Tuesday 21 January 1992

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

St Lawrence Cement

Charles Coles, general manager

Dr Rodger Schwass, professor of environmental studies, York University

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Local D366

Ross Stone, president

Ed Mattocks, international representative for cement, lime and gypsum and allied workers division

Refuse Derived Fuel Environmental Assessment Study Group

Citizens' Network on Waste Management

John Jackson, coordinator


Brennain Lloyd

Jim Merritt, director, central region, Ministry of the Environment

Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Helen Cooper, president; mayor of Kingston

Noelle Boughton, policy analyst

Conservation Council of Ontario

Chris Winter, executive director

Bill Glenn, chair, waste management committee


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):

Carr, Gary (Oakville South/-Sud PC) for Mr Stockwell

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND) for Mr Hope

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

McLean, Allan K. (Simcoe East PC) for Mr Cousens

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes: Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South PC)

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

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

The committee met at 0959 in committee room 1.


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: The standing committee on social development is now in session. I would like to welcome everyone this morning. We are beginning public hearings on Bill 143.

The first presenter this morning is St Lawrence Cement, Local D366 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and the Refuse Derived Fuel Environmental Assessment Study Group. Would you begin your presentation, please, by introducing yourselves. You have one hour for your presentation. The committee has requested that you leave half of your time for questions from committee members; however, the full hour is yours and you may use it as you wish.

Mr Coles: Thank you, Madam Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to make a presentation to you on Bill 143. My name is Charles Coles. I am the general manager of St Lawrence Cement in Mississauga. Speaking on the panel today as well is Dr Rodger Schwass, professor of environmental studies at York University; Mr Ross Stone, president of the union at our plant, and Mr Ed Mattocks, international representative for the Cement, Lime, Gypsum and Allied Workers Division of the Boilermakers at St Lawrence Cement.

I believe you have received a number of copies of this binder, presented to all the members, and there are additional copies of these binders available. I am going to be referring to the information in these binders during my presentation, so if you can keep them handy that would be most appreciated.

The Chair: All members have received them and the clerk will ensure that they are part of the public record. If you have additional copies that you would like to leave with the clerk, you may. If anyone needs an additional copy, I am sure he can contact you directly.

Mr Coles: That is right. We have lots available.

We intend to make our presentation approximately 30 minutes and that will enable enough time after our presentation for any of the members to ask questions of us or of the other people we have present here. There are a few introductions I would like to make at this particular time, people we have here as resources to help answer your questions.

First of all, Dr George Carlo is here. Dr Carlo is chairman of the health and environmental scientists group in Washington, DC. He is here as an independent adviser. He is chairman of the scientific advisory board reviewing use of waste fuels in cement kilns in the United States, particularly the health and safety aspects associated with that. Dr Carlo can answer any questions and would be available at any time to the committee.

Dr Fred Hopton is vice-president of environmental and materials technology at Ortech International Ltd, Ortech having been involved in our particular project with a lot of the technical information that you see in your binders today. Also, Dr Frank Hooper from the University of Toronto is here. Dr Hooper is one of many experts on incineration and is available as well.

We also have with us members of our project study group. We are going to be talking about our environmental assessment process today and an important part of that environmental assessment process is citizen participation and municipal government participation. There are three individuals who were chosen from the community liaison committee to be present on our study group as we develop the project. They are here today: Cathy Buchal, Keith Flowers and Wal Vanriemsdyk. They are the citizen members of that.

As well, we have representatives from Proctor and Redfern Ltd, well known as a consulting group for various waste projects in the greater Toronto area.

St Lawrence Cement makes cement, and you are probably wondering why a cement company is here today. Cement is a basic commodity. Without cement, our construction and a lot of what we enjoy in our normal, everyday way of life would not be here. You probably walked down to your basement this morning and you encountered concrete, either a concrete floor or a concrete wall. If you took the subway here, the subway trains travelled through a tunnel constructed of concrete. There are sidewalks and roads constructed of concrete as well. It is a basic construction material and it is important in our everyday way of life. However, concrete does not exist if you do not have cement. Cement basically is a powder, and concrete is produced by adding cement together with sand and stone and water.

In the production of cement we use coal. In fact, we use a lot of coal. The coal we use at Mississauga amounts to approximately 250,000 tonnes per year. It is imported from the United States. That is a closely controlled process where we actually burn limestone in a kiln. You can see an example of part of that process, not the equipment but the control room at our plant. A central control room at our plant, and we have an example of it here, basically controls the entire manufacturing process, and you can see that it has the latest in computerized and programmable logic controls.

The RDF project for which we have been going through the environmental assessment would replace up to 20% of the coal and it would produce fuel from post-recycled waste. That would replace up to 20% of the imported coal in our manufacturing process. The study group, together with Dr Schwass, has been working on this particular project. Over the more than four years that we have been working on this project, we have written and have had written many reports, all of which have been approved by the project study group. We brought some of the reports in today. This is about 10% of the reports that we have prepared in developing this particular process. We have been following the Environmental Assessment Act scrupulously and the environmental assessment is almost complete.

What we are here today to do is to request a small amendment to Bill 143, because we feel that Bill 143 in its present state could not permit our process to continue. We would like to make the amendments to allow bringing the project to a hearing.

The project, as I mentioned, is using post-recycled garbage to replace imported coal in the cement manufacturing process. This would reduce fuel costs at our cement manufacturing facility. It would also reduce the garbage going to landfill in Peel by approximately 50%.

We are not here today to ask you for approval of our particular project. That should be done by the Environmental Assessment Board in the process which we are going through. We are not here to have you consider an unproven technology, to consider a project without a full review of its environmental impacts or to expedite a project at the expense of due process, without the participation of neighbours, municipal and provincial politicians or scientific and technical experts. You may ask, why are we here? We are here because replacing imported coal in the cement manufacturing process is a viable and environmentally sound method to reduce garbage going to landfill in Peel.

You see the diagram of the Britannia landfill site. That is going to have, by means of this act, two additional lifts put on it. Our project basically would reduce the amount of waste going to that particular landfill site by 50% if it were approved by the Environmental Assessment Board.


It is a project that is in harmony with the 3Rs, because what we are doing is taking waste that is post-recycled. How that would work is that the garbage that is picked up from the home owner has already been separated by the blue box program, which has been most successful in this province and in the GTA. Rather than the remainder of the waste being trucked directly to the landfill site, it would be trucked to a processing plant that would be built adjacent to our plant. That plant would remove additional recyclable materials and then the remaining waste would be separated into burnable and non-burnable fractions. The burnable fraction would be used as fuel in our manufacturing process to replace some of the coal that is imported from the United States; the remainder would be further separated to remove compost material.

We are concerned that Bill 143 could eliminate what we feel is the best interim solution for helping to solve the amount of waste going to landfill. In our minds, if it can be done in an environmentally sound manner and if it does not impact the 3Rs program, it makes sense to recover the burnable portion of waste and use it as fuel rather than bury that in landfill. Yesterday the presentation was made that we should look at garbage as a resource and I think that is really true. Why then do we not take out what can be used as fuel and replace coal and use that in the cement manufacturing process?

The bill inhibits our ability to compete. The cement manufacturing industry throughout the industrialized world uses waste fuels, and to compete we need to use them as well. We would be developing a technology which could be further utilized in Ontario and exported throughout the world. We have participated fully in the EA process and we are concerned that Bill 143 threatens our proceeding.

As I mentioned, the project we are talking about and that is presently going through the EA could reduce the amount of waste going to landfills by 50% and could remove the fuel value from that. Actually I have here two examples. I will pass them around. One is an example of refuse-derived fuel; the other is coal that would be replaced. This amount of refuse-derived fuel would replace this amount of coal in our manufacturing process. As I also mentioned, we are burning approximately 250,000 tonnes of coal per year at our plant in Mississauga. We would replace 20% of that coal by RDF. Perhaps you could pass those around.

If you turn to tab 2 in the binder, we have a graphic display of what the situation could be in Peel with respect to the amount of waste being landfilled. On the left-hand side you see the current 3Rs separation and the amount of waste then going to landfill. Eventually, with better recycling, more source separation, also reduction, basically the 3Rs, the amount going to landfill will be reduced to approximately 200,000 tonnes per year. That is the projection.

If we took the waste that was going to landfill to a separating plant where the fuel portion, rather than being buried, could be removed and used in our manufacturing process in an environmentally sound manner, it would reduce further, by 50%, the amount of waste going to landfills.

If you turn to tab 3, it will give you an idea of the cement kiln itself. The reason wastes are being used in cement plants really everywhere throughout the industrialized world is that cement is a large user of natural fossil fuels, and in our particular case it is imported coal. This diagram shows you the cement kiln and you can see the coal being fired at point 2. You have extremely high temperatures there. What you are looking at is temperatures in the range of 1700 to 2100 degrees Celsius. If you compare that to the incinerator presently destroying PCBs at the Smithville site, that is operating at approximately 1200 degress Celsius with a retention time of two seconds. This has a retention time of 7 to 10 seconds.

In addition to that, what we are doing in the kiln is burning limestone. So what you have added in our particular kiln is approximately 6,000 tonnes a day of limestone going through the heat-exchanger tower. That in fact absorbs many of the emissions that would otherwise be taking place from the combustion of the coal, and they actually become part of the product.

In addition, in the cement kiln there is no ash as you would have in a conventional incinerator. In the cement kiln, as with coal or anything else we use as fuel, it becomes part of the cement we produce and so there is no toxic ash to dispose of. The residues from combustion are actually combined in the chemical structure of the cement.

If you turn to tab 4, we have an example of the emissions that are of concern if you are dealing with an incinerator. In this particular case you can see the emissions expressed as a percentage of the ministry guidelines or standards. You can see that they are really all at extremely low percentages of the allowable. In fact, the highest emission is nitrogen oxides, NOx, and that is because we have such high temperatures in the process. Even there we are only at 4% of the ministry's standards. In other words, even if you had 24 cement plants of our size operating in one place, you still would be below the ministry standards.

Tab 5 discusses refuse-derived fuel versus incineration. The ministry presented a sheet yesterday that explained incineration and none of the points made in that sheet apply to the cement manufacturing process. We are not here today to talk about the conventional incineration that particular document describes. We are talking refuse-derived fuel and the replacing of coal in a manufacturing process. Tab 5 explains that.

In addition to that, one of the main points, I think we are all agreed, is that we want to maximize the 3Rs program. Any program or any project that infringes on that does not make sense. I think we have come a long way. In fact, we probably lead the world in Ontario with respect to the 3Rs. In our particular project we do not want to infringe on that and we do not want to be in competition with the 3Rs. That is why we actually would encourage the 3Rs.

Rather than taking material that could be used as fuel and landfilling it, you would take it to our plant and we would produce a fuel, thereby reducing the amount of waste going to the landfill site by approximately 50 per cent. The capital expended, which is one of the concerns if you go into incineration, is not as large in a project such as ours because basically we are building a sorting plant, not a complete incinerator. Also, I mentioned the air emissions and the ash previously.

If you go to tab 6, this is one of the most important aspects of this project, certainly from our company point of view, and it is the reason that we have some representatives here from our employees as well. The Premier is going to be addressing the province tonight on the economic situation. The cement industry in this province at the present time is very healthy. We are healthy because we have a modern industry that is up to world standards and we can compete. We can compete very effectively with the United States and Europe. But that will only continue to exist as long as we can use fuel that is competitive as well.


The cement industry in Ontario represents an industry with a value of product of about $400 million, 1,200 direct jobs in cement plants in Ontario and about four times that, or 5,000, in indirect jobs. If you look at the concrete industry, which is the subsidiary part, basically our customers, that is an industry that has a value in the construction of roads and concrete products of about $1.5 billion.

In our cement plant, the most important and the most significant cost is fuel cost. As I mentioned, we have a very up-to-date industry right now. Thirty per cent of what we make in Ontario is exported to the United States. However, throughout the industrialized world, wastes are used in cement plants. The reason they are used in cement plants is, first, to destroy wastes in an environmentally sound manner and, second, to reduce the consumption of natural fossil fuels.

This technology is used in Norway, Sweden, Germany and most recently throughout the United States, even in states such as California and Washington. If the industry in Ontario is to survive and stay competitive, we need to use that technology as well. We are not asking that there be any compromise with respect to the environment in doing that.

We have here representatives of our union. This is not their first job, and they are not experienced at giving public presentations, but I would like to call on Ross Stone now to add his perspective to the importance of the particular issue of competitiveness.

Mr Stone: I am here representing the workers at St Lawrence Cement as president of Local D366, Cement, Lime, Gypsum and Allied Workers Division, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. I want to tell you three important things about the RDF project. First, we support the waste-derived fuel burning in the cement kilns. Second, we feel it will provide job security. Third, it will make our industry more competitive.

As president of the union local, my main and number one priority is job security. My second is safety and health at the workplace. In our last contract settlement, which we have just finished negotiating after twenty-some-odd days of negotiation, and without the help of a mediator I might add, we agreed to provide the maximum amount of flexibility in the work assignment as a measure to improve competitiveness.

Now we feel it is up to management to do its share, to cut its costs. Labour is only one component of competitiveness. Energy costs, we feel, can be reduced, they must be reduced and should be reduced. Capital investment and management commitment to reducing overhead are of course also needed, but if the government ties our hands as we seek ways to make our industry more competitive, then all of our efforts are lost. Our jobs are gone. We become another statistic, an unemployment statistic, a job-gone statistic, a company-gone statistic.

The union's membership sees ways daily in the plant of the company's commitment to environmental controls. We install them, we maintain them and we operate them. I see no reason to believe that the RDF project workplace will not be a safe and healthy one. I would like to invite you down to the plant just to see the magnitude of this claim, the heat involved, the controls needed to run it. I think you would be amazed at what it takes to make cement.

Mr Mattocks: Our international union in August 1991 in Las Vegas unanimously passed a resolution to use waste-derived fuels in the cement kilns in the US and Canada. The daily papers we read here every morning report on plant closings, jobs lost, and a lot of these jobs are going to other countries. We compete with other plants in Ontario, the US and Europe that are allowed to use waste-derived fuels, and they produce more cement with fewer men. In Ontario, the Lafarge cement plant at Bath employs 60 people. Bowmanville, that up-to-date plant you see when you drive on the 401, is run by only 90 people. In Woodstock, they have a plant that only runs 49. In Mississauga, we have 183 primary cement workers in the St Lawrence plant, not including the salaried workers.

The RDF project that we are talking about here today could create 50 more jobs at the St Lawrence plant in Mississauga. Now we cannot afford to give up 50 jobs, but if we cannot compete with the other plants, we may end up losing the 183. The company has to find ways to reduce the costs without eliminating jobs and the use of RDF seems to be a major way this can be done.

Cement manufactured in Cyprus, Egypt, Greece is coming into Ontario right now. Down in Oshawa there are two beehives down on the lake bringing cement in from Cyprus. Up in Owen Sound two silos built just last summer on Georgian Bay are bringing cement in from Greece produced with this supplementary fuel program. The finished product they have is being sold right here in Toronto. When you go down to Beaver or down to any of your local stores where you buy a bag of cement, it is there.

Our waste in southern Ontario -- from Burlington where I live that I know of -- is going to the US and helping make cement that is coming right back here. They are selling it at a cheaper price than we can make it here in Mississauga. Mexican cement is not far behind. That is the rumour. It is coming.

I would ask you to look very carefully at our amendment. You may be saving our industry here in Ontario and the rest of Canada.

The Chair: The members of the committee are not experts in some of the terminology you are using. With the wish of the committee, if from time to time there is some terminology that I think, if you are watching, might need some explanation, I will ask you to put that on the record. You referred to beehives?

Mr Mattocks: Beehive. If you notice your local sand places around town, they will have a beehive they store stuff in. It is not the proper place to store cement, but that is what they are using in Oshawa right now until they build silos.

Mr Coles: As I mentioned, we are approximately 90% through the environmental assessment process. Dr Rodger Schwass has been the chairman of that particular process, and I would like him to make a presentation on what we have done so far with the project.


Dr Schwass: I will be very brief. The gist of my concern is that a process as important in Ontario as the environmental assessment process can be aborted in this way at a very late stage. I think that is a very bad signal to send out.

We have been working for close to five years. The study group was set up in March five years ago. It consists of three community liaison representatives to whom you have been introduced, and four regional and area municipal staff, the senior people from Halton, Peel, Mississauga and Oakville. You can see it in the next section of your material. In addition, we had a community liaison committee which brought us in touch constantly with six different ratepayer organizations, and others at intervals, because we would have community meetings quite frequently to make sure the community was beginning to understand the nature of the project and its implications within the region.

The project steering committee and consulting team consisted of some of the best people in Canada and internationally. We had Proctor and Redfern as principal consultants. Ortech International, as many of you know, is the Ontario Research Foundation. It is Ontario's version of the National Research Council. It is an independent body at least partly supported by government, created back in the 1920s. They have done all the air emission and other studies. Then we have had Holderbank Consulting, which is an international company specializing in cement plant technology. So we have had the very best expertise.

This process has gone forward, and all we are really asking for is the opportunity to complete the environmental assessment process, which ought to go to hearings this summer. I should mention that the materials have all been circulated to the various ministries and have been returned to us, sometimes two or three times, for corrections, amendments or additional research. All of that has been done.

One of my colleagues, not on this project but at the faculty of environmental studies at York University where I have been for 15 years, said, "In a modern, democratic society, legislation designed to prevent the consideration of something should be very rare indeed." We feel this legislation is designed to prevent even the consideration of the use of refuse-derived fuel. We think that is inappropriate in a democratic society.

Mr Coles: In conclusion, what we are asking from this committee is that you not legislate out of existence a world-class technology which can help us manage our waste and keep our industry competitive at the same time.

If you turn to tab 9, on the back page, we have presented the amendments we feel are necessary to this legislation to prevent it from negatively impacting our particular environmental assessment project. As Rodger has said, basically what we are asking for is that we be allowed to continue and complete a process we have been working for almost five years to develop. These are the amendments we would like to ask you to consider.

There is just one other point I wanted to make. Before these hearings are completed, we know you will hear many delegations telling you that combustion is bad. We see people on your list like Paul Connett and Barry Commoner, who have done well in the United States making speeches, where they put words "combustion," "cancer," "babies" and "death" all in one sentence.

I cannot come back and speak to you on this particular subject. We have Mr Carlo here today, and other people who can answer questions on this particular subject. It is not necessary to come back, because this forum is not the place to find out the truth about the merits of combustion. The place to find that out is in an environmental assessment hearing. Through intervenor funding, St Lawrence Cement will pay the cost to bring all people, be they anti-combustion or pro-combustion, to a hearing where that particular subject can be studied in depth.

We are here today to ask that the environmental assessment process be allowed to work and that we get a fair hearing. That is all we ask.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. Yesterday I announced that the rules for the committee would be that the remaining time following a presentation would be divided equally between the three caucuses, and we would rotate for questions until each caucus had used up its time. For committee members, if one of your members uses all of the time, the rotation will be between the other caucuses for the time remaining.

Mrs Marland is here today. She has asked to question; however, she is not formally a member of the committee. I must ask Mr Carr if he will yield to Mrs Marland so she may ask her questions.

Mr Carr: Yes, that is fine.

Mrs Marland: The reason I am here is that St Lawrence Cement is in my riding and I think it is important that some of my questions are answered before the committee.

I know you have said this legislation threatens you from proceeding. You have also now told the committee that you are 90% through the environmental assessment process. Is it accurate to say that the response to your draft EA document so far by the Ministry of the Environment has been quite critical in some areas of your proposal?

Mr Coles: There were a number of points in our draft environmental assessment document that were questioned by the Ministry of the Environment. We had meetings with the ministry and we subsequently prepared study document 8, which addresses all the concerns. That study document has been circulated widely. I think you have a copy as well, and the ministry has a copy. We have not heard to the contrary that this particular document does not address all the concerns the ministry has.

Mrs Marland: You say you do not want to be in competition with the 3Rs.

Mr Coles: That is correct.

Mrs Marland: Yet some of the items in your refuse-derived fuel are items that can be recycled. For example, I just found a piece of aluminum. Aluminum is recyclable. When I looked at it, I thought perhaps it was silver paper, but it is aluminum. I think at one point you were offering to burn cardboard for the Ford plant. Obviously, cardboard can now be recycled. The concerns we have about your proposals are very evident to St Lawrence, and obviously some of these concerns will come out in the EA hearing, as you have said.

Also, I would like to ask you if it is true that you are currently in violation of a control order from the Ministry of the Environment in your operation, in manufacturing cement, not burning RDF.

Mr Coles: No, we are not. We are in compliance with the control order that was issued. There was a control order issued last year with respect to a number of parts of our operation which has been addressed except for the area of opacity. The ministry has agreed to a stay on that particular area because of the necessity to clarify the technology that will solve that particular problem. The ministry had suggested a baghouse. We have had many examples throughout the United States and Europe where baghouse technology did not solve an opacity problem. Consequently that is under review and we are presently making a lot of effort to discover some technology that will solve this problem.

Mrs Marland: But you are out of compliance with the opacity?

Mr Coles: That is right. We are in compliance with all aspects except the opacity, the colour of the plume that comes from our stack. It was the ministry's belief that this opacity was due to particulate in the plume. We have subsequently proven it is not due to particulate in the plume.

Mrs Marland: You said you can only compete if you can use the same fuel as other people use, and you have passed around a sample of coal here. Do you not burn oil at St Lawrence Cement also?

