. What you have said for the past 15 minutes -- I respect what you are saying, but some of the information that you gave I think needs to be clarified. I wish I had about 10 minutes because quite frankly, sir, I do not think some of the things you said in there were right.

Mr Oehring: I will answer your question first on possibly going ahead with the proposal without an EA. I will tell you what I was signing when I signed that agreement. It may take a bit of time; I will speak quickly.

First, Boston township is an unorganized township. Adams mine is owned by Notre Development. Metro Toronto, under the Municipal Act, can buy a piece of property to establish a landfill site. Our three communities were invited, under the "willing host" provisions, to have a role in developing an agreement. All we signed was that, (1) we would support an application by Metro Toronto for an environmental assessment, and (2) in return we get free dumping and a whole bunch of money.

Now your comment about interim use. Are you suggesting that your environmental assessment process would allow that?

Mr Bisson: Any long-term site that is looked at would have to undergo a full environmental assessment. That is what Bill 143 is all about, to prevent exactly what is in this document from happening. I find that quite interesting that you would take the opposite --

Mr Oehring: Are you suggesting that the law of the land would allow that to occur? You see, we were backed up by the law of the land.

Mr Bisson: That is why the law is being changed, because there was a loophole in it to start with.

Mr Oehring: An agreement between Toronto and three communities cannot change the law of the land.

Mr Bisson: Under the existing legislation at the time --

The Chair: This is not the time for debate, Mr Bisson, thank you. Did you answer his question? Are you satisfied?

Mr Oehring: I would like to ask where the quotation of June 21, 1991, came from.

Mr Bisson: It comes out of the Northern Daily News.

Mr Oehring: And it is attributed to me?

Mr Bisson: To you.

Mr Oehring: I would not have said that.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Bisson. Mr Ramsay, you have the floor. There are three minutes remaining and I thought that as the member for this area you might want to take the last three minutes as a courtesy.

Mr Ramsay: First of all, I would like to thank the standing committee on social development of the Ontario Legislature for coming to Timiskaming and specifically Kirkland Lake to hear from the people here and really have the first sit-down of all people on all sides of this issue to have a thorough going-over of not only this bill but, as people wanted to bring in the local issue and the local proposal, to talk about that. I think that is very important.

I think from this we sort of see we probably do not yet have the perfect processes in order to have these discussions. I have great sympathy for people in opposition to this particular proposal who are not adequately funded. It is always in these cases the proponents that have the money because they have investors and they have a proposal to go into. That is why I have always been a supporter of the environmental assessment. Unfortunately a proposal has to go so far before that may be kicked in.

When I was in government we saw the inequity in that and we brought in intervenor funding so a group like REEPA could form a coalition and could be recognized officially by the government as the intervenor in that process and get government funding and you would have some fairness on both sides with everybody able to hire experts and bring the arguments to the table. I still support that that should happen. This question will never go away in this area unless we have a full environmental assessment where both sides are adequately funded so that all the expertise can be brought to the table so that people and experts can decide. I hope that happens some day.

I really appreciate this opportunity today to have had all this discussion. I think it has been very helpful for our area. I wish everybody well. We will get back to Queen's Park and continue the process.

The Chair: The standing committee on social development now stands adjourned. Thank you all.

The committee adjourned at 1702.