Mr Coles: No. Our primary fuel is coal. That probably makes up in excess of 90% of our fuel consumption. We burn oil when we are starting the kiln. Until you get temperatures that are high enough to start the coal, we add oil to bring it up to proper temperature. In addition to that, we use waste lubricating oil, which we have a certificate of approval to use and which we have used since the mid-1970s as a waste fuel. We also use chlorinated solvents as a waste fuel to some degree, limited but to some degree.


Mrs Marland: How would you address the concern of having recyclable materials still appear in the refuse-derived fuel at the end? If you are going to pick up a domestic waste stream, which is your proposal at least as I understand it, at least in Mississauga, where you have all kinds of uncontrolled materials in the garbage that is at the end of everybody's driveway, including plastics and paint cans and everything else because not everybody is very conscientious about recycling at the curb, how will you control this kind of sample getting through your RDF?

Mr Coles: We really want to have a program that dovetails with the 3Rs program. This is what we would do with respect to that. First of all, the waste that would be coming would be waste that would be destined for landfill, so if in fact there is aluminum in it, that aluminum would have gone to landfill in any case. But it would come to a processing plant. What we would be able to do is to remove additional recyclables like that aluminum and other things that would missed by the blue box program. Then only the residue from that, even after you have separated the compost material, would go to landfill.

There would be a concern, and I think it is a legitimate concern, that we would not operate the plant in a manner that would maximize the amount of RDF and not take out the recyclables. I think that is a legitimate concern. We would be prepared to have some citizen involvement in the management of that plant or in overseeing that plant so in fact it could be assured that we were achieving the maximum degree of removing further recyclables from the waste.

Mrs Marland: The final question I have is, is it fair and is it factual, Mr Coles, to ask you if it is not true that at present the Ministry of the Environment is not willing to support your proposal at the environmental assessment hearing?

Mr Coles: We have no indication that this is the case. I think you would have to ask the Ministry of the Environment that. I could not comment on that. We have submitted all the documentation to them. What we are asking for is to go forward to the environmental assessment process. That is our plea, that the legislation not prevent us from going through the environmental assessment process. I think that is the process that has been passed by the legislators in Ontario and that is the place to debate the merits and non-merits of any particular project. That is why we have taken so long to develop our process and have really tried to work within not only the act but the spirit of the act.

Mrs Marland: The Ministry of the Environment passed the prohibition on incineration of municipal solid waste after the proposal came forward from St Lawrence Cement, so I think they are well familiar with it. We certainly have had comments made publicly by the Ministry of the Environment, by the representatives that have been dealing with their proposal, that they do not support it currently.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Marland. You have used the full time allotted to your caucus. Ms Haeck?

Ms Haeck: I would like to thank Mrs Marland, because in some respects she has addressed some of my questions.

In looking at your presentation, tab 9, part A, on page 8 it says:

"Some kinds of garbage will be with us for some time yet, ie, soiled paper and boxboard, mixed plastic resins, waxed and coated paper products like milk cartons, grease-soaked containers etc. RDF can help take pressure off landfill and close the garbage gap."

As Mrs Marland I think so aptly pointed out, some of this can be recycled, boxboard in particular. In that bag Mrs Marland happened to find aluminum, but in looking at it I thought I saw bits of plastic. What really in fact is in the bag that you have circulated for us to look at?

Mr Coles: That is a sample of RDF from a European sorting plant, so I could not tell you exactly. I visited the plant and that was a sample I picked up when I was there.

Ms Haeck: I guess what my concern really comes down to is that you refer to it as a "burnable fraction" after having gone through some sort of sortation. But what really is going to be burned?

Mr Coles: Basically you would be looking at plastics, coated papers, things like that, where there are not methods to be recycled at this particular time. I cannot tell you the details, but it is that sort of thing. Basically, from the studies that Proctor and Redfern have done for us we projected a 70% level of recycling, which in fact improves the quality of the RDF for us, and at that point there was still sufficient material in the waste stream to produce a useful fuel for us.

Ms Haeck: In looking at some of the other documentation that we have managed to collect -- this is one of your RDF Study News, volume 1, number 1; I am not sure what year this actually came out.

Mr Coles: I believe that was 1988.

Ms Haeck: It was 1988, okay. That is the librarian in me; I tend to look for dates. About refuse-derived fuel, you again talk about paper and light plastics and you refer to the fact that there are 88,000 to 178,000 tonnes of residential waste that could be processed annually. Looking at this in your comment, in reality you may be having to sort that amount of garbage, which could be considered admirable, but by the same token much of it is either going to have to be diverted to landfill or you are going to have to find some recycling method. How much coal is this actually going to replace? You are actually going to end up with a relatively small amount of material that ultimately could be burned. Am I correct in that assumption?

Mr Coles: Yes, you are correct in that assumption. If you look at the tonnages in that particular flowchart, we project that by taking in, receiving at our plant, 250,000 tonnes per year of the waste that would otherwise be destined to landfill, we would obtain approximately 100,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel. That would then replace in our process approximately 50,000 tonnes of coal.

Ms Haeck: You would actually be bringing this from much farther away, though, would you not? Mississauga or some of the other areas are not going through major 3R projects. Pulling in that amount of waste to get down to the amount that you are going to be able to burn, you will have to be transporting a rather large amount of waste throughout the province.

Mr Coles: No. The projections we have done are that the waste would come from Mississauga south of the 401 plus Oakville. This project encompasses Halton as well.

Ms Haeck: Those communities now are actively involved in 3R projects, are they not?

Mr Coles: That is correct.

Ms Haeck: We are not assuming also that, say, technologies are at a standstill in the items that are going to be recycled or reused, that they are not in fact going to come on stream and basically reducing the amount of garbage throughout the system?

Mr Coles: We projected in that particular waste shed -- it is in some of the study documents and it was done a number of years ago. Basically, that waste shed, Mississauga south of the 401 plus Oakville, which is in Halton region, and assuming a 70% level of recycling, gave us those tonnages.

Ms Haeck: Shall we say I am sceptical? I will turn to some of my other colleagues here because I know they have some questions.


Mr McClelland: Thank you for being here, gentlemen. I have a couple of opening comments, if I may. You were very diplomatic and appropriately so, Dr Schwass, having gone this far in terms of environmental assessment, 90% complete. I do not know how much money was invested by yourselves and in fact other people involved in the process. At this point in time the whole process is perhaps in jeopardy.

You say it is inappropriate. I think quite frankly it is outrageous that at this point in time -- I will cut right to the point here -- a minister, who spoke in terms of process and a government that talked about process and said it was fundamental to the environmental integrity of projects across the province, would not live and abide by the rhetoric, if you will, and the principles that were established in terms of giving any project the closest possible technical scrutiny, and then, having done so, made the decision either for it or against it by independent people. At the same time, the great irony to me is that a landfill is being ordered to be expanded miles away in very close proximity to where you are, with absolutely no public hearing whatsoever.

On the one hand, a project that has complied, as you say, not only with the letter but with the spirit of the act, some 90% complete or beyond, is in jeopardy. On the other hand, in close proximity, the very same ministry and minister are saying, "We are going to go ahead and do something that has clear downside implications in terms of the environment and has a clearly negative impact on the people of that community in terms of costs and the environmental integrity of that community with no hearing of any kind." I do not find that inappropriate, sir, and I appreciate your diplomacy. I find it absolutely outrageous and beyond comprehension that anybody who is objective and reasonable can rationalize that position.

Having said that, there are a couple of questions I want to put to you. It will be argued that incineration feeds a wasteful attitude, that incinerators have a voracious appetite for waste. How would you respond to that, either Mr Coles or Dr Schwass, in terms of that statement with respect to your project, I mean, in regard to the fact that you said we are not appropriate, in terms of the time available, to look at all the technical data that would be available? Just in terms of that statement on its face, "Incinerators have a voracious appetite for waste," and your project, how do you reconcile those two statements?

Dr Schwass: I think you have to distinguish between incineration for its own sake, which is simply a disposal technique, and manufacturing processes which inevitably require heat for the conversion of one material to another.

Charlie Coles has described the role that cement and concrete play in our lives. For anyone to begin to suggest that we would stop making cement in Ontario, or stop making steel, or stop making any of the manufactured goods on which we depend simply because they require the consumption of fuel would be outrageous, and yet that seems to be the minister's implication.

What we are talking about here is not incineration, but fuel substitution. It is the substitution of a locally produced waste product, which we believe to be safe, for an imported, relatively high-sulphur coal brought in from West Virginia, a strip mine. From an environmentalist point of view, this is the better process as far as we can see.

I would like to turn back to your earlier point about the remarkable situation of these subdivisions which have already been laid out around the Britannia landfill site, as you can see, right up to the border of the landfill site. These will presumably continue to be developed, unless the government plans to pay compensation to the owners of the land. If you can imagine adding 200 feet vertically to that site, to the boundaries of the property over the next 10 years, you can begin to see the magnitude of the error that has been made.

On the other side, we have a situation where people living within one mile, as the members of our study group have done, have themselves agreed that this project should at least move forward to a proper hearing. You can see the public opinion polls that have been taken -- I think they are under tab 9 -- which show that at the moment about 74% of the people in these municipalities are either not opposed or are completely in favour of this project.

Mr McClelland: If I can summarize, and I am sure you will correct me, what you are saying is that at this point you are not asking that this project be approved; you are asking that this project be given an opportunity to be given the closest, the most detailed and rigorous technical scrutiny possible. That is all that you are asking.

Dr Schwass: Exactly.

Mr McClelland: A simple question -- forgive me for being simple -- if you do not use post-3R RDF, do you use any less fuel? This point is evident, but I am trying to --

Mr Coles: No, we would use the same amount or the same heat units of fuel. It does not affect the manufacturing process basically in any way. We would be removing 20% of the coal and adding 20% of the heat from RDF. The only difference is that the heat content of RDF is not as high, so in fact you back off 50,000 tonnes of coal and it takes 100,000 tonnes of RDF to give you that much heat.

Mr McClelland: I appreciate that point of information.

I want to draw attention in response to a line of questioning that was made earlier. It is on your tab 5, the middle paragraph, which says, "Compatible with 3Rs." The last sentence, and I think it bears some amplification, says, "The amount of RDF processed and used can exactly match the amount of residual waste which remains after optimal 3R programs."

It is clear, to me at any rate, that you are accepting the fact that the development of 3R programs is a dynamic program and it may change, and you not only prepared but committed to tailoring the use of RDF in accordance with post-3R, and post-3R only, fuels. Is that correct?

Mr Coles: Yes, that is right. In fact, the economic projections we have made too would allow for the economical composting, in addition to the present 3R program.

Mr Martin: Looking at the process that you are proposing here in your RDF proposal and the concern that we have for certainly the long-term impact of having toxic materials anywhere in our landfills or anyplace else, it seems to me that, regardless of what you do, there is going to be an ash. In your proposal, I assume from reading what I have and listening to you, the ash would be incorporated into the cement. Is that correct?

Mr Coles: Right.

Mr Martin: That would mean it would still in fact be present in the cement and ultimately when that cement breaks down you have got toxic material that will return to the earth and cause the problems that the ash perhaps would have done maybe a little earlier in the regular incinerator process. Do you want to comment on that a little bit and clarify for me?

Mr Coles: Yes. What happens in the cement manufacturing process is basically we are melting or coming close to melting the limestone. So what would happen with a compound such as lead, if we take it as an example? It would be absorbed into the crystal structure of the cement itself. Leachate tests have been done on the product and in fact when you burn any fuel, the amount of material leaching out is chemically bound in the product and would never leach out, for ever. Cement is used to solidify many materials, so in fact leaching does not take place.

Mr Martin: What you are saying is that down the line, regardless of how many centuries we look at, if we are concerned about the earth, in this process that toxic element would not return.

Mr Coles: Yes. Once we get it into the cement kiln, we are removing it from further exposure in the environment. That is correct.

Dr Schwass: Just as a supplementary, the evidence from Ortech is that because of the very high temperatures, seven to nine seconds' time in a temperature between 1450 and 2000 degrees, you get virtually total combustion. So you have immeasurably small amounts of material, in any case, going into the cement powder. Once the cement powder is combined with aggregates into concrete, then you have something that is utterly stable and it is not going anywhere.


Mr Martin: It is stable until such time as that building is torn down and the cement is reprocessed, or we have an earthquake.

Dr Schwass: It is immeasurably unpredictable, I suppose, in the sense that concrete can be broken back down into aggregate. But if you take units of dioxin that would go into the landfill normally that would now go into the cement plant, they will be reduced virtually to nothing before they go into the cement itself. If you look at the Ontario Waste Management Corp's plan to solidify its waste that will eventually come out the other end, that will be stabilized by cement. Cement is regarded as the permanent final solution for any kind of residue. In this case, there will not be any residue because of the very high temperatures.

Mr Sola: First of all, I would like to commend both the company and the union for getting their act together and making a joint presentation, and also for solving their negotiation problems as they have. I think they are a good model for the rest of the economy to follow at a time when we are not getting many positive signals from the economy.

Both the union and the company have mentioned the fact that they have to become more competitive as far as costs are concerned. You have mentioned that using RDF will replace 20% of coal. You have never mentioned, in either brief that I can recall, what that means economically. There must be some economic advantage to the company for it to be going after RDF rather than coal.

Mr Coles: Yes, 30% of our fuel costs are fuel-related, so basically this would be a no-cost fuel for us. In fact, even at reasonable levels of tipping fees, say in the order of $50 or $60, it still would reduce our fuel costs over and above the 20%. In other words, there would be an add-on there.

Mr Sola: You have mentioned that the United States and Europe are already using this, so what is their advantage from a fuel point of view in competition?

Mr Coles: Our company has a plant in Belgium, where because it is paid for taking hazardous waste and using it as fuel, it has now got its fuel costs down so they approach zero and you are looking at 30% of the costs that have been eliminated completely.

There is also another plant in Fairborn, Ohio which is approaching the same sort of thing, so basically it is getting the 30% cost advantage.

Mr Sola: Are these plants as efficient as the one that you are planning as far as toxic wastes are concerned?

Mr Coles: They are using hazardous wastes in those particular plants. Our proposal here, because we are located in an urban area and because we have a waste disposal problem in the GTA, is to use household waste, non-hazardous, municipal solid waste.

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

There are a couple of members who have not had an opportunity to put their questions on the record. I am going to suggest to them that they ask you their questions privately, but we would appreciate it if you would answer those questions or provide any other information that you have for the committee in writing over the course of our hearings.

Information can be submitted at any time. If it is received before February 14, it will become part of the record. If over the course of the hearings there is anything that you feel would be helpful to the committee to further our deliberations, we would appreciate that communication as well in writing.

Mrs Mathyssen and Mr Wiseman had questions. If you want to put them on the record, we can then get them answered.

Mr Wiseman: My question is a point of clarification on the size of the lift at the Britannia landfill site. Talking to engineers as recently as yesterday, it was indicated to us that the lift would be in the magnitude of 4.5 to 5 metres, which is approximately 15 feet, so two lifts on Britannia would be approximately 30 feet, not the 200 that the doctor indicated.

The Chair: Is that a question you want clarified by the ministry?

Mr Wiseman: No, that is just a statement of clarification.

Mrs Mathyssen: My question concerns your literature. In the literature that you provided for us, you say very clearly that new information may lead to improved environmental regulations and that your company is cooperating with ministry staff to come up with a solution that meets the overall goal of environmental responsibility for your industry. That is from Peter Menet, director of environmental projects at St Lawrence Cement. "In the end, all this effort should result in better environmental protection standards for regulating the cement industry."

In view of your statement, do you not think that it is incumbent upon governments, incumbent upon all of us, to make sure that better environmental standards and better regulations are applied to the cement industry?

The Chair: Would you respond to Mrs Mathyssen in writing? Our time has expired for your presentation.

We appreciate your coming before us today. Thank you very much.

Mr Coles: Thank you very much.

The Chair: I am going to endeavour, if I can, at the end of time to leave enough time for questions to be placed on the record. If that works, we will do it. If it does not, we will have to eliminate, which means keeping questions very short when we place them on the record. The other is that if deputants request, they can ask for a couple of minutes at the end of the presentation to sum up, and I will take that as well.

For the information of anyone watching the hearings, we have received some research from the ministry today, some alterations to Bill 143 that were announced by the Minister of the Environment in her opening remarks yesterday. They are item 2 and are now part of the public record and are available to anyone who would like to have a copy of them. These are the stated alterations to the bill as mentioned by the minister in her remarks yesterday.


The Chair: I call now the Citizens' Network on Waste Management. Would you begin your presentation, please, by introducing yourself? You have a full hour for your presentation. The committee has requested that you leave a half-hour for questions, if that is possible. If not, the time is yours to use as you wish.

Mr Jackson: I am John Jackson. As coordinator, I am here today speaking on behalf of the Citizens' Network on Waste Management, as well as being president of Great Lakes United.

The Citizens' Network on Waste Management is a network of over 50 citizens' groups from all parts of Ontario which have been in existence for about the past 10 years and which work together in dealing with waste management problems. We support each other in dealing with the problems in our own communities, but we also work together in the lobbying for improvements and legislation, etc.

Great Lakes United is a coalition of 200 groups, citizens' groups, environmental groups, labour groups and sports organizations, from both Canada and the United States that are concerned about environmental problems all across the Great Lakes, all the way from Quebec City to Thunder Bay and Duluth, Minnesota. A major part of our focus in terms of Great Lakes concerns is with environmental contamination.

In terms of my personal experience, I should point out that I have worked for the past 15 years full-time, basically with citizens' groups, dealing with waste problems and with contamination problems. I am also a member of the National Packaging Task Force, which I know was referred to yesterday as being one of the reasons behind some of the amendments that are proposed here to the Environmental Protection Act. I am also a resident of Kitchener.

The basic conclusion that we have come to in terms of the work over the last many years is that we have consistently underestimated the impacts of the waste management problems that we create, and that clearly the only way to truly deal with those problems is to get back to the source, which is to reduce the production of waste in the first place. We all know that that is one of the basic underlying principles of certain parts of this legislation. Therefore, we heartedly endorse those efforts of the legislation, as well as the other efforts through other processes that are going on that were described to you yesterday by the ministry to look at waste reduction alternatives.

I think the other lesson I want to bring you from the past many years of working with citizens' groups is that the citizens have a tremendous amount to offer in terms of the understanding of the issues of waste management and also in terms of finding new, creative solutions to those problems. After all, it is the people who live in those communities who are directly affected by them, who have to live with the risks and who experience the consequences, who have the biggest motivation of anyone to find solutions, because they do not want to have to keep living with those problems. They also do not want to create problems for more and more people to go through the same sorts of things they have. It is on that basis that I come forward to you. What I will do is go through each part of the legislation very quickly and give our comments on it.


Part I is the setting up of the Interim Waste Authority. We support the continuation of the Interim Waste Authority. We want, however, to see fuller discussion in the future about what the long-term role of this authority will be. Will it continue to be the operator? What role is it going to play within the greater Toronto authority? I do not think that has been explored through. It certainly has not been explored through with the public, and it is essential that this happen. But we certainly support the continuation of it to do the job that is defined for it in the legislation here.

We are pleased that the problems of reduction and recycling have not been given to the Interim Waste Authority. The reason for that is that the experience both here and in the United States has been that to try to combine the disposal in the same agency that is responsible for reduction and recycling creates a conflicting mandate and therefore means, in experience elsewhere, that we do not maximize reduction and recycling.

We are also pleased, and think it is critical in the operation of this authority, that it has to operate within a broader provincial scheme of waste management, because that will result in its having the proper limited role such an authority should have. Let me give you an example of a contrary situation that I suspect we are all aware of, the Ontario Waste Management Corp.

Over 10 years ago we set up a crown agency to deal with the hazardous waste problem and to find a disposal site, but that was done without there being any overall scheme of what is the provincial strategy for hazardous waste management. As a result, we are still today grappling with trying to get an approval for a disposal facility without ever having done a proper job of reducing and recycling waste. That is the lesson to us of what we have to avoid in this new crown agency. I think we can avoid it because of the differences I see going on here in the limited mandate and in clearly going ahead to develop other programs for reduction and recycling.

We are pleased that in the powers of the Interim Waste Authority the right to expropriate is limited to being within the greater Toronto area. One of the inequities that has existed in the past is that Metropolitan Toronto has had the power to expropriate beyond its borders. No other municipality in Ontario has that power. It is a serious inequity that Toronto should have been given this special treatment. We are pleased that the greater Toronto authority will not have that power to expropriate beyond its borders.

We are also pleased to see the section in there in terms of hardship for people who may be in difficulties because their property is adjacent to a proposed site. We see so often that people are left in limbo for years, waiting to see whether a site will be built next door or not, unable to sell their property or to get a proper price because people are worried about going there. We are pleased to see that hardship section in there. We accept the right of inspectors to come in and inspect property. It is a necessary component of doing a proper site investigation and site search.

The provisions for notice are critical and the provisions to compensate land owners for damage to property, damage to crops etc, are absolutely critical. We are glad they are in there.

There are two items, however, that we think need to be added to the inspection provisions to protect the owners. The first is that property owners should be guaranteed full access to the information acquired during the inspection of their property. They should receive that immediately upon the inspection and the results of the studies have been completed, the full data gathered on their property.

The second addition we would like to see here is that later in this section there is reference to participant funding. We think participant funding needs to be provided at the time the inspections are happening on the properties, so that citizens can ensure the proper tests are indeed being conducted, can make input, can hire technical experts to make input and say, "These are the proper places to do drilling," and really make sure the proper inspection is done on those sites. Because one of the major fears land owners have is that when a property inspection is carried out they will go and drill at the part of the property which looks like it is the best and avoid the other areas, citizens need input on how that inspection is carried out.

Going on to part II, waste disposal sites, we cannot really take a strong position on it, but we have a concern with equity in the combining of the regional municipality of York with the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in finding a shared site. The fear we have is that yet again the major burden will be placed upon the regional municipality of York and the residents of York, the site going there. They already have been receiving waste for so many years that we really feel it is critical that a major effort be made to find a place within Metro Toronto's borders to actually site a landfill. We do not want that to be easily slipped by and just focused on York again. That inequity has gone on much too long.

Because of the time considerations in terms of finding new sites, we accept the limitations on the discussion of alternatives proposed in part II on waste disposal sites. We are particularly pleased to see the statement that incineration is one of the alternatives that should not be considered. We believe, as you have heard some of the arguments this morning -- sort of in reverse, but you have heard the arguments -- that it is a deterrent to waste reduction. It gets us again into that mentality that there is some grand engineering solution to our problem, and there is not. We have to get back to more basic fundamentals.

Of course, there is that ongoing concern about emissions. Inevitably there will be hazardous materials coming out of the stack. Inevitably persistent toxic substances will be scattered throughout the environment. As spokesperson for Great Lakes United, as president of Great Lakes United, I want to really emphasize the ongoing concern that exists among the scientists throughout the Great Lakes basin for the toxic substances that persist over time, that do not break down, that accumulate in the environment, that build up even though they are in minuscule quantities as they are emitted.

The scientists are coming forth to us showing clearly the devastating impacts on wildlife, on birds, on animals, and now the studies are beginning to show the impacts on people, impacts not just of what we have heard so much about, cancer, but impacts upon development, upon the children, upon future generations. It is very scary stuff and I suspect you will hear more of it in detail later. What it says to us is that we must not allow more and more persistent toxic substances, even in minuscule quantities, to be emitted into the environment.

We have an agreement between the United States and Canada, the Great Lakes water quality agreement, which the provincial government here has endorsed and supported as responsible for actually implementing as one of its roles, which says that we must have zero discharge of persistent toxic substances. That means none. That means we must make all efforts to stop all sources of persistent toxic substances.


The problem with incineration is that it scatters those substances far and wide, so that we have no way to collect them again if we find a problem, to try to clean them up. It is actually one of the benefits to industry of having incineration. You can never hold them liable in the future for the impact of the contaminants. I will never be able to prove that contaminant actually came from that stack, because it has been spread all over the place.

I should also state that at the most recent meeting of the International Joint Commission, in Traverse City, Michigan, which had 1,500 people at it, when the minister spoke about her ban on incineration and this government's ban on incineration she was applauded. In fact, she was given a standing ovation. It shows how important this action is to the people throughout the Great Lakes. You will hear much more detail. Certainly the people who are much more competent to speak on incineration than I are the people from Work on Waste, who I understand you are hearing next week. I think you should debate that very thoroughly and explore it carefully with them next week.

The other alternative that is removed here is the export of garbage beyond the boundaries of the greater Toronto area. We all have to live with the consequences of the waste we produce. If we have that out of being able to ship it off to some far-off community where we can forget about it and can feel better with ourselves because we have given it some compensation, we have promised to help it out financially in some way, that is not good enough. That is too easy an out. We must live with the consequences closer to home.

The experience of the past year as Metro Toronto searched for landfill sites throughout the provinces -- we never want to see again ads like this going out throughout the entire province. They are saying, "Land for landfills, offers requested." I can tell you, from very personal experience as I travelled around the province, of the chaos and the negative feelings this created around the province. I am sure you will hear about this when you go to Sarnia and when you go to the north to hold hearings. People in those communities felt abused, felt threatened.

Beyond that, it created community conflicts which people in the greater Toronto area should not be responsible for creating. It created divisions between those who were desperately looking for ways to financially help their communities and saw this as the only solution and people who knew the risks and said, "I'm more willing to take the economic risk than the health and environmental risk." The consequences in those communities were really devastating to see. I am sure you will hear more about that in the next few weeks.

There is one item that is unfortunately strongly endorsed. I am sure it is strongly endorsed in the legislation the way it is written because of the feeling of no option. That is the option of landfill. We must remember that our purpose is to minimize the use of landfills. It is not to say, "We'll do a good job of reduction and recycling and we'll throw the rest into a landfill." We have to make the commitment to people throughout this province to do everything within our power to minimize the use of landfills.

The other thing we must do is look at options for new types of landfills. Instead of the old landfill we have become used to where you put everything into the same landfill, we should be looking at dividing the materials into different areas. Rubble should go into a different spot, for example, than organic waste that can break down. The experimentation that engineers are now approaching, which is saying, "Let's rethink the concept of landfills" -- I urge you and the ministry to actually do studies of different types of landfills and how we can really improve the performance of landfills.

In section 15 of this legislation it clearly states that the minister may establish policies which have to be followed. That in effect becomes a way of scoping the environmental assessments. I think this is a useful exercise. One of the things it does is keep proponents from having to go on wild-goose chases that they know are never going to take them anywhere because they will be rejected in the long run. That is why it is important to have policies like that. I think, however, that those policies need to be created with a situation of serious and thorough public consultation. That is a critical component. There should be a provision that public consultation is required before such policies are set by the minister. That is the safeguard I think all of us need.

I also wish to refer here to section 16, which is the participant funding item. We are pleased to see participant funding to allow funding at an earlier step in the process, instead of just when you get to the hearing. Experience in hearings where proponents have given money to intervenors earlier has shown that it actually speeds up the hearing process. Many of the issues can be dealt with earlier in the process and can actually be taken off the table because the citizens have access to expertise in advance and can explore those issues in advance and clear them up before being in the formal hearing. So we heartily endorse participant funding.

Let's now move on to part III, which is the implementation of the minister's report. We have here a very serious problem. We cannot accept the complete removal of the residents' rights to have a formal public hearing before a hearing board on these projects. These projects could have significant effects on the neighbours. They may only be extensions and expansions but, regardless, extensions and expansions can have substantial effects. It is the neighbours who most fully understand the impacts these sites are already having on their lives and who can best estimate the new or intensified impacts these expansions could have. The provision to have written briefs go in to the director does not adequately replace the need for a hearing. The public needs the opportunity to be heard before an independent board that will sit back and make judgements and recommendations.

I think, given the restrictions already placed on the topics for discussion -- taking away the discussion of need, incineration, perhaps alternative sites for these emergency interim measures -- could result in a hearing that was much more scoped and could therefore be controlled in its length. It would be very possible to sit down with the neighbours at those two sites and talk with them about actually putting time frames on how long the hearing needs to be, to get the proponents to be brief in the presentations and really allow the time for cross-examination and other views to be brought forward.

The experience is that hearings result inevitably in better terms and conditions of approval, in better guarantees for the people in the community to protect them, and therefore I urge this government to look at the way of doing a scoped hearing to deal with the timing problem that is confronted, but also to let the public have its opportunity to an independent hearing. The ministry has stated it will provide added guarantees to people in these communities, things such as liaison committees etc, and these are all very important provisions, but they are not guaranteed, they are not in the legislation. At least some of those guarantees should go into this legislation.

Finally, I wish to address a couple of items in part IV, which are the amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. The impact of these amendments goes far beyond GTA. This is for all of us in all parts of Ontario and we have to look at them in terms of the broader impacts throughout Ontario. We support the amendments because it gives the power to the government to require 3Rs activities and to require waste management planning and serious planning. We are somewhat surprised but very pleased to see section 22. This section encourages us to act responsibly internationally, to take into account international impacts of our activities here at home. That is part of our commitment to people in other countries and I am really pleased to see it in there.


I have two problems with the issue in section 23 of ministers having the right to delegate some of their powers to the director. With the items already in clause 3 of the Environmental Protection Act, I see no problem in letting those be delegated to the director, instead of the minister making the decisions. Most of them are items such as conferences, doing demonstration projects and research. I do not see why the minister has to be the one who approves and makes decisions on those.

This legislation, however, adds two extremely important items under this power of the minister, clauses (k) and (l), which establish and operate, use, alter, enlarge and extend waste management systems or disposal sites and discontinue systems and close sites referred to above. I think those two powers should be required to stay with the minister.

That is something where I think politicians have to stand up and be held accountable. Those are very basic, central, important decisions and should stay with the minister. I would have no problem with the minister having the power to delegate the others to the director.

We are pleased that yesterday the minister announced that on section 29 the word "director" would be replaced by "minister." We are pleased to see that because these again are more critical decisions in terms of requiring action.

I wish to address one other concern not directly in this legislation. When directing general changes to the Environmental Protection Act I think it is a very critical one. This is the issue of the right of appeal for citizens to the Environmental Appeal Board.

Part XI of the Environmental Protection Act says that if the director undertakes certain actions, for example, closing down a site, approvals etc, the owner of the property or the operator of the site affected has the right to appeal to the Environmental Appeal Board and, therefore, to have a hearing before an independent board to see whether that action was appropriate or not. Citizens do not have the right to appeal and to initiate a hearing under the Environmental Appeal Board.

If, for example, a director chose not to close down a site and under his emergency powers were to extend the life of the site, the citizens would not have the right to go to the Environmental Appeal Board and appeal that decision. I think that is an incredible inaccuracy within our legislation and an incredible denial of citizen rights.

Let me give you one example -- it is not specifically to landfills unfortunately, it is sort of throwing everything to the ground -- Uniroyal in Elmira. We now have Environmental Appeal Board hearings going on there. The reason those hearings are going on is that Uniroyal did not like the control order the ministry placed on it and therefore appealed the order. They said it was too tough on them.

Before the appeal board now, citizens are represented and it is having a full airing. If, however, the citizens had considered the control order was too weak and Uniroyal had accepted it and not appealed it, there would be nothing the citizens could do. They could not have appealed that control order on Uniroyal. That is a totally unacceptable situation. It likewise applies to landfills with very wide implications, and I urge you and the ministry to look into that as a serious flaw in our legislation.

Those are my comments. Unfortunately, I do not have them typed and I will do that and make sure they get to you within the next week. I am open for questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation.

Mr Jackson: I will type my comments out for you.

Mr Wiseman: They will be in Hansard.

Mr Jackson: So I do not need to. Thank you.

The Chair: Everything the presenters say is recorded in Hansard and available for the public usually within a few weeks. We have a translation service available as well. Each caucus has approximately eight minutes.

Mrs Mathyssen: I have two questions. We have just heard a very well organized presentation from St Lawrence Cement in favour of using refuse-derived fuel and I noted that you were here for that presentation. Do you have any specific concerns about that presentation, about refusederived fuels? They did differentiate between that and incineration, and I would appreciate your expertise on that.

Mr Jackson: My expertise is greater on EFWs, energy from waste facilities, and on incineration than on actual refuse-derived fuel, but let me tell you the concerns I would have. These concerns are upon hearing of the problems elsewhere where the cement industry has actually been in burning waste.

The cement industry has a terrible record. Ask people who live near them, both in Canada and the United States, in terms of the discharge. Mrs Marland pointed out some of the ongoing problems. I would want to see very thorough studies of actual emissions through the stack from an operating site that has been burning such fuels somewhere in the world.

I do not think it is good enough to simply say we did -- I have not read their documentation. I do not know what basis they are using for emissions that would come out of it, but I think it has to be from actual operation over a period of time with the similar type of fuel. I have to be extremely wary of it because the record of the cement industry is not good. Burning inevitably discharges contaminants into the air and, as I said earlier, scientists tell us that, with many of these chemicals, we simply cannot risk more in the environment than we already have.

I urge you. The people from Work on Waste -- Dr Connett, who will be coming, has explored this issue in incredible depth and in more detail than anyone else I know. I am confident he can give you very detailed answers, but we certainly do not support it.

Mrs Mathyssen: I have been remiss in not commenting on the excellence of your presentation as well. There is just one thing, and that has to do with what you said about York being responsible for Metro's waste. I was wondering if Jan Rush could help me with that. It seemed to me, in the draft approach and criteria documentation, that a site in Metro is not precluded. Am I correct? Could you explain that? I think that concern was raised.

Ms Rush: The site search area is York-Metro and investigations had begun in looking for that total area. Metro is not excluded. You are correct.

Mr Jackson: I realize that. My fear, however, is whether a strong enough weighting will be put on trying to find a place within Metro. It is easier to go out to York because there seems to be so much more open space.

Mrs Mathyssen: I appreciate that clarification.

Mrs Fawcett: Thank you for your very comprehensive presentation. I was really interested, and certainly agree with you that we have to get back to the source of our problems and, of course, packaging lights up. I would be the first to say there is no way we need a package inside a box, inside a plastic wrapper. But I also have been cautioned by some people asking how we make sure that items from which we may remove some of the packaging are compatible with the health and safety regulations. We know of lawsuits and all those things. I just wonder if you have done any work on that kind of thing.

Mr Jackson: The national packaging protocol referred to yesterday is, in its legislative studies, looking at current requirements, for example, from Health and Welfare Canada in terms of standards. Those issues are being dealt with in detail by this multistakeholder group, which is what the national packaging protocol is: government people, the packaging industry, the using industry as well as environmental groups.


Mrs Fawcett: Have you had input into that as well?

Mr Jackson: Yes.

Mrs Fawcett: One other thing: You touched on the inspectors being able to go on, and I really have some concerns about the rights of the land owners. How do you see citizens and land owners becoming part of that process right from the beginning? Do you have any thoughts on this?

Mr Jackson: I definitely do. I work with Susan's group; that is where my time is spent. They will often talk with me and say: "They are at the point now that they want to send an inspector. I just want to say no. What do you suggest?" My reaction always is one of: "We have to explore the site. They may come on and find it is a lousy site, and you are best to know that now." We have to find the solution, and to simply put up the wall and say no does not solve the problem.

What we need to protect the citizens and what makes them feel better about this and much more willing to accept it is to actually meet with the people affected before the inspection happens, to sit down, have their experts sit down with them and let the citizens also have the funding to be able to hire an expert, say, in hydrogeology, to be able to sit down and say: "Is this inspection being properly carried out? Are they looking for the right things when they are on my site? Are they actually drilling the holes in the proper places when they are checking to see if there is clay or digging or whatever they may do?"

As I said earlier, the big fear land owners have is that they will come in, they will look only at the best spot, and then they will go back and say: "You're number one because you were best." That is the major fear land owners have. It is not the property damage fear or whatever; there are ways to compensate people for the crops that were trampled on or whatever. The fear is of the inspection being misused. So we should, first, sit down with the citizens and with the land owners and discuss in detail how that inspection will be done, and second, make sure all the data from the inspection are made available to the group and to the citizens.

Mrs Fawcett: When you say "we" sit down, do you mean the ministry?

Mr Jackson: I am switching my we's constantly here. I think it is important that the proponents, if that is a municipality, if that is the ministry, whoever it is, sit down with the land owners and with whatever citizens' groups may have arisen in the community, to work it out.

Mrs Fawcett: I will defer to my colleague because I know he has a question.

The Chair: I have Mr Lessard next.

Mr McLean: I thought we were rotating.

The Chair: I do not have you on the list, Mr McLean.

Mr McLean: I am the only one here.

The Chair: You have to signal that you want to question in order to get on the list.

Mr McLean: I am sorry. I thought it was automatic that we would be asked.

The Chair: No. Go ahead, Mr McLean.

Mr McLean: Thank you. A clarification from the parliamentary assistant first: Is it right that this legislation gives a minister the power to expand landfill sites without an environmental assessment hearing?

Mr O'Connor: Under the minister's orders, she has ordered that expansion take place at two sites and go through a full environmental set of studies. I believe you probably have a copy of that report. You can take a look at that and see where the minister's report referred to that.

Mr McLean: Then you are saying that she does have the power to order a site expanded without an environmental assessment hearing.

Mr O'Connor: Right. What she has done, though, is made sure that all the studies take place, and in the case of Keele Valley she suggested in her comments yesterday that, should there be enough time, hearings take place as well.

Mr McLean: Mr Jackson, you indicated in your remarks with regard to property owners, where there is an access to their property for inspection -- and I believe my colleague just touched on that briefly. Would that be intervenor funding they would be looking at for that group to be able to function in a hearing?

Mr Jackson: The formal "intervenor funding" term applies to the Intervenor Funding Project Act, which does not come into effect until the actual hearing begins. Therefore we need prior funding, and there is a phrase which is for an earlier funding, "participant funding," which is a phrase I have not seen before. But it is the participant funding that is referred to in this legislation that would allow the funding for this earlier type of thing we are talking about. Intervenor funding would not provide for it.

Mr McLean: Right. Metro is looking at three landfill sites, or hopes to have three. Where would you anticipate within a Metropolitan area that you would be able to establish a landfill site? The only area I know that is a large enough area within Metro would be in the Rouge Valley.

Mr Jackson: First, I think we have to reconsider one of our guidelines in terms of landfills and look at smaller landfills, which then makes it more feasible to be able to locate them closer to urban areas, because we tend to look now at the one grand landfill, and it becomes a massive space consumer.

Second, if we look at different types of landfill, perhaps landfills with no organics in them, the requirements and the problems would be different, and therefore the siting criteria, such as distance from housing etc, could well be different. I think those are some of the options we have to explore. I am certainly not into filling up the Rouge, let me assure you.

Mr McLean: I am not either, and I know a lot of environmental people are not.

Mr Jackson: This is why I think we have to start taking a look at landfills as being a different type of creature from that huge mound in the air we have talked about in the past.

Mr McLean: How would you establish landfill sites across the province in rural areas? I have a letter here from a constituent dated January 14, as a matter of fact. There is one particular area in the county of Simcoe where we have had a problem, and that is in the Wyevale area. They had hearings going on for years and there is still not a site there. The individual indicates now that they are looking at another site. Nobody wants landfill. They say we do not have to have landfill.

I picked up something the other day in the store and there was more packaging than the individual item. I do not know why there is not something in this legislation -- if there is, I would like to know where it is -- whereby they would reduce by law the amount of packaging that takes place in the province. Could you address that?

Mr Jackson: My understanding is that one of the things this legislation provides is the power for the government to do requirements on reducing packaging. That is one of the major reasons we support the principles underlying this bill. I totally agree with you that we have to focus on minimizing the need for landfill, because of course no one wants to live next door to them. They have a terrible history.

Mr Lessard: Mr Jackson, I want to thank you for an excellent presentation. I also want to express my appreciation as a member from Windsor for the work of Great Lakes United. I know Rick Coronado makes sure that politicians are constantly aware of environmental concerns on just about every issue.

You also mentioned the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. I am glad you did, because it is an issue in Windsor right now with respect to whether the International Joint Commission office is going to stay there. I know Great Lakes United is trying to make sure that happens because that is something we need to do to make sure there is compliance with that agreement in order to protect the environment here in Ontario.

In your comments it is clear you do agree that we need to deal with waste as close as possible to the source because that provides the encouragement for us to reduce things like packaging. You also made a comment about the rights of appeal to the Environmental Assessment Board. I am not sure whether that was in any section of the proposed legislation.

Mr Jackson: No.

Mr Lessard: You indicated that you would be able to type up your comments, and you do not have to do that. What you could do is provide us with a draft amendment that you might feel would address that concern, because I am not sure where it might fit in with this legislation.

You also suggested involving land owners in inspections. I think that is something we need to consider. It has been brought to my attention that the Interim Waste Authority is going to be setting up regional consultation groups for each landfill site search. Do you think this would be a place that these sorts of suggestions about getting land owners involved in inspections could be addressed?


Mr Jackson: Yes, and I understand there are quite extensive intentions and consultations currently ongoing. I think, however, that certain guarantees need to be in the legislation, and when we are guaranteeing the right to inspect in legislation, we simultaneously need to guarantee the opportunity to make inputs. That is why I would like to see this in the legislation, not simply in a commitment that, "We'll do it in our public consultation program."

Mr McClelland: Mr Jackson, thank you very much for being here. I have a couple of quick questions. You said throughout the course of your comments that you think we have to be creative and open-ended and much broader in terms of our horizons, our scope of looking at landfill sites. Do you feel the same way about all options, all potential solutions that might be brought to bear, bearing in mind your comments earlier that you believe in the environmental assessment process in subjecting any proponent to close scrutiny? On one hand, you are saying it is good that the minister rules out things up front. On the other hand, you are saying we have to be creative.

Mr Jackson: I think we can find other forums to be creative in. I am personally now in a horrendously long environmental assessment on the Ontario Waste Management Corp. We went through a year of a hearing on need and alternatives. We spent an entire year basically doing that. At the end of that year on need, the decision the hearing panel made was that this was not the appropriate forum to develop a hazardous waste management policy for Ontario, that the EA was not the place to do that, that what we were there to do was to discuss the mandate the OWMC had been given and working within that mandate.

I do not think an environmental assessment hearing is the place to develop policies for the province, to explore all those other options. First of all, the adversarial nature of those hearings means that we do not explore them with open ears, quite frankly, and I have spent three years knowing how closed the ears become at a hearing, in the OWMC hearing but other hearings as well.

Also, it financially means that the burden keeps being put again and again on proponents, one after the other, to have to look at all the options. In hearing after hearing we debate all the options again and again, which is such a waste of time and money for all of us, not just proponents but also citizens' groups. That is why I would like to find a different forum in which we work out the policy guidelines so those do not have to be debated again at each hearing.

Mr McClelland: One other quick question: You are very much involved in terms of citizens' advocacy and as a facilitator for citizens' groups, and your reputation is well known, sir. One of the thrusts you certainly endorse, I believe, as somebody who is concerned and intimately involved with environmental issues, is the hierarchy of the 3Rs with an emphasis on reuse and getting away from a mindset of simply recycling. In a quick response, how do you feel about the fact that today, $500,000 plus, in excess of half a million dollars, of your money as a taxpayer, and indeed through the Ministry of the Environment, is being allocated to recycle disposable diapers?

Mr Jackson: I am not into recycling disposable diapers. I think we should be having reusable diapers. It is a little easy for me to say, since I do not have children in diapers, and I might say something slightly different if I had children in diapers. I do not think that is the solution.

One other thing I would like to raise on this is that we have had a lot of talk about packaging and that sort of thing, but we have to get back to something more fundamental, which is consumption. It is not just that when I buy an item I do not want all the packaging on it; I have to investigate whether I even want the item and whether I should be buying that item or not. If we want to make the really fundamental changes in our waste production, we have to start looking at our consumption.

Mr McClelland: Is it fair to say that you find it strange, if not contradictory, that we are talking about part IV of an act that puts us on a track to reducing and hopefully altering a mindset at the very same time we are kicking in over half a million dollars of taxpayers' money to recycling disposable garbage? I find is absurd at best and very strange that those two things are happening at the same time.

My last question is, realistically, from your experience, are we going to hit the 50% reduction target by 2000? Can that be achieved?

Mr Jackson: We can achieve better than that, and that is what other countries are telling us. I think we have to realize that we are not out somewhere in some wild land where other people have not explored and have not started to do a good job already. The sort of projections we are talking about, 50% reductions, are totally realistic. In fact, we have to do better than that.

Mr McLean: I have a couple of quick questions. I would like your expertise on coal ash. Have you done any assessment on whether coal ash is a garbage or a disposable item?

Mr Jackson: I do not know. I cannot answer that.

Mr McLean: The previous delegation wanted to be able to proceed with an EA they have already done 90% of the work on. Did I hear you correctly that you are pleased the minister says that will not be allowed to happen?

Mr Jackson: Yes, because the indications we were getting were, first of all, that the ministry was not considering that proposal acceptable, so why should we waste more time on it if the proposal is not acceptable? I do not believe in incineration and the burning of wastes. Therefore why waste more time and money, both for the government, for the province, as we investigate it and go through a hearing, and for citizens' groups as we put in time going through a hearing? It is better to not keep on going down a path, which is not going to be accepted anyway, than spend more money on it.

Mr McLean: But you also agree that the minister has the right to expand the landfill site without an environmental assessment hearing?

Mr Jackson: I have severe difficulties with that, and that is why I have some of my concerns about the appeal board and the right to explore those options further. For example, I said on these interim sites that I think there should be a formal hearing.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to pursue with you, just in terms of thought, the recycling-reuse part of the legislation. That is going to be the only considered alternative to landfilling. You said other jurisdictions have done better, are doing better, with more modern techniques. If we are going to consider them, could you give us some examples of what other jurisdictions are doing that maybe we could be doing here at the same time? Also, this legislation says that if something stops being a part of the waste stream, then it does not have to come under the Environmental Assessment Act. Could you give us some examples?

Mr Jackson: Places that are doing better in terms of reduction and recycling?

Mr Wiseman: Yes.

Mr Jackson: I think there are countries in Europe we are all exploring. I know the ministry is exploring and through the packaging task force we are exploring. There has been some very good legislation recently in Germany which puts severe restrictions on packaging, which goes far beyond what we have done here, in fact beyond what we are even contemplating doing here in packaging.

I have seen some things. We actually have an example going on currently in Halton region of reuse centres to encourage people to bring in, instead of calling it garbage and throwing it out, actually bringing it into a centre. It is basically a grand place like a secondhand-type store, but on a whole different scale from the stores we have been talking about so far. We want to spread those sorts of things throughout the province and to really support getting them set up. Those are a couple of examples where we think we have a long way to go.

Mr Wiseman: Do you know anything about the process in Germany where they store materials in aboveground metal sort of Quonset huts until they find a market?

Mr Jackson: That is news to me. I was not aware of it. I am pleased that is happening.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation. If there is any additional information you think would be helpful to the committee, please feel free to submit in writing at any time over the course of the hearings any comments you would like this committee to consider. Thank you for appearing today. The committee will reconvene at 2 pm to hear presentations this afternoon.

The committee recessed at 1200.


The committee resumed at 1400.


The Chair: We are reviewing Bill 143. This afternoon will begin with a presentation from Northwatch. We have received a written presentation. All members have received it and it is an exhibit now in the public record before the committee. Would you please begin your presentation by introducing yourself. You have one hour. The committee has requested that you leave hopefully half of your time for questions, but the time is yours and you can use it as you wish. Welcome.

Ms Lloyd: My name is Brennain Lloyd and I work with Northwatch. Our office is situated in North Bay but we are a coalition of over 20 environmental and citizen organizations plus individual members operating across the northeast. We were founded in January 1988 with priority issues of a regional nature: energy use, production and transmission; the impacts of nuclear industries and megadevelopments; forest depletion and the conservation of wild areas; waste management, waste reduction and waste avoidance; water quality issues; mining and mineral exploration, and militarization. In addition to acting on these issues as a representative body, Northwatch also provides support and information to local citizens' groups addressing these and other environmental concerns in their own communities.

As a coalition we have, without apology, a pro-north perspective. We represent the interests and particular issues of the northeast. Historically our region, northeastern Ontario, has been regarded as an economic commodity rather than a community. This can and must change. It must change with the realization of the long-term objectives of diversifying our economy, maintaining our resource base and implementing the highest standards of environmental protection. To this end, economic and social decisions must be made with the priority of creating and contributing to a sustainable north. This will largely be done by recognizing the inseparability of environmental and socioeconomic concerns.

For our discussion today, as with most important discussions, we have to set the context. We suggest that the context for this discussion is sustainability. The 1990s are being hailed as the turnaround decade, the decade where we as a society are going to make or break it in terms of changing our patterns of growth and consumption in order to avoid what many now say is imminent global catastrophe. It is in this decade that we must choose whether to continue as a consumer society with all the attendant ramifications or whether we are going to make the transition to a conserver society committed to sustainable development and to living on this planet as if we meant to stay.

"Sustainable development" has become one of the flagship phrases of the turnaround decade. Common to economists and development analysts since the 1950s, the term gained new currency with the release of the Brundtland commission report, Our Common Future, which was released in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development. That report marked out a meeting ground for environmental and economic concerns and defined "sustainable development" thus:

"Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable -- to ensure that it meets the needs of the future without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.... Sustainable global development requires that those who are more affluent adopt lifestyles within the planet's ecological means -- in their use of energy, for example," and in their waste production.

With the phrase's new-found popularity has come a dilemma. In this marriage of two frequently competing sets of priorities, there is a risk of one being subsumed by the other. Like an unwilling partner battling for dominance, development interests have been adept at asserting their ground in the use of this term. The risk, then, is that ecological concerns will somehow be sacrificed for the sake of preserving that partnership, to make this marriage work.

For northeastern Ontario, sustainability means the incorporation of environmental considerations into all aspects of social and economic decision-making. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of waste management planning, waste avoidance and waste reduction. Economic and social decision-making and waste management planning must be done with the priority of creating and contributing to a sustainable north.

For the north, the challenge implicit in the phrase "sustainable development" is one of both maintenance -- of the health of the region's lands and waters, of its forests, of its overall ecological wellbeing -- and of change and transition. What is required of the north is a shift to a regional economy that works with those objectives instead of against them as the resource-extraction-based economy of our region has traditionally done.

Three elements are fundamental: ecological security, self-reliance and community stability. In the context of northern Ontario, key ingredients or indicators include north-south equity, very relevant in this discussion; intergenerational equity, also very relevant in this discussion; small-scale economies; decentralization; local control, another factor of immediate concern; best utilization of local resources, and of all resources, and prejudice towards use of renewable resources over non-renewable.

Obviously waste management and waste avoidance are key and central issues in the context of sustainability and ecological health and community wellbeing. Fundamental in the pursuit or attainment of sustainability is the maximizing of use while minimizing consumption, doing the most with the least. Conservation and waste avoidance are at the pinnacle of waste management options, and community responsibility is essential. Waste production, particularly excessive waste production, is one of the most astute indicators of a community's or society's success, or lack thereof, in making that transition from a consumer to a conserver society.

Having set the context, I would like to continue the discussion with particular reference to Bill 143 and how it relates and how we respond to it in our own region.

On October 24, legislation was introduced, as you all know, to the Ontario Legislature that would prohibit the export of solid wastes from the greater Toronto area to other communities, including our own. While the bill is relatively broad in the area of its address, for northern and other rural communities that have been repeatedly threatened with landfills and incinerators to accept Toronto garbage over these last years, sites such as the Adams mine site in Boston township near Kirkland Lake, the bill has particular significance in that it would prohibit by legislation the dumping of greater Toronto area garbage in northern lands and waters.

On April 2, the Minister of the Environment had issued a policy statement making quite clear that all communities must accept responsibility for the waste they generate and that in keeping with that, the search for long-term disposal sites for greater Toronto area garbage must be kept within the GTA. Despite that clear policy direction, Toronto politicians and garbage entrepreneurs have continued to push for the export of Toronto garbage, in particular to Boston township near Kirkland Lake. We saw clear evidence of this during the last municipal election in Kirkland Lake, where garbage was the issue, but the electoral candidates were not running the biggest campaigns; rather, it was the garbage entrepreneurs doing so. Clearly the only way to exorcise these garbage ghosts is with legislation, so Bill 143 has been greeted with enthusiasm.

As some background to that, in March 1989 Premier David Peterson established the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee, made up of the chairs of the five municipal governments within the greater Toronto area and representatives of the province. SWISC was set up to solve the GTA's garbage crisis and spent an inordinate amount of time looking for ways to export that crisis to landfills or incinerators in communities outside the Metropolitan Toronto area and an insufficient amount of time looking at means to reduce that waste.

At one point SWISC put out calls for expressions of interest from private sector firms around the world. It asked that these firms propose ways of dealing with the garbage crisis in the greater Toronto area and put few guidelines or restrictions on the types of solutions it would look at. By December 1989 SWISC had received 86 submissions, a number of them for the use of northern Ontario. They ranged from the air-dropping of bailed garbage on to crown lands north of Sudbury to the burning of it in any number of locations to megalandfills, including one such landfill at the Adams mine pit in Boston township, Timiskaming district.

We have always held the proposal to bail garbage and drop it on crown lands north of Sudbury as being as equally reasonable as such proposals as landfilling it in the Adams mine site. They are both ridiculous. None of them has deserved further consideration. I suggest that if we could have looked at those proposals equally, we would have had a much shorter discussion and spent much less of our time and energy on those debates.


In the north our experience of being eyed as easy dump sites is not a new one. In the late 1970s and in the early 1980s, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd visited our communities, looking for a dumping spot for high-level radioactive waste, waste that is lethal for an eternity. They tried to set up shop for exploratory drilling in Timiskaming and were met with intense community opposition. They succeeded in setting up shop in the town of Massey, where they proceeded with the exploratory drilling at East Bull Lake, again incurring the wrath of the townspeople and then vanishing like a thief in the night.

In the mid-1980s the game began again, this time for the transfer of vast quantities of low-level radioactive waste from southern Ontario to the north. Our communities have been courted and promises have been made and broken, but none of that waste has been moved yet, and if justice and good sense prevail, none will. In the north we are vulnerable to these propositions -- small populations, impoverished communities and an economy close to collapse. In defence of northern municipalities that would look twice at the chance to take garbage for money, it is our assessment that this is not done out of indifference to their communities but rather out of desperation. The willingness to consider taking poison waste, and the GTA's waste is no more acceptable than AECL's, is an indicator of nothing but our poverty.

I move on and look specifically at parts of Bill 143. We appreciate that Bill 143 is not just about prohibiting export and incineration, but these are the most important steps for us in the bill, so it is only natural that we spend more time on and give more thought to them. They are also the areas we are most familiar with. We are familiar with the proposals, with the threats and with the dynamics within our community. It is very important to us to address them before you and ask that you include those in your consideration of the bill.

Looking specifically at parts I to IV, part I is the establishment of the Interim Waste Authority. We support the establishment of the Interim Waste Authority as a method of addressing the greater Toronto area's waste management difficulties. While not appropriate to this same legislation, we would also support regional initiatives aimed at developing regional responses to the particular waste management problems experienced within a given geographic, social or economic area. The GTA is not the only region with waste management problems. The GTA is not the only area running short of landfill sites. The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has recently announced a regional consultation in our region aimed at developing more effective waste reduction and management strategies for the north. We welcome this and encourage the Ministry of the Environment to assist to its best ability in that process and to assess what potential there is for similar processes in other regions of this province.

Part II, on waste disposal sites, we have already discussed to some degree. Northwatch strongly supports the provisos contained in part II of Bill 143 that prohibit the incineration or export of GTA solid waste. The so-called options of incineration and/or export are neither environmentally sound nor socially acceptable. It has been very discouraging to us to have the discussion of Toronto's garbage crisis return to these unreasonable options, and therefore to our communities, again and again. Given the serious problems of toxic emissions and of concentrating contaminants in the ash of waste incinerators and the considered consensus of the environmental non-governmental community, which has so decidedly rejected incineration as a waste management option, there are no reasonable grounds for supporting incineration.

With respect to the so-called export option, on what social grounds could rest any support of the export of one community's garbage to another? To cite one example, the Adams mine site is outside of Kirkland Lake's municipal boundaries in Boston township and is therefore not Mayor Mavrinac's to offer. The site was subjected to 28 years of blasting as part of the mine's normal operations and as a result the pit walls are riddled with innumerable fractures. Using the Adams mine pit as a dump site for GTA waste would result in that waste resting below the water table, creating an instant leachate problem. The export of a community's waste to places unseen and unknown to the general population and the municipal decision-makers divorces that community from what is perhaps its most basic responsibility: the management of its own waste in a sound and acceptable manner.

Discussions of economic equity, north-south equity, urban-rural equity and responsible planning all would conclude in a dismissal of positions such as those that have been taken by garbage entrepreneurs on garbage export. Key principles must bear weight in these discussions, principles of sustainability, of communities retaining responsibility for their own waste, thus taking action to curb the production of that waste. Discussion of the added environmental impact of transport of huge quantities of waste can now be retired following the provisions that have been entered into Bill 143.

Part III, implementation of the minister's report: The regions and municipalities of Durham, Peel and Metropolitan Toronto are outside our area of experience or direct familiarity, living some several hundred miles to the north of them as we do, so we are unable to comment with particular understanding of the areas under discussion or the specific landfill sites, but we can provide some comment on the generalities of this part of the bill. We are uncomfortable with what could be the establishment of a precedent for unduly limiting public access to environmental decision-making. We would recommend, as an approvals process for the expansion of the Britannia and Keele Valley sites and the transfer station in Durham region, that should a full review process not be possible due to time constraints, a scoped or scaled-down review process could be followed, with a tribunal established and participant funding provided.

Again, we are not familiar with the situations, we cannot comment in detail and the areas are well beyond our region, but it would seem that review is possible, perhaps on the filing of the minister's reports.

Having said that, however, we do believe there is a bottom line. Municipalities, the ministry and the public must cooperate. They must participate responsibly and in good faith, and must make their best effort in the evaluation and approval process to arrive at a solution. The consequence of not doing so is inevitable. All parties must recognize that there are constraints, that there are realities, and that if their choice is between waste reduction, garbage left at the curbside or an undemocratic process, those are their choices and they would be well advised to make the best choice in the best combination in the best time frame. The solution is never going to be, when you fail to make those choices, to ship your problems somewhere else.

Part IV is amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. In general we support part IV, particularly because of its province-wide effect and its intent and ability to further waste reduction. In particular, we support the amendment to the EPA that recognizes our responsibility for environmental effects beyond Ontario's borders and enables the minister to make grants and loans for waste reduction or waste management initiatives that would be particularly critical in regions such as northern Ontario, where frequently the municipalities or townships are without the financial means, particularly for capital costs, to institute such programs on their own.

Mr McLean: I wonder if I could get a clarification from the parliamentary assistant. I have a note here that says, "If Bill 143 is passed, what happens to your party's promise during the 1990 election campaign to conduct full environmental assessments on new landfill sites and the expansion of existing ones?"

Mr O'Connor: I think you referred to that this morning a little bit and I referred to the minister's report. Perhaps I can turn to a representative from the ministry who can explain in further detail what the minister's report was actually detailing.

Mr Merritt: My name is Jim Merritt and I am the director of central region for Ontario's Ministry of the Environment. If I take your question correctly, you are asking about a commitment to have environmental assessments for new landfill sites. I think that is exactly the position of this government and the Ministry of the Environment, that new landfill sites will go through the environmental assessment process.


Mr McLean: The last part of my question was the expansion of existing ones.

Mr O'Connor: Perhaps you can explain the minister's report to him, the full studies and whatnot.

Mr Merritt: For the expansion of sites: I should reiterate that section 29 of the Environmental Assessment Act, as it currently stands, is under the cause of public interest. That is usually interpreted as being under emergency circumstances and that is how it is applied by the Ministry of the Environment. In emergency circumstances, and municipalities do face those periodically, the opportunities for hearings sometimes have to be deferred or waived and section 29 is used in that case to issue orders to endeavour to encourage the municipalities to undertake the actions necessary to manage the wastes in a proper environmental and sound approach to public health.

Mr McLean: Thank you. I did not ask for a speech. I just wanted to put the question to him and get an answer to my question.

I would like to ask the witness a couple of questions. What did happen in the election? You indicated there was a group working for a certain party. Did they get elected? Did the mayor get re-elected?

Ms Lloyd: In the municipal election in Kirkland Lake?

Mr McLean: Yes.

Ms Lloyd: Joe Mavrinac was re-elected. I live actually about 200 kilometres to the south of there and about 300 kilometres to the north of here, so I was not in the community for the entirety of the election campaign, although I had a fair amount of discussion with some of our membership who do live in Kirkland Lake. In general what happened was that there was a campaign run parallel to the campaign for council that was funded by Notre Development Corp, or actually run by Notre Development. They are the proponents, the proposers, the supporters of exports of GTA waste to Kirkland Lake.

I understand there was a storefront operation. There was extensive radio advertising. One of the difficulties was that there were no constraints under the Municipal Elections Act, under the legislation that guides and guards municipal elections, to limit that spending, to limit the amounts of dollars that could be spent supporting a particular view. I am sure you will hear a lot more about this when you visit Kirkland Lake in a few weeks' time, but in general that is what took place.

For people living in that community, and for those of us who live in other communities who might at some other time be subjected to another proposal or a similar proposal, I think we really took exception to having our municipal election interfered with in that way by someone from outside the community with a single point on the agenda, having the opportunity to spend large amounts of money. I do not know the amounts of money. It might be an interesting question for you to ask Mr McGuinty when he appears before you, I think, later this week.

Mr McLean: With regard to transferring garbage from one site to another, the minister in my estimation, if it is under a county government, can direct it from one municipality to another. I am not totally aware of the legislation, maybe not as much as you are. Do you find it would be reasonable, in this legislation, to allow the minister to have that authority to say you can take it from Wasaga Beach to another municipality?

Ms Lloyd: I do not think this legislation accomplishes everything we need accomplished in the area of waste management, and I think we have general concerns about the export of waste from one community to another beyond the GTA boundaries and quite separate from the discussion of GTA waste.

In my own community we have been looking for a landfill site, or our municipality has been looking for a landfill site, for a number of years with questionable or debatable success. It is our assessment that it has not been helpful in encouraging that search for an acceptable and sound landfill site. It has not been helpful that they believe there is the option for them to export their waste. As our landfill site has run out of time again and again, they have considered exporting our waste to another community. As a community group living there, we have very much opposed that. We are very critical of it and would actually welcome legislation that would make it, if not utterly impossible, certainly much more difficult. Environmentally there is a bottom line. There are damages that happen, consequences that will not be reversed and somehow we need to translate or integrate all of those bottom lines, which are sometimes not so tangible or so easily identified, into the way we as communities are required to make our decisions, and then govern ourselves accordingly.

Because this is dealing more with GTA waste, we have not looked at it particularly from the angle of trying to invest this legislation with that ability as well, but I think it is something that needs to be considered.

Mr McLean: Could I have another question, please, before my time is all used up. There is nothing in the legislation, and I would like your opinion on whether there should be, to say to a municipality, "These are the guidelines as to who can establish a landfill site." Everybody says we have to have landfill sites. All kinds of people are saying we have to reduce, that we have got to do all these things, which I agree with, but nobody is coming to the point where he says, "This is what you have to do to establish a landfill site."

What are the criteria laid out? There is nothing laid out in the bill that says you do this, this, this and this, whether it has to be in clay land, whether it has to have a screen in it or whatever. There is nothing that tells people how you can establish a landfill site and I think that should be one of the priorities of this government. How are they going to establish three landfill sites in the Metropolitan Toronto area? There is nothing to say how you do it. Do you have any suggestions for them?

Ms Lloyd: I think one of the difficulties would be that no two pieces of land are the same. I agree it is essential that there be adequate direction and instruction given in terms of the safeguards required, but I cannot envision how that would be done in both a blanket manner and a very specific manner because no two pieces of land are the same.

The Chair: Mr McLean, the parliamentary assistant has requested an opportunity to respond to your last question. Is that agreeable to you?

Mr McLean: I thought I had all kinds of answers on that one, but if he has further answers, I would be pleased to hear them.

Mr O'Connor: I just brought it to the Chair's attention that some of the questions you posed to our witness would perhaps have been better answered by the chairman of the IWA. It would be the one going through the process of looking for the site and maybe you would like to hear the selection criteria that it is going through, because that seemed to be the direction of your question. Would you like that information?

Mr McLean: I was really looking for her opinion on how these types of things would be established. When the other people come, I will ask them also.

Mr McClelland: The concept of equity is thrown around oft-times and I would like to pursue it, at least momentarily. It is one of those motherhood issues -- I do not mean that in a sexist sense -- nobody could argue against at first blush. How far do you think that argument should be extended, or the precision or logic of that argument can be applied, in terms of equity, using it in the context that each municipality must take care of all the waste it generates? Do you see that as an absolute statement, to use your term, a bottom line, no conditions, no caveats attached thereto?

Ms Lloyd: I think each functional community must be responsible for its own waste. I would hesitate to discuss in great detail the relationship between the various subcommunities within the functional community of the greater Toronto area simply because I am not familiar enough with these communities. I could, however, discuss with you the relationship between Springer township and the municipality of North Bay. I do not think that would be particularly useful to you, but I could discuss that. In brief, the answer is that I think there are absolute corporate communities, boundaries, municipalities, and there are functional communities. I think Bill 143, particularly with the direction for the landfill site search, is written in the context of a functional community, that of the greater Toronto area.


Mr McClelland: I will be very plain. The reason I am pursuing this is that it seems to me that it is all well and good to start with that position. I think it is a good point of departure in terms of a basic principle. But the reality is that if we use your terminology of a "functional community," it seems to me at any rate -- I would be interested in your response -- that the definition really begs precision for a variety of reasons, in terms of economic cooperation, economic reliance. To the extent that a consumer product is produced in your region, hypothetically, to what extent did I then buy into the equity formula of being responsible for that?

To the extent that somebody in Durham produces, bearing in mind the production of goods and services and commodities that are consumed across this province and perhaps internationally, where are the boundaries drawn in terms of the economic realities? If the argument is to be met, surely it must be carried through to its logical conclusion, to maintain one's intellectual honesty about this. How do you then begin to delineate the lines of, to use your terminology, "functional community," in terms of the economic reliance we have one for another in this province, the economic reliance that one community may have, the relationships that exist and the exchanges that exist?

I say that simply to say -- I raise this in all candour with you -- that I find it difficult to pay lipservice to something that sounds good, that I believe in personally as a fundamental principle, knowing that to carry it through in terms of its precision, with any kind of intellectual honesty, almost defies practical application, I believe, if one were to be blatantly honest about it. There is such an interchange. What would one do, conduct an expansive, comprehensive audit of those functional communities? There is the integration in terms of economies and in terms of the movement of people in and around. Those are the kinds of questions it begs. Maybe you can provide some help on that.

I have another comment, and I would be interested in your response. I think you have done something very helpful here. On page 5 of your submission you talk about part III, the implementation of the minister's report. You talk about generalities and you say you are "uncomfortable with what could be the establishment of a precedent for unduly limiting public access to environmental decision-making." You then go on in the next paragraph to say that all parties, including the public, "must cooperate, participate responsibly and in good faith."

Quite clearly one of the concerns you have is that you do not want a solution imposed in the north by people who have -- again using your terminology, I think accurately -- "outside interests." Outside interests are coming in and trying to impose a solution to their problems in your backyard. Part of that is the "good faith" in acting responsibly. How do you respond to the fact that this legislation basically says to people who responded in good faith in terms of existing legislation -- the environmental assessment process; Municipal Act; contracts and agreements; letters that were given to residents, particularly those who live right on the edge of the Britannia landfill; other pieces of legislation like the Environmental Protection Act, the Municipal Act, the Regional Municipality of Peel Act, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, the regional acts; contracts and agreements that were undertaken in good faith, otherwise binding legal contracts -- that, effectively, in the event we have missed any of those, we are prepared to go back by order in council to vitiate any agreements or any regulations that stand in the way of implementing the policy as dictated by one person, ie, the minister? How do you think that renders any probability of people setting out expecting to conduct themselves with any hope of having good faith on all sides, in light of Bill 143 taking away the good faith that people relied on, sometimes at great cost, sometimes in terms of locating their home in a given area?

Ms Lloyd: I think I will respond to your second set of questions and then have a go at your first set of questions. Quite reasonably, I think, I am not familiar with all the details of those letters, reports, agreements and the step-by-step procedures, whatever they have been, that have taken place previous to now with respect to each of those landfill sites, closures, extensions, expansions and so on. I think it is quite reasonable that I am not familiar with them. I would be prepared to discuss this with you in more detail if I was more familiar with them.

Mr McClelland: Actually I am saying that the general concept agreements are in place and this bill says: "Sorry, agreements are not binding. Legislation is not binding. We are changing the rules after you are well under way." How does that square from your point of view, from the north, as Northwatch, saying, "We could be engaging in a process right here that for all we know could change six months from now, nine months now, a year from now if the minister chooses to change the rules down the road"? That is essentially what Bill 143 is doing, so I understand what you are saying on part III and I have the same concerns you do. How do you proceed in good faith under those terms? How do you proceed out of the north?

Ms Lloyd: No disrespect, but I think you want me to comment on a set of assessments you have made, which I am not going to do because I am not familiar with those steps. If you would like to provide me the material so I can be familiar with those steps and can make my own assessment, I would be happy to discuss it with you, but I am really reluctant to comment on a whole chain of events I am not familiar with, so I am not going to do that.

Mr McClelland: Okay, we could confine it then very clearly to the terms of the bill, where the bill itself says that the Environmental Protection Act does not apply, that the Environmental Assessment Act does not apply, that the Municipal Act does not apply. You would be familiar with those, I presume.

Ms Lloyd: I am familiar with the bill, but I think you are asking me to comment on a whole chain of events and how I should react to a chain of events and how they have been impacted upon by a piece of legislation now being introduced. I think that is what you want me to do.

Mr McClelland: No.

Ms Lloyd: It is not? Okay, let's try again, then.

Mr McClelland: What I am asking you is what sense of assurance, what sense of comfort level that gives you as a representative of people in the north, as a spokesperson for your organization, Northwatch. Do you have any sense of comfort level based on that?

Ms Lloyd: Bill 143?

Mr McClelland: Yes.

Ms Lloyd: Actually, we have a high level of comfort with Bill 143 because it is going to prohibit the export of GTA wastes --

Mr McClelland: For today.

Ms Lloyd: -- to rural and northern communities. It is going to prohibit the incineration of GTA waste. We have a high level of comfort with both of those, for today.

Mr McClelland: And that is sufficient.

Ms Lloyd: I think it is part of our democratic process, part of the legislative process, that this might change. If it changes again, I expect and trust that there will be a review, that the parties in opposition will subject that legislation to scrutiny, as your party has done to this bill and is doing. That is part of our process. I do not really know how much further we are going to go with this.

Mr McClelland: That is fine. I appreciate it.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to turn to the first part of the bill, which is the Interim Waste Authority and the establishment of the crown corporation of the Interim Waste Authority to search for three landfill sites in the GTA.

Just as a preamble to that, you mentioned the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee earlier on and searching for dumps. One of the things that happened was that two sites were selected by the Liberals. One was site P1 in Whitevale. It was a greenfield site. It was to be opened under an Environmental Protection Act, which was considerably scoped from any kind of Environmental Assessment Act hearing. That was done by order in council by the previous government. That was the same as site 6B and so on.

The reason I am here is because I fought that, because I did not think it was right for them to do that. Out of that battle came very much the criteria that I personally thought would be the most suitable for finding landfill sites. Just by coincidence it happens to be what we have before us, in terms of the IWA. But what the first section of the bill does, which I think is very important, and I think it answers Mr McLean's question, is that it makes the IWA into a crown corporation. Having done that, it has legitimized the process for finding long-term landfill sites in the GTA.


One of the things the Interim Waste Authority has done has been to create a draft document on how to find a landfill site, so this bill does answer the question of what the criteria are for doing a site search for a landfill site. As you can see, it is rather lengthy, so I am not going to read it right now, but it goes through protecting agricultural lands, hydrogeological studies of the ground and the water tables, proximity to neighborhoods and urban areas and so on. It is very much an a priori document setting out criteria for landfill sites. My question really is whether or not you feel this has been made public enough. Did you know this document existed as part of the legalizing process of the crown agency, the IWA?

Ms Lloyd: In honesty, I knew siting criteria had been developed. I was not certain whether they were specifically part of this legislation or not. I did know the siting criteria had been developed. I know there was a series of consultations last winter and spring, and there was discussion of siting criteria at that time.

Northwatch and some of our member groups in northeastern Ontario participated in those consultations. We pulled out at a certain point when the discussion moved to the siting criteria within the GTA, the discussion of possible sites and so on in the GTA. We pulled out of those discussions not out of indifference to the greater Toronto area's waste management problems, but because in our own region we have a number of our own problems. We are a volunteer organization. We are without staff. We have a number of issues on our desk in any given hour. Not meaning any indifference or disrespect to the GTA's problems or the process that was going forward, we discussed it and decided to have that process go on without us. I was aware siting criteria had been developed, but I am not familiar with those criteria.

Mr Wiseman: Part of the debate in my riding, particularly around Brock West, was that Metropolitan Toronto would move its garbage from one jurisdiction into another. Because of the transportation proposals by Notre Development and so on, we developed a very clear feeling that it was wrong to do that and that Metro should take care of its waste close to home.

It seems this is not just a local issue any more. According to the Basel convention in Switzerland, nations are now beginning to come to grips with the transportation of wastes transboundary and are saying that the guiding principle is that you should take care of your waste as close to the source of that waste production as possible. Are you aware of the Basel convention and would you consider that something we should be working more towards?

Ms Lloyd: I am aware of it, but with regret I am not familiar enough with it to comment on the specifics. I have a general impression that is a positive one, but that impression is based on having heard references to it. I am not familiar with it in detail.

Mr McLean: There are four main parts to the implementation of this. Would you agree with most of the bill? Is there any specific part you do not like about it?

Ms Lloyd: In general, we support the bill. In general, we have assessed the bill favourably. We have feelings of caution or discomfort with section 3 and the disadvantages of not having a full approval or assessment process for anything of potential environmental consequence. We have some areas of discomfort. Certainly in part IV we have looked at the Regulatory Measures to Achieve Ontario's Waste Reduction Targets: Initiatives Paper No 1, the regulations, and there are parts in it that we think could be strengthened. There are a number of areas that we have some specific comment on, but in general we have greeted the bill quite positively and think it is a piece of legislation of overall benefit for the province.

Mr McLean: The presenter before you raised the same concerns with regard to section 3 with regard to the fact that environmental assessment does not apply and Ontario Municipal Board approval is not required. Are there any recommendations forthcoming that you feel would satisfy your concerns with regard to that section?

Ms Lloyd: This is where, when I say there is a bottom line, we get into trouble, because six months ago, it is my understanding, there would have been enough time for a full review process. Six months go by and there might not be time. I think what needs to be done is that we need to look at the amount of time available, the questions that need consideration and then scope or scale the review to allow public input, public review and citizen participation, but to do that with the greatest efficiency and the greatest effectiveness.

This is a dilemma and I do not have a solution to it, but again, referring to my own community, we have seen a situation where the assessment process has not gone forward with due haste and due effort. Certainly there are individuals within the administration of the city of North Bay who would differ with me fervently on that, but that is our assessment. So it is a dilemma because there has to be a full process, but there also has to be some consequence when that process is not invested in diligently enough.

In this particular instance, I think the solution or the way out of a bad situation is to have a scaled down or very scoped review with participant funding, and I would suggest that perhaps the completion of the minister's reports are the times to do that, I am not certain. Others more familiar with the exact situation --

Mr McLean: I never really got an answer to my question.

Ms Lloyd: I am sorry.

Mr McLean: But I want to tell you that I will bet you that if Jim Bradley were still Minister of the Environment, I know who would be here wanting a full environmental assessment on whatever is going on.

Ms Lloyd: I have to say in response that our experience with Jim Bradley in getting a full environmental assessment when the situation warranted was not a good one. I offer you the instance of the Red Squirrel Road environmental assessment, where we had a record number of requests. I believe in the neighbourhood of 700 requests, for a hearing, for that environmental assessment and we were refused. We were refused because of undue delay or unacceptable delay. I am really sorry to say with regard to that that on any suggestion Jim Bradley is the saviour of the environmental assessment process, I just have to look at the Red Squirrel Road and at that scar that goes through that land. I cannot accept your suggestion that if Jim Bradley were the deciding figure in every situation, we would always get the answer we need, because that is simply not the case.

Mr McLean: I was trying to refer to who was the critic for Environment at that time, not really to what Jim Bradley was doing. But I know who the minister is now. It is an interesting subject because last night I was reading about some environmental problems that took place at the Red Squirrel Road and it was interesting to note that regardless of all the talk that went on at that time and what they were going to do, there has been nothing done.

Ms Lloyd: Nothing done in terms of the terms and conditions of the environmental assessment approval being made?

Mr McLean: That is right.

Ms Lloyd: I think the road was built when it should not have been built, and the fact that the same government that built it then decided it should not have been built is pretty good evidence we should have had a hearing. I think it fairly disqualifies suggestions that any government to date has been perfect in its environmental assessment review history, because it is simply not the case.


Mr Martin: I just want to say that I found your brief to be well prepared, insightful and positive. I liked the context within which you placed some of your more specific comments and I liked some of the references you made to sustainable development, renewable resources, the conserver society and that bigger question. I know there are some immediate problems in the greater Metro area that we need to tangle with and resolve, but my concern is for the longer haul.

I guess the longer haul, for me, probably speaks most to our becoming involved in discussion around how we might actually do sustainable development and renew resources, and of course that brings us to recycling. Do you see anything in this bill that would in any way inhibit or support a recycling industry in northern communities?

Ms Lloyd: Actually parts of part IV, by allowing the minister to fund and provide financial incentives, will aid and assist industry and municipalities in implementing recycling and reuse programs. I actually see the bill as being of great benefit in the north to the recycling and reuse programs.

Mr Martin: I know you made comment here, and certainly those of us who live in the north will echo it, that we do not want to become the garbage dump of southern Ontario. However, I think we also feel some responsibility for our neighbours to the south. In your mind, would there be any way of entertaining a discussion around helping them with their problem re the whole question of recycling? Again, would this bill in any way enhance or inhibit that discussion?

Ms Lloyd: I am not quite sure what you are suggesting. If you are talking about the north being able to use recycled products or retrieved material from the south, then we have sort of moved into another discussion, because then it is not actually waste. It is a good, it is a product, in the same way as the south uses our timber or our pulp and paper. Then certainly I do not see any difficulty in there being a transport of goods, because that is what it is. The residual waste is a waste, but the recyclables are not waste; they are goods.

I certainly do not see any difficulty in there being a transport of goods, as there has always been, generally speaking, in that exchange between north and south. As you know, the raw resources have come south and the finished goods have gone north. It would actually be quite a welcome change. If we could flip that and have some of that manufacturing and value added activity done in the north, that would be a very welcome change.

I do not see this bill specifically setting out those industries in a step-by-step fashion, but I think that for some of our own communities in the north, by aiding and abetting them in their recycling initiatives or efforts, it makes it more plausible. It makes it more feasible because we are going to have a greater ability to separate from the solid waste stream at home with some of the assistance that I see coming from this legislation. Then it is a step-by-step thing and then there is certainly the potential and, I think, an attractiveness to having some of the value added industries in the north.

Mr Martin: There was one other point that you made about local autonomy. I think it is really important for communities truly to be able to dictate and decide for themselves what they want to become involved in. There is always the looming question of the community around the Adams mine proposal. Was the Boston township in agreement with the mine being used as a dump site?

Ms Lloyd: Boston township was not. The communities of Kirkland Lake, Engelhart and Larder Lake were in agreement, but none of those communities contains the Adams mine site. The Adams mine site is in Boston township.

Boston township is part of a service board. The service board is made up of Boston, Elizabeth, Pacaud and -- I am sorry, I have lost the fourth township. Boston township is part of a service board of four townships. They are a fairly recently established local service board and they actually, in their establishment -- there is a circle drawn around the Adams mine site and it is exempt from the jurisdiction of that service board, which we found quite exceptional at the time because the local residents were organizing local service boards. It seemed quite exceptional that the Adams mine site would be exempt.

It is sort of an island floating on its own. It has Boston township as part of the local service board and the Adams mine site is exempt. The adjacent or nearby communities, the municipalities of Kirkland Lake, Larder Lake and Engelhart, are offering Boston township up as if it were their own when in fact it is not. It is decidedly and well outside their corporate boundaries, which has been one of the other ironies of the debate. The site is often referred to as the Kirkland Lake site. It is in fact not the Kirkland Lake site; it is in Boston township, outside the jurisdiction of that municipality or of the mayor and council.

The Chair: Mr Sola, you have three minutes.

Mr Sola: I would like to read from the bottom of page 5 of your brief about part III, where you come up with this strong statement: "All parties must recognize that there are constraints, that there are realities, and that if their choice is between waste reduction, garbage left at the curbside or an undemocratic process...." That seems to be strong. Then you seem to blow it with the rest of the statement.

Ms Lloyd: Blow it?

Mr Sola: "...would be well advised to make the best choices in the best combination." In other words, an open-ended choice. Which choice would you make among those three?

Ms Lloyd: I think the first choice is waste reduction. One of the difficulties in the bill and in our discussions, certainly in our discussions today -- perhaps as one of the presenters I am in part at fault -- is that the first priority has to be waste reduction. We have to reduce, reuse, recycle. So that is the first choice. If you are asking me what my first choice is, it is waste reduction. I think there is a long way to go before we have come to an exhaustive end of our waste reduction. The bill goes some distance, but I think there needs to be a commitment on literally everyone's part: the municipalities, the province, the citizens, the individuals.

Mr Sola: Okay. What sort of choice, though, is the second choice you have put in, the garbage left at the curbside?

Ms Lloyd: If no resolution is arrived at, if the municipalities and the province cannot come to an agreement, if the landfill site -- the point I was making is that if a landfill site is full, then what are the options? There is a bottom line. What are the options? If a landfill site is full, were does it go?

Mr Sola: Would you not think that "left at the curbside" would be the least viable option?

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Sola.

Mr Sola: Is that three minutes?

The Chair: Yes, the time has expired for the presentation. I want to thank you very much for appearing today. If, over the course of the hearings, there is additional information that you would like to share with the committee, please feel that you can do so in writing.



The Chair: I would like to call next the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. I see the president. Members have received a copy of your written brief and have it before them. You have one hour for your presentation in total; the time is yours to use as you please. The committee has requested that you leave, if you can, a half-hour available for questions, but it is up to you to decide how much time you need. Welcome. Please begin by introducing yourself.

Ms Cooper: My name is Helen Cooper. I am the current president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. I am also the mayor of Kingston, so I am afraid on this particular issue you have to appreciate that it is really very difficult to divorce AMO interests from more parochial interests. I may interject a few comments. I trust you will understand they are based on experience.

You have the brief in front of you, as the Chair has pointed out. I certainly have no intention of going through it recommendation by recommendation because I appreciate that at 3 o'clock in the afternoon you may be winding down a bit. Instead, I would simply like to make reference to the presentation to the hearings that was made by the minister herself. I understand there is new information as a result of that and recognition of several of the points AMO made in its response document to this bill. Perhaps I could, therefore, to a large extent respond at this point to the minister's comments, on our understanding that her comments will bear a great deal of relevance to what the final bill will look like.

First of all, may I say how very sincerely I appreciate being here today. When this bill was presented to the House prior to Christmas, AMO became extremely active because we were most concerned that this legislation could be passed prior to Christmas without any form of consultation whatsoever. As municipalities that are the major providers of service in the area of waste management virtually everywhere across the province, we had major concerns and had in no way been consulted on the content of the bill. We are now, as I have already said, therefore extremely grateful for the opportunity to appear before you.

The minister said in her speech yesterday that there would be consultation with the regional municipalities and public members involved, plus consultation on future initiatives papers. We have had Ministry of the Environment consultation on its initiatives paper and other measures being developed, but we would ask in future that we be considered prior to any legislative policy or regulatory proposal because we really do end up in a terribly reactive and mopping-up exercise, as I say, as the jurisdiction primarily responsible for implementing what in this case appears to us either unfair or unworkable legislation.

First, our major contention, and I think there is ample evidence for it, is that the province should be working to develop a Waste Management Act, separate from the Environmental Assessment Act, that addresses solid waste management for all Ontario municipalities and that applies equitably and fairly to all Ontario municipalities. The minister said in her speech yesterday that Bill 143 is being introduced and the environmental protection legislation is being set aside for the GTA because contingency disposal measures are needed to fill any gap between the current time frame for GTA landfills and the opening of new long-term landfill sites. I can assure you as a municipal politician that this is not a problem unique to the GTA. If anything were designed to produce friction and resentment among GTA and non-GTA municipalities, this bill has done a great deal in that regard.

The minister said that only the Britannia sanitary landfill site in the region of Peel now needs emergency assistance as it will reach its capacity this year and that the Keele Valley and Brock West landfill sites are not now in immediate crisis -- we recognize that the word "crisis" is our word and not her word -- so they do not require the immediate powers of Bill 143.

AMO argues that many other municipalities are facing at least as much or more of a crisis than GTA landfills. We received accurate information yesterday that there are 80 landfill sites predicted to be closed in the province in 1992; those are, as far as I am aware, other than Britannia, all outside of the GTA. It is simply not fair that GTA landfills be dealt with in one manner while the rest of the province continues to labour under what is the long, expensive and inefficient environmental assessment process.

I would like to put special emphasis on the word "inefficient." We could accept "long" and we could accept "expensive" if we were getting anywhere, but the current environmental assessment process for landfills for most of us looks like a total dead end; years and years of laborious effort on ever shifting ground. Most of us see environmental problems not being addressed all around us as we have to continue to operate under the current system.

We therefore argue that with no predictable outcome through environmental assessment, as is currently the case, we are not serving our citizens very well. If we are looking at issues of inefficiency, particularly with respect to spending money, which I think at the moment is a preoccupation of the current government, we would argue vehemently that there are many dollars being wasted in this exercise, which serves none of us very well and certainly does not serve our citizens very well.

AMO sees Bill 143 as an admission that the environmental assessment process does not work for waste management and landfill siting and we therefore urge that a new Waste Management Act be addressed as soon as possible. I can say that for many municipal politicians who have been confronted with the landfill crisis there is the perception in their own municipalities that they are to blame and that they have in some way behaved incompetently, and I speak from very personal experience in that regard. I suggest that as a result of the circumstances of Bill 143, the minister has recognized that the environmental assessment process does not work either. Therefore, in that regard we feel a little bit vindicated, but we ask that it be recognized that it simply is not working. It is not that municipal politicians are any less competent than provincial politicians. It is just that the system is hopelessly out of whack with what it is attempting to do.

We would like to raise a few other points. The minister made a statement against incineration of waste and the transportation of waste, even if it is to a willing host community. We suggest very strongly that these matters be removed as rapidly as possible from the realm of personal preference of the minister to some form of regulatory device with the provision of empirical evidence. Again, I can speak from very personal experience. The debates in local communities are going around and around on these issues and we will be generating vast amounts of heat and very little light until there is some clear direction from the current government as to what its regulatory intent is in this regard.

Could we please sort this out because waste management master plans, traumatic enough already, are going through ever more intense trauma and a great deal of pressure from citizens' groups, as you can well imagine, as to whether incineration is in or is not, and as to whether trucking garbage to New York state is in or is not. We would suggest that at this point these matters are still not adequately clarified.

We are extremely pleased that section 19 on injurious affection is proposed to be amended, as we had argued that it was precedent setting and that there is already adequate existing protection for land owners.

We understand the minister proposes to amend section 26 of the bill to leave her responsible for requiring municipalities to take certain action on waste instead of delegating authority to a Ministry of the Environment director. We are extremely pleased with that. A ministerial directive on its own represents a certain message, since they do not occur frequently. We were very concerned with what is already an immensely fragmented process in terms of waste management master planning going on in isolated sectors with varying degrees of success across the province. With six regional directors, each potentially giving out different messages, we would be even more likely to be confused than we may be at the moment. Therefore, we are glad that provision has been removed.

There is a philosophical issue here as well in having a public servant of one order of government issuing policy directives to political bodies of another order of government. I suggest it be politician to politician. It is more polite, if nothing else.


We understand she proposes to remove the emergency power proposal in section 26. This would have allowed the minister to order municipalities to assess waste management needs and prepare plans. We are also extremely pleased that this proposal is on the table because we argue that we, the municipalities, are already undertaking these actions. We are the ones who have to collect the garbage and therefore we recognize we are in the front line, when it comes to issues of responsibility, to ensure that these actions are undertaken.

I speak from personal experience at the time of our landfill crisis last year. Of course the first reaction of people very often is: "Let's get the garbage trucks down to Queen's Park. Let's protest by simply saying we will not do this any more." But of course that kind of resentment and anger evaporates very quickly because we still recognize that we are there to provide service to citizens and in terms of any arguments or disputes or negotiations between our order of government and the provincial government, we are not going to hold the citizen at ransom.

She is proposing a five-year maximum limit on any provincial order requiring a municipality to accept waste from outside its boundaries. That is certainly an improvement. I must say that this part of the bill seemed to make absolutely no sense to us whatsoever. Municipalities all across Ontario have been engaged in master plans, ultimately to go through environmental assessment where we have to establish that we are siting landfill that fills a certain need over a certain specified period of time. If the ministry was then going to be able to order us to take other people's waste, one has to look at having been engaged in a waste management master plan for 10 years and say: "What was the point? It made absolutely no sense whatsoever."

This is an improvement, but in terms of municipal reaction, I am sure municipalities that currently have adequate landfill -- "adequate," whatever that means -- recognize that it is an economic benefit far greater than a gold mine at this stage. They would probably still be protesting very loudly even at a five-year maximum limit. If we are to undertake planning at some sort of local or regional level, we cannot have some arbitrary force taking over that planning exercise to fulfil an emergency for another piece of legislation that does not work, that is not our legislation.

Then we understand that section 33 is to be discussed, that its fiscal implications are to be discussed with us as part of the disentanglement process. From our point of view, anything that directs the issues to disentanglement is something we strongly support because we view this exercise as the most important undertaking the province and AMO have ever jointly recognized.

Therefore, we are very pleased to see that changes are proposed at this stage. All, we suggest, are in some way far more constructive than the original writing of the bill. Many other components, such as most of the provisions for reducing packaging and encouraging the private sector to reduce its waste, are issues that we of course heartily support. AMO looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of the Environment. As I suggested at the very beginning, we would like to do it before a legislative process rather than during or after. But we still very vehemently believe that a new Waste Management Act would far better serve us all than to try to do this kind of patch-up job that recognizes the problems of one particular area of the province when there are other areas that are in equal or much greater need.

I have two other summary comments in terms of the original report you have received, with respect to recommendation 12 and recommendation 20. The issues are monetary.

As you can well appreciate, the whole principle of disentanglement is accountability where funds are raised. Therefore, any proposals that tend to suggest provincial intervention when it is the municipality that is forced to raise the money and thus be accountable to its taxpayers through the property tax system are issues with which we are concerned, whether it be this bill or any other bills. We are suggesting the proposals are far too intrusive into the area of municipal jurisdiction and municipal management, and hence municipal cost control, of which I also can assure you we are more than a little concerned at the moment, as are you.

That completes my presentation.

Mr McLean: I want to thank you for your brief. I can observe now why the minister wanted to have it passed by December 21, from what I have heard so far on this bill. I am an old municipal politician. I had 15 years before I came here 10 or 11 years ago. The problem we have is with regard to some definitions of planning and some criteria laid down whereby municipalities would have a guide whereby they could establish a landfill site. We have spent millions of dollars on hearings in Tiny township, and still no landfill site.

There is nothing in the bill -- I am wondering whether in your opinion there should have been something in the bill -- that would lay out guidelines, give the municipalities the criteria whereby they could apply and have a landfill site established within five years. It has been going on for 8, 10 and 15 years now. There is nothing in here. I believe your garbage is now going to Ottawa, is it not?

Ms Cooper: Yes.

Mr McLean: How are you ever going to establish a landfill site in the Kingston area?

Ms Cooper: I do not know. It is still a long way away. I think your question directly relates to the point we are making concerning a separate Waste Management Act. I do not think the way to do this is to try, as I have called it, the patch-up job proposed in this bill.

To explain the current waste management master planning process, as I attempted to do a couple of weeks ago to our local Rotary Club, is a very difficult exercise. It is also very difficult for people to understand why municipalities or groups of municipalities across the province are engaged in what seemingly are very repetitive exercises, each in their own little cocoon, so to speak, with each of us, every time an EA decision comes out, such as Meaford, pouring over these things with our consultants and saying: "What have we done wrong? How much backing up do we have to do? What can we do or not do as a result of what appears to be the latest directive that has come out of a tribunal decision?" Yes, the ideas you suggest are very welcome, but we suggest they require separate legislation.

Mr McLean: Is AMO going to make any further recommendations with regard to that type of thing?

Ms Cooper: We have already. We have extensive documentation in the area of waste management, on the waste management master planning process, the environmental assessment process, waste reduction initiatives and so on. There are our comments on the development or otherwise of policies in the 4Rs. We would more than happily distribute those to you, but we have been working on this for a long time now because, of course, this has been a priority issue for a lot of municipalities, especially since the late 1980s.

Mr McLean: Has the ministry a copy of those recommendations?

Ms Cooper: Yes, but we will ensure you receive them.

Mr McLean: I am surprised they did not consult with you before the bill was drafted to make sure some of those recommendations could have been part of the bill.


Mr McClelland: Thank you for being here today. I appreciate your representing not only your community, by the by, but also --

Ms Cooper: I am trying not to be parochial.

Mr McClelland: It would not be consistent if you did not at least represent your community, as you always do so well. One of the things in your brief is a general comment with respect to the provisions of part III of the bill, which essentially override municipal agreements and other laws regarding the siting and selection of landfills.

You make a general comment in your brief, and I would ask if you would be good enough to flesh out somewhat the position of AMO, with respect to the precedent and the message that has been received by members of AMO with respect to the action being taken in part III of the bill that says agreements that have been made between municipalities and any other law that might affect this is of no force and effect for the purposes of implementation, as you say, of solving a crisis in one particular area.

Ms Cooper: Yes. If I understand your question correctly.

Mr McClelland: It refers to the top of page 3 of your brief.

Ms Cooper: I should explain that in making my presentation today, we acted on more recent information, so I did not make too many direct references to the brief itself.

Part III is an extremely confusing section for us because what has been the tradition in the province thus far has been for municipalities or groups of municipalities to undertake a planning exercise for the location of a new landfill based on their need for that. Some, of course, are presumably further along than others as a result of their current provisions. The regulatory powers proposed in part III make a mockery of that planning process. What it suggests is that one works on a planning process for a particular community, for a particular capacity, for a particular period of time and then somebody else can come along and say, "Sorry, you may have been doing that for the last 10 years but it did not really mean very much after all."

What it is doing, of course, is pitting municipalities against each other. From our own experience in terms of extensive negotiations with Ottawa-Carleton -- and it was an election year as well -- I will for ever praise the magnanimity of the local politicians in Ottawa-Carleton. They did not have to do what they did. They were just very kind.

However, as we all are under severe and increasing financial pressures from a variety of fronts, we simply will not be able to afford to jeopardize the interests of our own citizens to help other citizens in the province outside our jurisdiction. It seems to me this is generating a great deal of unnecessary hostility.

Mr McClelland: Some significant changes in terms of statutory authority pursuant to Bill 143: Certainly other legislation would be impacted or responsibilities now resting with municipalities, apart from Bill 143, could be impacted. I know AMO and you personally have been involved very much with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in looking at a comprehensive review, a whole body of legislation that impacts municipalities. That process is under way, I understand, and continues. It is well along at the present time. What are the implications of Bill 143 with respect to the overall scheme of consultations taking place with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and with specific reference to those implications in terms of time frame? What is the impact of Bill 143 in the time frame of that whole statutory review?

I guess it is two questions: Bill 143 as it impacts other statutory reform and should Bill 143 be put on hold until that comprehensive reform and review is completed and is addressed, if not in whole, at least in part?

Ms Cooper: I assume you are referring to the commonly titled process of disentanglement. The disentanglement process -- I referred to it briefly in my summary statement to you -- is trying to ensure accountability in a variety of processes that have become more and more confusing. Certainly the intent of Bill 143 is contrary to the general philosophy of the disentanglement process.

It is fairly evident that the bill would give statutory powers to the ministry to intervene in what has traditionally been a municipal responsibility. I do not think we are trying to duck what has traditionally been a municipal responsibility, but at this point I think we are suggesting that through the implementation of a separate act we would then have the appropriate legislation to get on with what we want to get on with. Bill 143, by interjecting powers over determination of where waste can be placed and vesting those powers in the province -- although we now understand they are with the minister and not with a director within the ministry -- is contrary to the philosophy of disentanglement.

With respect to timing, we see disentanglement not as something that is going to end up with a report on a particular day in three or four years' time from now; we see it as an ongoing process. We trust there will be changes in time where the most obvious problems occur. We would therefore suggest a Waste Management Act that could fit itself into the disentanglement process. Were we to have that instead of what we regard as a much more reactive measure ensconced in this bill, we could meld it into disentanglement in a much more rational fashion.

In terms of time frame, we have just got the exercise started. We have not had the first steering committee meeting yet, but that is coming up shortly. We could be negotiating a timetable and our proposed act could fit into that timetable in a way that would suit the ministry as well in addressing its immediate GTA waste management problems.

Mr McClelland: I wonder if I might ask, your worship, for comments on two of your recommendations. Please feel free to add anything that comes to mind or add anything else that has been brought up previously. They are recommendations 17 and 18 specifically, on page 31 of your brief. Perhaps you might comment on recommendation 17. I should let you know that I asked yesterday for the tabling of any kind of studies, analyses or documentation relied on by the ministry, and the minister particularly, for the justification of elimination of any options, whatever those options may be. In other words, our position is that we should at least be open-minded, look at all options and make evaluations based on empirical data and information that is scrutinized as rigorously as possible. Presumably an independent body would make a decision accordingly. I ask you to comment a bit more fully on recommendation 17.

On recommendation 18, section 13 really narrows it down to Durham, York, Metro and Peel. I take it by the implication of recommendation 18 that AMO is not particularly satisfied that the Minister of the Environment has a good handle on estimates available for York, Metro, Durham and Peel. I would like some clarification of how and why it is the case that the information is not being exchanged, with at least some distillation of the two sets of data to come to some workable database.


Ms Cooper: I will make a few comments in response to your question. I will ask Noelle Boughton to respond more fully in terms of the work the association has done through our standing committee. Recommendation 17 attempts to state that the practical implications of waste management master planning, the determination of waste disposal for those of us in the field, so to speak -- or in the trenches, wherever it is we are -- based on statements of ministerial preference is virtually impossible. That does not quell the local debate as to whether incineration is appropriate or whether trucking across a border is appropriate. It leaves local officials in a completely untenable position of saying, "I am sorry, but we heard they do not like that in Queen's Park so we are not pursuing it any further." That is not very satisfying to one's local constituency at all.

In our case and I am sure, in many other cases, there are some very intelligent people. In the case of Kingston, of course, we have a great abundance of academics who have a huge variety of theories on what is an appropriate disposal technique and what is not. They are quite prepared to engage in these debates with us at the local level and we have no backup, other than to say, "The current minister does not seem to want to pursue this course of action."

What we are suggesting is that we require regulatory direction at least, if that is the case. I would suggest, on our experience, that it be based on some form of empirical evidence, because we sense very strongly that the citizenry is demanding it. People may well accept that certain alternatives are not acceptable, but they do not want to do it on the basis of one person's opinion at one particular time. They want to do it on the basis of some kind of evidence.

Mr McClelland: Can I ask if we could forgo a comment on recommendation 18 for the time being, because Mrs Fawcett wants to ask a question.

Ms Cooper: Okay.

Mr McClelland: But I would be interested in knowing why that data --

Ms Cooper: I cannot answer that question. We would have to get Noelle to do that.

The Chair: Mrs Mathyssen.

Mrs Mathyssen: I would like to say thank you, your worship, for coming here, because I think the resolution to our problems regarding waste management is very clearly going to be found with the kind of cooperation with municipalities that you have so clearly indicated you are offering.

You said, and I have heard the minister say it too, that the current EA process is ponderous and is simply not working. The environmental assessment process is being reviewed under the environmental assessment program improvement advisory committee. They have held some public meetings. Was AMO part of those? Were you involved in that review process?

Ms Cooper: Yes.

Mrs Mathyssen: Was that a satisfactory beginning, or could you describe it? What point are you at?

Ms Cooper: It was prior to my presidency. I will have to defer to those who were more involved in it than I. The only brief overview comment I can make though is that location of landfill is not just the EA process itself; it is the working towards even getting to that stage that is just as cumbersome or even more cumbersome. As EA decisions come out on landfill, as I explained earlier, those who are still engaged in the planning process have to do this kind of backup. Almost a form of paranoia has developed about these planning exercises, that if we do anything that is not right before we get to EA, we are going to blow the whole thing. Of course, that tends to lead to indecision or certainly to decisions not being made as quickly as they might otherwise have been.

What we are suggesting is that not only EA with respect to waste management needs to be re-examined, but the whole planning process needs to be re-examined as well. In terms of EA, Noelle, could you answer that for us, please?

Ms Boughton: I would be happy to. I am Noelle Boughton. I am the policy analyst who deals with environmental issues for AMO. AMO was involved with the EA process and continues to be involved with it. They issued a report and registered the fact that they were not very happy with what they were seeing addressed in that change. That is a process that is still ongoing. There is going to be a lot of work on it, but as Ms Cooper was saying, it is a long process even just to get the changes made and the changes we are seeing, the signals forthcoming at this point, we are not sure are going to address all the serious problems municipalities have with that.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you.

Mrs Fawcett: We are really very happy to have you here, and that we are able to have these hearings. I have not been able to find in your brief and I do not know whether AMO has any thoughts on the inspectors who are now able to come in, and perhaps with police backup etc, do tests on any land they deem fit. I am just wondering if you have any comments on that part -- it is under the Interim Waste Authority -- whether that was dealt with at all.

Ms Cooper: I was not part of the committee discussions that formulated the brief. I would have to defer to Noelle in that case.

Ms Boughton: That is not a point we spent a lot of time dealing with.

Mrs Fawcett: So it does not seem to be a problem with AMO and people?

Ms Cooper: It is not one that has been identified at this point. As you may appreciate, because of the time frame of the act's introduction and needing to get a response together, we could not go into every single little detail in the paper, but that was not one that was immediately raised by all municipalities.

Mrs Fawcett: I wonder if possibly it would affect the rural portions of Ontario more, simply because that is where the space is. One other thing is that with county reform, counties are now being made responsible for waste management. Do you have any extra comments on that, that AMO discussed, or is it a problem?

Ms Cooper: No, not at this stage. Knowing the process we are engaged in in the location of the new landfill sites, there is no way a small municipality would engage in this exercise on its own. I doubt that any would argue at this point that they would even try.

Mrs Fawcett: In Kingston, for instance, are they working closely with the surrounding county on these kinds of things?

Ms Cooper: Not in our particular circumstance. We are working jointly with the township of Kingston, which is a misnomer; it is a municipality of almost 40,000 people.

Mrs Fawcett: The greater Kingston area.

Ms Cooper: Yes. I can go on about waste management at great length, but the process is getting more and more complicated because when that planning exercise started, it was to locate a new landfill. Times have changed, but the process has not and it is very inflexible and very difficult to work with. Now, of course, we want to develop diversion composting, all these great things, but we have two other suburban municipalities that got into blue box with us and want to be part of the diversion plan. We have now negotiated with them to include them in the diversion part of our waste management master planning, but not the landfill part, because they have landfill.

However, we are being warned by lawyers that we may be jeopardizing our entire planning process when we get to EA. We will not know until we get there. I guess at some point you have to say: "Enough is enough. Legal or not, this totally defies logic. We will just hold our noses and plunge in and hope that at the end of this, because we have made what we regard as an extremely rational decision to include two new partners at this stage, we will not jeopardize the process." We just say, "We're taking that risk."


Mrs Fawcett: One final question.

The Chair: No, I am sorry, your time is up. The parliamentary assistant would like to make a comment briefly on the first question you asked, for clarification.

Mr O'Connor: You asked in your first question about the power of inspection and how this relates to the powers other municipalities have as regards inspection and landfill. Jim Merritt from the ministry could perhaps enlighten us and answer your question.

Mr Merritt: Just a little bit of detail for you: The powers of inspection given to the IWA -- Jan Rush could give you even more detail on it, but you might not need that much -- are generally consistent with the powers that municipalities already have, if they were undertaking this work and trying to go through a selection process.

Mr Martin: I was interested in your comment regarding the disentanglement process, and certainly I would agree with you that it is one of the more important initiatives of the government in light of our relationship with the municipalities. In my own municipality the mayor and I have talked about that on a number of occasions. In light of that, the Ministry of the Environment has always been a regulator of waste management. This act simply expands on that to include the 3Rs. In the disentanglement process, do you see the provincial government still playing a role in the approval and regulation of waste management proposals and 3R proposals?

Ms Cooper: Yes. The Minister of the Environment has extremely important and necessary regulatory powers, because among other things we have to remember that waste management is not exclusively in the public sector. It is also a very important industry. There will always be a need for regulation in what is an extremely important environmental issue.

But this bill goes far beyond the issue of regulation. This bill goes on -- the proposal as originally written -- to become an intrusion into municipal administration and hence very directly how a municipality spends its money in an area that has been traditionally the domain of municipalities. That has all kinds of side-effects in terms of our other areas of jurisdiction. No matter how many priority setting exercises we go through and all the rest of it, if somebody outside our domain controls a significant portion of our budget then we have lost our ability to be accountable and that is the whole point of the disentanglement exercise in the first place. In our opinion, this bill goes far beyond a simple issue of regulation.

Mr Martin: I recognize that we would not have got into the disentanglement discussion if we did not sense there was a problem there. Yes, new legislation will bring new challenges regarding how it fits and how we work together around this now as opposed to what we had. You are aware that the government is coming out with a paper on the waste management master planning that we are involved in. Have you participated in that discussion yet?

Ms Cooper: No. What has AMO done at this point in that regard?

Ms Boughton: On the waste management master plan process, we had originally done a report on the problems we saw in that area. We have had a representative sitting on the MOE working group that has been working on the document that I gather has gone forward into the process. We have had a number of consultations with the MOE regarding possible things that will be coming out when that paper is released. I gather it will be released some time in the near future and we will be commenting on that as we have with the other documents.

Mr Martin: Is there any sense that process will allow you to deal more fully with some of the concerns you have than how you feel at the moment?

Ms Boughton: We have not seen the document yet. Early indications are that some of our members have seen the document and there is some concern whether that will address all our concerns, but we are reserving judgement until we, as an association, have actually seen the document.

Mr McLean: I believe it was Bill 208 that gave the municipalities, the counties and the regions the right to take over waste management. Can AMO tell me how many counties or regions have done that?

Ms Cooper: I will have to defer.

Ms Boughton: You were asking the number of municipalities involved in the waste management plan?

Mr McLean: Have there been many? I know Simcoe county has not, and I do not know of other counties that have taken over the waste management.

Ms Boughton: The most recent information I have from the Ministry of the Environment is that there are 40 to 43 municipalities involved in the waste management master plan process at some stage. I gather the new document that will be released is going to address the fact that a number of them are in process already and will try to bridge the new process with what is happening in the old processes in those municipalities.

Ms Cooper: The number I have always used is 44, which I think I heard at some kind of workshop. I do not think I dreamed it up.

Mr McLean: With what we are hearing today, you are telling us you are very strongly opposed to this bill.

Ms Cooper: Yes.

Mr McLean: You would want to have further meetings with the ministry before the bill is passed.

Ms Cooper: Yes.

Mr McLean: I just want to put a question to you to find out where you stand on the bill. Your 20 recommendations are very thorough. I share your frustration, but I am not so sure the ministry shares the frustration, when you were not contacted in the first place and were not asked for any input. I wonder how many other organizations are in the same situation. Is the Rural Ontario Municipal Association involved in this?

The Chair: I think it is unfair to ask AMO to comment on other organizations, Mr McLean. It might be best if you addressed them directly.

Mr McLean: I will just thank you for your time here. When I was in AMO, we were involved in other organizations and we brought it all together to find out who all was involved.

Ms Cooper: For purposes of clarification, ROMA, or the rural section, is a component of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Members of that community have had an opportunity to assist in putting our response together.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to make a brief comment and then ask you a question. In my constituency, the perception would be that involvement in waste management began in March 1989 when the whole process of the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee began. In my area in particular, they would say that the area of involvement of the province came when site P1 was announced under the Environmental Protection Act. It sort of changed the complexion of the rules of the game. The province has been involved and one of the problems we have now is that this involvement led to circumstances that were unacceptable and therefore new ways of doing things had to be found. That is basically the history of how I got here.

Having said that, I asked you this before when you came in front of the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, and I did not have the document with me at the time, but I do now: Are you familiar with this document, the criteria for site search?

Ms Cooper: For the Durham region? I am not personally familiar with it, no.

Mr Wiseman: Take out the Durham region, because the criteria for site selection are quite similar for Peel and York and Durham?

Ms Cooper: Who has published the document?

Mr Wiseman: This is the document created by the Interim Waste Authority that sets out the criteria for looking for landfill sites.

Ms Cooper: No, I personally am not familiar with the document.

Mr Wiseman: The reason I ask you is that if it is good enough for the GTA to use a document like this to outline the criteria for a landfill search, why is this document not good enough for everybody outside the GTA to look for landfills, as perhaps a starting point in terms of looking for a site?

Ms Cooper: I would suggest that question is far more appropriately directed to the Ministry of the Environment than it is to me.

Mr Wiseman: My question is, why can you not use it?


Ms Cooper: Presumably we can use it, like a number of other documents that have come out from a number of other jurisdictions. Each municipality or group of municipalities is engaged in its own master planning study with its own team of consultants, its own ministerial advisers. I was not part of the initial process. The city joined the township after the township had started and I did not actually become a part of the process in our community until I became mayor in 1988, so it had been going on for at least four years by then. The criteria of another community are not necessarily appropriate. Each planning exercise is completely independent.

Mr Wiseman: What I am trying to drive at here is that this process is deemed to speed up the selection of a site and that within the framework of doing this it has set out criteria against which sites can be measured, as opposed to taking four or five or six sites that may all be bad and picking the best of a bad lot. What I am suggesting is that if this is good enough to speed up the process within the GTA, then why would it not be good enough to speed up the process outside the GTA?

Ms Cooper: I can assure you we have tried all kinds of exercises in speeding up the process. I can give you a whole list of reasons why it does not seem to be going very quickly, including citizen opposition to location of any landfill site anywhere.

Mr Wiseman: I am well aware of that.

Ms Cooper: I would also suggest that the geology of Ontario is not uniform and that what may be appropriate criteria in the GTA, minimal criteria in the GTA or, say, Wellington county, are not really good where we live because we happen to be on the Precambrian Shield and do not have anything called topsoil, let alone a clay overburden. We can develop uniform criteria till we are blue in the face, but the site specifics are still under the processes required to identify the best site within a certain political boundary and that best site depends entirely on the topology and geology of that area.

Mr Wiseman: If I had an extra copy, I would give you one. I think it is worth taking a look at. I hear what you are saying.

Ms Cooper: It is hard for me to answer your question, but from the very beginning each one of these processes has been regarded as totally distinct. It may well be that our consultant is giving us the contents of that document. We have been working with our consultant and the ministry officials from our regional office and that is what the planning process requires.

The Chair: I have Mrs Mathyssen on the list. If you want to put a question on the record, if there is time, it can be answered. I have three questions research has suggested be posed and I will do that first, if that is all right. If there is no time remaining during the presentation allotment, I know AMO will be able to respond in writing to questions that are put on the record.

The first question is for clarification. In view of the comments you have made, AMO has some recommendations, specifically numbers 11 and 12 in your brief. The question research has regarding section 33 is in light of the minister's comments and statements. Are those recommendations still valid and will you be submitting a further brief in view of the changes the minister has said are coming?

Second, You made reference, Ms Cooper, to general support for the minister's proposed amendments, in general terms. To what extent will written clarification be forthcoming regarding AMO's specific recommendations around those changes? Are you planning to submit another brief? Clarify that.

Ms Cooper: We certainly can. What I gave today is a very rapid response. We will be more than happy to put that in a more appropriate form to match our original document.

The Chair: The reason for asking for the clarification for research is that our research officer will be doing a summary and it will be important to know what AMO's position is for that.

Ms Cooper: Yes.

The Chair: The third question is that you used the word "intrusive" regarding the Ministry of the Environment's action. The request from research is that you clarify the meeting regarding cost authority and so forth, and be a little more specific in the brief presented so that it can be documented for the record.

Ms Cooper: All right.

Mrs Mathyssen: Your worship, I understand you have met with the Minister of the Environment and have had several meetings with the staff in order to have this continuing dialogue. I am very pleased that on page 3 of your report you mention that you have begun to establish a good rapport between AMO and the Ministry of the Environment. I am just wondering if you could provide us with some suggestions on how we can improve this relationship, because as I have said before, I think this is the foundation, this good cooperation we would so much like to have as an ongoing working situation.

Ms Cooper: I cannot give you details of specific meeting formats and so on. Noelle would be able to do that far better than I. It is certainly the case that we were developing a much better rapport, and we have had a variety of joint committee exercises in the last little while. This was a disappointment to us, because we had to engage in very much of a kind of rearguard action before Christmas to say: "Hold on a minute here. Please think again before this goes through the House." I think in general we are extremely pleased and satisfied with the rapport we have been able to develop recently. We hope this particular bill was an aberration and we will return to a different process in future.

Mrs Mathyssen: I would appreciate that, because I know protection of the environment is central to AMO's concerns, as with us.

The Chair: There are just a couple of minutes remaining if there is anything further you want to say to the committee today.

Ms Cooper: I do not think so, thanks.

The Chair: I know AMO will be monitoring the hearings, as well as answering the specific questions that have been put to you. If there is any additional information you think would be helpful, we would appreciate your submitting it in writing to the clerk.

Ms Cooper: I did forget one thing. After saying no I am now saying yes. I guess that is political prerogative. Noelle pointed out to me that I neglected to mention that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is producing a paper on statutory authority for municipalities this year. It should be coming out very shortly. We were suggesting that at the very least this bill not proceed until that paper is out so at least there could be the assurance that what is proposed in the bill is reasonably consistent with what is proposed in that consultation paper.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing today. We appreciate your taking the time. You have submitted an excellent brief. It will be helpful to all members of the committee. Over the course of our hearings, please feel free to continue to communicate with us in writing.


The Chair: We have had a request from our next presenter, the Conservation Council of Ontario. Please come forward and begin your presentation by introducing yourselves. I understand there are two presentations you would like to make and then there will be time for questions following.

Mr Winter: Yes. They will both be brief.

The Chair: Please have a seat. Speak into the microphone so Hansard will be able to pick up your name and title, and we would ask if you would leave half your time for questions, if possible, but if that is not possible, the committee will cope. Welcome.

Mr Winter: Thank you very much for the opportunity to address you today. My name is Chris Winter and I am the executive director of the Conservation Council of Ontario. With me is Bill Glenn, who is the chair of our waste management committee. I am going to lead off with some remarks on sections 1 to 3 and then pass over to Bill, who is going to have some very specific comments that went through our committee on part IV.

The following remarks centre on the nature of the waste management crisis in the greater Toronto area and on the role of the Interim Waste Authority. They are my own personal observations based on discussions with members on the conservation council's waste task force and other people and my experience in working on provincial strategies, environmental assessment and waste management issues.


I wish to address my remarks mostly to parts I, II, and III of Bill 143, but rather than do a clause-by-clause, I would like to come at it from a different angle and address the provincial responsibility with respect to waste management and the province's track record in waste management in recent years. In so doing, I will be able to conclude with several constructive suggestions about how Bill 143 can be used to rectify the current waste management crisis in the greater Toronto area and the crisis we see in the province as a whole.

I will make a few specific suggestions, but because of the perspective I bring to this issue, I think my recommendations will be different from those you might hear from other sources. They will help to alleviate both the waste crisis and the lack of confidence in the government's waste management initiatives.

Just as a brief bit of background on the Conservation Council of Ontario, we are a non-government organization, a charitable organization and an association of 32 provincial organizations all concerned with the protection of natural resources and the physical environment. All told, the membership of our constituent organizations exceeds 1.25 million people. We have approximately 100 voting members on the council. We operate as a voting council and we have eight standing committees, one of which is waste management.

For my own part, I have been with the council for about eight years. I was recently appointed to the position of executive director, last October. My main area of expertise is in the strategic planning process. I and the council have worked closely on the development of a provincial environment strategy since 1983. We were one of the lead non-government organizations in pushing for the establishment of the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy.

We have produced several key publications, including Towards a Conservation Strategy for Ontario, based on the World Conservation Strategy, in 1986, and Ontario's Environmental Track Record, a review of government initiatives and activities, in 1989. Most recently we have produced a document, An Environment Strategy for Ontario: Draft for Public Review, which is an all-encompassing environment strategy providing recommendations on the eight key areas we deal with.

Also in recent years I have served on advisory committees, including the Premier's Council on Health Strategy, now the Premier's Council on Health, Wellbeing and Social Justice, on goal 3, "To ensure a safe, high-quality physical environment," which included waste issues, and on the public advisory group to the environmental program improvement project, where one of my main areas of concern was to integrate environmental assessment into the planning process and the development of provincial policy.

With that, I would like to first look at the provincial responsibility with respect to waste management. Overall I believe the provincial responsibility for waste management, or any other significant issue for that matter, be it land use, natural resources, heritage protection etc, can be summed up as follows: first, to provide leadership by articulating a clear strategy for addressing the issue at hand; second, to establish a clear planning process, including the necessary acts, regulations, policy statements, guidelines and performance standards to provide a clear indication of the provincial interest in this issue; third, to allow for appropriate public participation, including environmental assessment and public review at all the key stages of decision-making, starting with the broad strategy and working through the various stages of planning down to the final project, the actual project, and fourth, once these processes have been done and the plans are in place, to provide support through incentives, disincentives, research, technical assistance, public awareness and partnerships with municipalities, non-government organizations, the corporate sector and others. The council has been pressing the Ontario government to adopt this comprehensive approach to waste management since at least the mid-1980s.

Drawing from our most recent report, An Environmental Strategy for Ontario, I would like to point to some of the recommendations we have made in each of these four areas.

On leadership we recommend, on page 5 of our report, that each provincial ministry and federal department should publish a clear and concise strategy outlining the major problems under the ministry's jurisdiction and proposed remedies. These strategies should identify the major concerns of the ministries. They should outline the list of specific targets and actions through which the ministries intend to meet them. Each strategy should be short, no more than 20 pages. Specifically, it should contain a statement of the major concerns and their implications, current plans to resolve the problems, new ideas under study which would further help resolve the problems and research needs.

In the waste management section, the council further recommended that the province develop a comprehensive strategy for waste management based on the 3Rs and environmentally sound disposal methods for waste residues.

On the second point, to establish a clear planning process, we have recommended that each level of government should develop a detailed set of standards, targets and policies to guide the development process. For waste management we echo that by saying that the Ministry of the Environment should set clear standards for the 3Rs, and the certification and operation of waste recycling treatment disposal operations etc. These standards should be based on the requirements for healthy ecosystems but be enforced through point of emission standards. They should be reviewed on a regular basis to take into account changes in environmental quality and advances in technology and management practices. This is essentially saying that we want to see in place a full policy regulatory framework that provides clear direction.

Third, to allow public participation we have recommended an efficient and effective process for assessing waste management proposals that starts with the waste management strategy. We have also looked at the environmental assessment process and recommended that it should be applied to policy initiatives as well in a modified environmental assessment process.

With that, let's look at the province's track record in waste management in recent years. We all know that waste management has been with us as a contentious issue for many years. In 1971 our council hosted a national seminar on opportunities for recycling and reduction at source. Fully 20 years ago we produced a booklet called Solid Waste. In the early 1970s there was the Solid Waste Task Force. In the 1980s the Ministry of the Environment produced a Blueprint for Waste Management. But really to date, as far as I can see, the Ministry of the Environment has failed to introduce a complete and effective waste management strategy.

Instead, our history appears to be one of a time-consuming, expensive and often incomplete planning process combined with crisis management. To illustrate this point there are relevant provincial initiatives from the past year and a half. First was Towards a Sustainable Waste Management System, which was released in July 1990. This discussion paper was a first step to drafting a provincial waste management strategy focused on the 3Rs, full-cost accounting and tougher landfill standards. It focused on both reduction and disposal. With the change in government this initiative was dropped.

A Conserver Action Plan, released in November 1990, put a focus on waste reduction and reuse of materials. At the same time the minister also announced the Interim Waste Authority. In February 1991, Ontario's Waste Reduction Action Plan set out four areas of activity to accelerate waste reduction efforts and announce the creation of the waste reduction office.

Then there were the two policy statements that were announced on local responsibility for waste and the ban on incineration. That was in April. The provincial strategy for the GTA waste crisis, in June 1991, was something that began to look like a strategy, a three-pronged strategy including initiatives for the 3Rs and waste diversion and for finding long-term landfill sites. The draft approach and criteria for Metro Toronto followed from that. Then, in October 1991, there were the regulatory measures to achieve Ontario's waste reduction targets.

There are some observations I make on these initiatives. First, the current government has replaced an integrated approach to waste management with an overwhelming emphasis on the 3Rs and a crisis management approach to waste disposal. While I wholeheartedly support the emphasis on 3Rs as a top priority in waste management, I do not believe the province can afford to ignore the waste disposal issue at the provincial level. The ministry is making progress in developing a comprehensive 3Rs strategy, but the lack of clear provincial direction for waste disposal has directly contributed to the current waste crisis in the GTA.


In addition, the experiences of other municipalities with the waste management master plan process and the Environmental Assessment Act have made it clear that the process is costly, poorly managed and unreliable. Without clear direction to the municipalities and the ability for each municipality to work within a clearly defined set of provincial parameters, it is very likely we will see the GTA crisis repeated shortly in other communities.

The second point is that the ministry policy statements on incineration and long-range hauling were developed in isolation and not as part of a comprehensive strategy. Both announcements were widely supported by the environmental community, but there was no open public review of the policy statements or an assessment of the impact of these decisions. In spite of the fact that both policies are environmentally sound, the tradeoffs with landfilling should have been addressed when the policies were announced. This would have allowed the ministry to assess public opinion in advance of introducing a provincial strategy for the GTA waste crisis or the current Bill 143.

On a related issue, the ministry has not introduced any significant amendments to the planning and assessment process. In December 1990, the Ministry of the Environment released the report of the Environmental Assessment Task Force. That report identified the assessment of government policies and programs as an issue and made some general recommendations for a process outside the Environmental Assessment Act that could be applied to policies and programs. This report and the recommendations were subsequently referred to the Ontario Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee for review. No further action has been taken on the issue to date.

Third, in spite of the short time frame I believe the Interim Waste Authority has the potential to be able to demonstrate a sound approach to waste management planning. The IWA is well placed to follow the principles of sound planning, as I outlined earlier, and the ministry and the office for the greater Toronto area have already produced an initial strategy document. The IWA is operating within the policy constraints prescribed by the ministry -- ie, no incineration and local responsibility for waste -- and has prepared preliminary planning documents with respect to siting.

Therefore, with carefully described terms of reference and planning process, and with the assistance of the ministry staff in the waste management branch, waste reduction office and environmental assessment branch, I believe the Interim Waste Authority can play a constructive role in testing new approaches to waste management and in building public confidence in the planning process. This will involve a decision to use the GTA as a demonstration project for developing a provincial waste management strategy and the associated regulations and policies. Doing this would justify the inordinate amount of ministry time that is being spent on GTA waste management.

Finally, the overemphasis on the regulatory approach may result in a heavy administrative burden. We have already seen this with the environmental assessment process, the cost of conducting environmental assessment, and I think we see with some of the draft regulations that they take a very strong prescriptive approach to waste reduction.

By contrast, it was drawn to my attention today that there was an article in the business section of the January 20 Toronto Star outlining how Germany has taken a highly efficient approach to regulating waste reduction. Their regulation requires companies to accept responsibility for the packaging they use and therefore accept responsibility for disposing, recycling or reducing it. They can do this either by paying the exorbitant tipping fees or by setting up reduction and recycling programs. Because of the simplicity of the regulation, companies can make their management decisions quickly and at minimal expense. The process they have is one that ensures the maximum amount of energy is directed to solving the problem as opposed to debating the requirements of the regulation. I suggest the process we are beginning to implement here is one that is more weighted towards debating the process and the plans as opposed to actually getting on with the job.

The question now comes to how can we use Bill 143, which you have in front of you, to rectify the current waste management crisis. In general, I believe the province's approach to waste management has played a major role in creating the current waste management crisis. The major weakness is in the lack of clear direction to municipalities on the 3Rs and waste disposal.

This problem can be addressed in two ways: through a commitment from the Ministry of the Environment to a succinct waste strategy and supporting policy statements and regulations, and by a commitment from the ministry to use the Interim Waste Authority and the GTA waste crisis as an opportunity to demonstrate sound planning, new environmental assessment techniques and public consultation at key decision points in the process.

My first recommendation in this regard is to the waste management branch. The waste management branch should continue to develop the provincial waste management strategy as a high priority and this strategy should include the description of the overall goals, specific objectives and targets for waste management. This includes the reduction and the 3Rs aspect as well as the disposal aspect, because they are so closely intertwined.

It should include a description of the desirable waste management processes and technologies. It should include a list of acceptable waste management activities and appropriate regulations and policy statements, both the existing ones and those that are planned. It should contain a list of government projects and cooperative projects involving other governments, the private sector, non-government organizations and others. Finally, it should request the participation of other sectors, as is already listed in pages 9 to 14 of Towards a Sustainable Waste Management System.

I think a strategy should not just be the onus of government, but should be clearly an opportunity for government to say to us in the non-governmental community, to the private sector, to municipalities and to the federal government, "This is the support we need from you to meet these goals."

Recommendation 2: A provincial waste management strategy and subsequent legislation and policy initiatives should be subject to public review or modified environmental assessment. Public review of the provincial strategy will accomplish two important goals. It will help determine the level of public confidence in the strategy and address potential conflicts at the earliest stage of the planning process. It will also provide clear direction to all sectors of the province's commitment and expectations with regard to waste management.

This also provides the Ministry of the Environment with an opportunity to introduce a modified environmental assessment process for government policy, such as is identified in the report, Towards Improving the Environmental Assessment Program in Ontario. The report notes that the assessment process would need to include the key principles of environmental assessment: public consultation, consideration of alternatives and the assessment of natural environmental impacts. It is not something that would be the formal EA process, but something that is new and as yet untried in Ontario.

Recommendation 3 is to provide a clear statement of purpose with respect to the Interim Waste Authority. There is no real statement of purpose for the IWA in Bill 143 at the moment, similar to what there is in the Ontario Waste Management Corporation Act that says, "This is what the authority is supposed to do and how it interacts with municipalities and the Ministry of the Environment, where its term ends or its roles and responsibilities end." So it would be worthwhile having that in there, I believe, between what is now part II section 1 and part III.

Recommendation 4 is that the province should use the GTA as a demonstration project for sound waste management planning. In establishing the Interim Waste Authority the Ministry of the Environment committed itself to assisting GTA municipalities. This does not mean that all the principles of sound planning should be tossed out the window. On the contrary, it means that the province will help facilitate the best planning process within the required time. To this end, all ministry staff in the main branches and the waste reduction office should assist in the process.

The province should use the GTA waste management crisis as an opportunity to put the principles of sound planning into practice. It should serve as a demonstration project or a test case for environmental assessment of a waste management strategy and related policies.

Specifically, the Interim Waste Authority should: within four months release an updated waste management strategy for the GTA, based on current information, the reports that already exist, policies that already exist and new information that is coming in; within seven months complete a streamlined environmental assessment and public review of this strategy -- this means the EA branch needs to be involved with setting up this process -- then initiate specific projects for waste reduction and waste management, such as siting as required within the context of the approved and reviewed strategy, and finally, implement emergency measures such as the exemptions from the Environmental Assessment Act and part V hearings under the EPA only when there is a demonstrated emergency. This should be the last step and it should be very clearly identified that it is an emergency situation.

In conclusion, the question facing this government is whether or not we wish to continue to plan for waste disposal through crisis management. Unless the province is prepared to develop a complete strategy for waste reduction and waste disposal based on the 3Rs hierarchy, but also recognizing there will always be a residual waste that will need disposal, then we will continue to need emergency measures such as temporary lifts and exemptions from EA or EPA hearings. Bill 143 may only be the beginning. We may need to call it Bill 143A.

I urge this committee to address the two areas of this bill that are crucial to supporting the development of a comprehensive waste management strategy, the statement of purpose for the IWA and the process by which the IWA will carry out its mandate.

I would also like to take this opportunity to urge the Ministry of the Environment to renew its commitment to developing a complete waste management strategy for Ontario and to initiate reforms to the planning and environmental assessment process that will allow our energies to be directed to solving problems instead of debating them. I would like to pass over to Bill Glenn to continue on part IV.


Mr Glenn: Chris said he would take five minutes, and as all environmentalists do, he lies.

Mr Winter: Through the teeth.

Mr Glenn: Anyway, my name is Bill Glenn. I am an environmental consultant and I am here in my capacity as a private member of the Conservation Council of Ontario and chairman of its waste management committee. I am the sane and rational environmentalist and Chris is the wild-eyed -- I do not know.

The Chair: Are you going to tell the committee how much time you are going to take? That was just a joke.

Mr Glenn: Twelve minutes. How is that? I used to come into this room 10 years ago with Pollution Probe and face the ministers of the day and talk about hazardous waste management and acid rain. I notice you have changed the wallpaper since the last time I was here, but I was always impressed on how productive this is as a forum for getting across specific proposals and recommendations.

In that spirit my committee at the Conservation Council of Ontario chose to address part IV of the bill, assuming, I think rightly, that you would have a lot of representation from the municipalities and other groups on the first three parts of the bill. We hope we can offer some constructive criticisms on what we thought were the very important 3Rs recommendations and proposals and fundamentals established in part IV.

I have three very short codicils before I go through my brief -- and I am certainly not going to read it -- and that is that it may appear overly negative. That is only in that we tried to look at loopholes, inconsistencies and some problematic bits and pieces in the sections dealing with the 3Rs. That is not to construe that we did not appreciate the hard work the minister and her staff did in putting this together, and we would like to congratulate her on the effort.

The second problem we had in assessing this document was the lack of supporting documentation that went along with it. To be honest, there were several clauses and sections in part IV behind which we really do not know the rationale or the explanation. In such instances we had to fill them in with our own suppositions, and perhaps our comments will be inappropriate, but we did our best on the guesses we could make.

Third, many of our comments deal with problems with some of the clauses being general or open-ended or very broadly worded. This is not meant to construe or ascribe any ulterior motives to the minister and her staff. We do not think she is going to use these clauses for goals outside 3Rs implementation, but ministers and politicians and governments do not last for ever and we just want to close any possible loopholes before future problems arise.

As I said, I am just going to go through a couple of the highlights on part IV section by section, but of course we do not have comments on all of them. I will start with section 22 which details the purpose of the act and would allow the province to take action under the act for the "protection, conservation or management of the environment outside Ontario's borders."

This is one of those areas where I said the documentation that came in support of the bill was not clear on the rationale. We assume, and perhaps wrongly so, that this would be used to ban exports of waste to jurisdictions outside Ontario's borders. We would expect that if such a policy is forthcoming, it would only be promulgated after broad public debate. Several of the lawyers on our staff and on our committee were concerned that this amendment essentially expands the purpose of the EPA, and could even exceed the constitutional powers accorded the provinces under the constitution acts or infringe on associative federal powers under those acts.

Section 23 expands the powers of the minister beyond his or her previous authority to allocate funds for various kinds of research activities beyond that, and actually allows them -- either themselves or through a designated director -- to establish, operate, extend, and in due course, close a landfill.

We do not anticipate that Ruth Grier is going to be hopping on a bulldozer and pushing waste around in her backyard. But under this act, it is possible for her to do so. It is unclear from that section whether such a project would be subject to the EAA consideration or even EPA section 30 review, and I would just note parenthetically that there is a clause put in later in this bill in section 33 where the Lieutenant Governor in Council could simply deem a certificate of approval to exist.

Theoretically, and again I do not ascribe ulterior motives to the minister, it is possible for any minister or her designate to establish a landfill site -- it is not clear what kind of review that would be liable for -- and that a certificate of approval could be deemed to exist if the regulations to be developed later allow that to happen.

Whatever the approval mechanism, we see some fundamental conflict of interest problems when the Ministry of Environment acts as a proponent in waste management matters. Again, theoretically, it would be possible for the director of approvals to act as a proponent and have his own department undertake the technical review. If it is seen as essential for the province to take a hands-on role in the operation of waste facilities of whatever kind, we favour the model it used in the hazardous waste field, which was the establishment of an independent crown corporation; in that case, the Ontario Waste Management Corp, which allowed the Ministry of Environment to keep an arm's-length integrity of the regulatory rule intact, and allow the OWMC to blast ahead.

I do not mean to say that everything is negative in this section. With proper safeguards, I think it adds some strong powers to the Environmental Protection Act, particularly allowing the minister to take a more active role in the funding of the closure of waste management systems, and as such may help in the implementation of the federal-provincial agreement in that area. Again, there was no strong documentation to say that was the intent, but if so, we applaud it.

Finally this section will allow the minister to delegate to her director certain powers and funding and establishment, and in general, despite what you have perhaps heard to the opposite in some briefs, we support the devolution or devolving of certain ministerial powers to directors, in that a director's orders have certain advantages over a minister's orders. Director's orders are appealable to the Environmental Appeal Board. The affected parties may or may not be granted a stay while an appeal is being heard, and the statutory powers of decision of a director are subject to judicial review, which we think are all good safeguards, taking into consideration that the minister and her government or the subsequent minister and her government come and go, but bureaucracies are eternal, and that an affected party should have some recourse that extends beyond the staying power of the government in power.


Section 24, which is essentially a housekeeping measure, deals with the definitions of a "waste disposal site" and a "waste management system." From our reading of it the two become essentially the same thing now, and I think our reading of it indicates to us that waste disposal sites and systems would both be subject to EPA section 30 mandatory hearings or discretionary hearings. Again, we would ask the minister or her staff to clarify that.

Section 25 is a great idea: Let the municipalities raise money. Environmental assessment is a long-term job.

Section 29 is one of those things where I was going to support the minister and her staff and say what a great thing this was. Unfortunately she beat me to it by coming up yesterday and changing it, saying she would not be devolving these powers to her staff but would be retaining them. For the reasons I mentioned before, we support the devolution of a minister's powers. I guess that is a case of she can't win for trying, but we were going to say something very appreciative.

No matter who wields those powers, though, I think there should be something in the bill that defines what the public interest is. A new clause would allow the minister to act in the public interest to take certain measures. We should at least temper the term "public interest" within the goals of the Environmental Protection Act. It is possible that you could act in the public interest for job creation or any other kind of socially laudable thing but well outside the range of the EPA.

Sections 28, 29 and 30, which set out the groundwork for future initiatives on controlling packaging and litter, are very laudatory. Of course there is going to be a lot of discussion on their implications and we will come back when the complementary regulations come out and try to contribute to the discussion then, but yes, an excellent first step.

Finally, section 33, which deals with the promulgation of additional regulations basically is an enabling section of the act and joins a number of other enabling clauses in that section that allow the Lieutenant Governor in council to promulgate regulations of various types over the years. Again, we reserve comment on the efficacy of any specific regulation, of course, until it is available in draft form.

We generally support the principles behind the enabling clauses. We have one or two specific comments. I think you have heard a lot already about clause 33(2)(j), which deals with municipalities' financial management. I will leave that all alone. Clauses 33(2)(k) and 33(2)(l) seem to indicate to us that waste generators or any other persons could be forced to become proponents of waste management systems or disposal sites. If that is the case, that is certainly a new power and quite an extension under the Environmental Protection Act. I do not believe that currently exists and it may give some cause for concern.

The clause I would like to bring most attention to is clause 33(2)(t), which deems that a certificate of approval exists in respect of a waste management system or disposal site. There may be some rationale for this particular clause. It may be to grandfather existing recycling operations; I do not know. If that is the case, I understand there have been some problems in the air pollution control field that would require this kind of magic wand clause. If included at all, it should be heavily conditioned with control phrasing so it cannot be used to give carte blanche for any kind of waste management system when the MOE deems a need to retroactively issue a certificate of approval.

Finally, I would ask the committee -- and I imagine you will be hearing a lot from the other presenters over the course of your three weeks -- to consider wording for additional enabling clauses. This is the kick at the can this time around. It of course does not obligate the Ministry of the Environment to bring forward regulations, but it does give it the opportunity if it sees fit.

In our brief we have made several suggestions. The one I would just like to mention verbally here is perhaps an enabling clause that would allow municipalities to charge user fees for waste disposal on individual households or generators. It is our understanding from legal counsel that several municipalities feel they do not have the right to do so now, and such a clause in future regulations may give them the latitude to pursue other waste management controls.

Finally, section 36 deals with the enactment of the bill. I know there has been great pressure on the committee and on the politicians involved to break this bill into pieces. It is possible you could use a slight amendment in this section to bring part IV, with its very important 3Rs ramifications, in immediately and delay, until you feel they are needed or required, any other parts of the bill without doing anything so fundamental or drastic as carving it up into little pieces.

I think I might have taken 13 minutes, but I spoke as fast as I can. I thank the standing committee for their time and Chris and I are both here for questions for as long as you need us.

Mr McClelland: Bill, on page 1 of your brief you say in the second paragraph you "consider the GTA-related provisions in parts I, II and III to constitute a blueprint for abrogating the legislative protections offered by the EPA and the Environmental Assessment Act. It is critical that this legislative scheme not serve as a precedent for the environmental approval of projects or programs elsewhere in the province." Later in your brief you also say you have a great concern in terms of carte blanche application of certificates of approval that are done in effect by decree as opposed to by process. Chris makes a comment on page 6 of his brief and says very clearly at the bottom of the page, "Without clear direction...it is very likely that we will see the GTA crisis repeated shortly in other communities."

The question that flows from that, from my point of view and from the point of view of many other people, is this: Questions were put specifically from residents of the Britannia area last Wednesday to the minister. They said, "How do we have any assurances that yet another expansion won't be given?" There were none. There was no response to that. "How do we know that we can depend on this legislation only in the short term? How do we know or have any assurance whatsoever that it may not be brought to bear upon us again?" No assurances were given. "How do we know that this legislation may not be applied elsewhere in the province? The door has been opened and it may happen again." No assurances apparently could be given by the minister and therefore were not given. I say that to you. I hope you will accept that as an accurate rendition of what took place.

It seems to me that the experience of the people at the Britannia landfill, in and around that area, is exactly a case in point of the fear you raise here, that the application of parts I, II and III have abrogated legislative protection and a legislative scheme that has been hard fought by many people. An awful lot of effort in terms of the type of work you have done in the past to have those legislative protections in place is now in jeopardy. You also see it as quite possibly happening down the road. I would appreciate any further comment you might have on that.

Mr Winter: I guess, first of all, the ability of any minister to make a commitment is always constrained by the situation he or she is operating in. We all know the remarks you make in opposition are going to be radically different from the remarks you have to make in the reality of government, and even within the reality of government, the constraints and the situations you are in are always in a constant state of flux. So the one thing I do not look for is a simplistic statement from government officials or politicians, ministers, that says, "This is the way it's going to be and it's going to be this way in perpetuity." I much prefer to see the politician or the person reflect the changing situations, reflect and understand the complexities and the pressures that are on him or her in making the decision, so that we have an opportunity to identify what those conflicts are and what the pressures are and where the tradeoffs are and deal with them out in the open. What I do not like to see is for it to be done behind closed doors and at a stage when really we knew it had to come to this but we kind of put it off until it was too late. That is the sort of decision-making we are seeing at the moment.


We all know the economic pressures. We all know the population growth pressures on the GTA. We all know that to put hard and fast targets on waste reduction of 25% and 50% is extremely difficult to do if you have a growing economy. We applaud the ministry for putting firm, ecosystem-based targets on waste reduction, but we also have to recognize that they are going to be extremely difficult to reach, to meet. With a fluctuating economy and with fluctuating population growth in the GTA, it is hard to guess.

I look at those as being what we are aiming for. I appreciate the honesty of someone saying, "This is what we are aiming for." I appreciate the honesty of someone saying, "We want to have everything under the Environmental Assessment Act," but I also have to recognize that there may come a time when there is a crisis or when things have happened in a way we cannot control. At that point I look at: "Did you operate in the right way leading up to that point? Did you make the right decisions in your planning process?" With respect to the GTA and waste management, and frankly with respect to a lot of things in terms of government planning, I have not seen that.

Mr McClelland: I would like some help with one other point you make reference to on this bill in your brief. I was quite surprised, quite frankly, and intrigued, to see the last sentence in your comments with respect to section 22, "The banning of waste exports would, in certain cases, contravene a bioregional approach to environmental management." I wonder if you could expand on that somewhat. I think you understand why I was somewhat surprised to hear that coming from you, but I would like to hear more on that, if you would be good enough to do so.

Mr Glenn: I have been involved in a lot of task forces and review groups, and every once in a while the Ministry of the Environment would invite people into the room and look at the blueprints for future development, and there was never any uniformity in opinion on whether waste exports should be banned or not. It seemed to be a more politically palatable thing to say to say that each political entity or jurisdiction should take responsibility for its own wastes and close the borders, but it did not make much sense to send biomedical waste from Niagara Falls all the way to an incinerator near Ottawa or in Hull, Quebec, when you could take it across the border and have it on the road for 20 minutes instead of seven hours. I have not driven from Niagara Falls to Ottawa recently, but it is something like that.

It seemed to make sense from an environmental point of view, using the same rationale that the minister used in saying, "We don't send waste from Toronto 700 kilometres north for disposal," to say that you take a regional approach or bioregional approach and take advantage of clusters of facilities irrespective of the political boundary. That does require controls, and as soon as you bring other governments into play it certainly adds some complications, but if you are going to treat provincial boundaries as walls for the movement of waste, you are going to have to put a hazardous waste facility in Prince Edward Island and it makes absolutely no sense from an environmental or an economic point of view to do such a thing. We made all the same mistakes with beer. Why should we do it with waste?

Mr McClelland: Would you extend that argument to smaller geographical or, as you say, arbitrary boundaries? Do you think the same principle of looking at the best environmental solutions, the best options available, should curtail, at least, the consideration of --

Mr Glenn: The transport of waste is an important component. It is an environmental assessment and that should play an important weighing role in the assessment of any waste management systems, so, yes, to that extent.

Mr Winter: In looking at the two policy decisions of dealing locally with waste and banning incineration, those are two policies that make sense within the confines of those policies. What I was suggesting is that to have an assessment process at the time those policies are introduced forces you to look at the implications, the ramifications of those policies on things such as landfills and NIMBY and so on. I would expect that as you do the weighing of them, you would still come out saying that things like incineration are not desirable, but you have done it in full recognition of the complexities of that decision, the ramifications of that decision, not making it as a simplistic, one-off kind of decision and then waiting until the ramifications happen down the road and dealing with them then, which is what we are doing here.

Mr McLean: The question I have has to do with regulations. It is my understanding this bill gives the minister the power to change regulations without going to any public hearings or having any amendments in the Legislature. Is that right?

Mr Glenn: I do not think it changes your regulation-making powers, no. It sets enabling clauses allowing them, as they do now, to draft regulations that would then be enacted by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Mr McLean: Okay. I thought the minister, after the bill has had royal assent, could bring in regulations that could change different aspects within the bill that would then allow a municipality or a group of municipalities to get together and decide they are going to establish a landfill site under certain criteria. In the process, they could come to the minister and ask for an exemption of the environmental assessment. Would that be possible? Section 33.

Mr Glenn: Yes, as a matter of fact, it is kind of a strange dichotomy. They treat municipalities quite differently than generators. As I say, it is unclear from my reading of it whether some of the emergency powers a minister has under section 23 are subject to any kind of review.

Mr McLean: Your brief, on clauses 33(2)(k)(i) and 33(2)(k)(l), kind of gave me the indication that the minister changed some regulations that would give her the power then to -- regulations could be developed that would force companies to become proponents and to set up recycling, treatment, storage, disposal operations for waste other than their own. For example, a tire manufacturer could be forced to enter the recycling business.

Mr Glenn: That is correct. It is a possibility for that to happen here, because in subsequent clauses there, they talk about waste generators, and in clauses 33(2)(k) and 33(2)(l) they talk about any such person, which generally would tend to imply to me that they would have to handle their own waste. But it is conceivable that a regulation could be passed under (k) or (l) that would require a generator to become a proponent, require Du Pont to set up -- I do not know -- Freon recycling systems or a cardboard manufacturer to take back cardboard from any source.

It is possible. It is an enabling regulation. As I say, I know the tire manufacturer will have a fundamental problem with it and the battery manufacturer will have a fundamental problem with it, but I do think it gives them powers under the Environmental Protection Act that do not exist presently. It is possible to force you as an individual to set up a dump.

Mr McLean: Saying that, you mention the public interest on page 4, the second paragraph. How is the public going to have some input into those changes of regulations that would allow this to take place in those local municipalities?

Mr Glenn: I see it as a problematic thing with the definition of "public interest." It has not been defined, not even in terms of the very basic terms of the Environmental Protection Act and the protection of the natural environment. It is possible. I made the suggestion that there had been various versions of an environmental bill of rights that take a more expansive view of what would be the public interest. The inclusion of such a clause in the Environmental Protection Act would offer good direction to people trying to implement it in the future. I do not know whether the clauses I suggested in the enabling legislation, which may be used at some point -- this is just hypothetical -- to force a generator to become a proponent, I do not think those projects would be exempt from environmental assessment, but of course it is all theoretical.

Mr McLean: On the existing EPA you indicate section 29 is vague. It requires only that a "municipality shall forthwith do every possible act and thing in its power to implement the report of the minister within a time specified." The new section is much more precise and will allow the ministry to order municipalities to collect waste, establish, operate, extend, close and decommission waste disposal systems and sites. Are you telling me that in this legislation the minister is going to have the power to do all this?


Mr Glenn: Yes, if the director considers it is advisable in the public interest, he or she may order. That is the new section 29. The minister has indicated she is not going to devolve that. I have not seen the new wording, so I assume it is going to be a ministerial prerogative to be able to do that. Theoretically, she could have done it under the existing Environmental Protection Act. This is much clearer and I am a firm proponent of being clear in your legislation. Now it is up to the committee if it does not like it.

Mr McLean: Do you support this bill?

Mr Glenn: I support the 3Rs sections of this bill and I think they are valuable to Ontario's environmental legislation.

Mr McLean: So do I.

Mr Glenn: I just hope that while doing that there are not too many loopholes slipped into it.

Mr Wiseman: On clause 33(2)(t), you say: "which deems that a certificate of approval exists in respect of a waste management system or disposal site, appears gives carte blanche to any existing or future project the MOE wishes to exempt from its approval processes. We recommend that this magic wand clause be removed." It is my understanding that this clause expedites the approval of 3Rs facilities and that this was one of the things suggested in what is called Regulatory Measures to Achieve Ontario's Waste Reduction Targets: Initiatives Paper No 1. How do you feel about that under that criterion?

Mr Glenn: As a matter of fact, the ministry for eight years has been promising to bring forward amendments to allow the quick approval of what it calls bona fide recycling activities. I have supported that and I think most of the environmental community has supported that. If that is the intention of this clause, then I think the clause should be reworded to make that clear. As it stands, this or a future government or any other government, once it is on the books, could introduce a regulation -- as you say, it does not have to go through this kind of form -- and allow certificates of approval to exist for any kind of waste facility.

Mr Carr: Thank you for the time and thank you for the detailed presentation. My question, because you have obviously gone into a lot of detail on the bill, is more of a broad question. Looking at the situation we are in now, we heard some of the figures yesterday predicting what will happen with the sites in terms of when they reach capacity. It is sometimes like being an economist. Predicting is very difficult to do. But knowing the situation as it is today and following it as best you have been able to do over the last little while, do you see us getting long-term sites selected using the full environmental assessments in time to meet the deadlines? It is a difficult question, but I wondered what your comments would be, whether you see that happening.

Mr Winter: First, my proposal is not to use the existing environmental assessment process but that we make a modified environmental assessment process, one that identifies the policy component of it and deals with that in a policy level environmental assessment, and then look at a scoped or streamlined environmental assessment process working within the context of that approved policy. It is something that will have to be negotiated quite closely within the environmental community and other vested interests, because you can be sure it will be a hot potato. But it is something that has the end goal of making the process streamlined, efficient, effective, and therefore I think, yes. Bill may want to answer within the context of the existing EA with a different answer.

Mr Glenn: I am just going to make a broad comment. I have been watching the amendment of the environmental assessment process and other environmental legislation for 15 years now. It has made me a very cynical person. My parents do not like me coming home for Christmas, you know. I dampen the mood.

One of the problems is that we hear again and again about amendment processes, and as I say, we have been talking about changes to the Environmental Protection Act to allow bona fide recycling facilities for six or seven years now. In 1985, I got involved in the rewriting of air pollution control regulation 308. The Environmental Assessment Act has been under constant review and tightening since 1975.

The problem is that none of these things have deadlines. What happens is we have crises intervene, including many of the 3Rs regulatory clauses. I am not going to hold the United States up as an example of the best way to handle your environmental problems, but when they pass enabling legislation, there are also incumbent deadlines on the government to introduce legislation or improvements or changes or regulations by certain dates. That has never been the situation here. What happens is that when the heat is off, the deadline just extends indefinitely into the future.

Ms Haeck: Mr Winter, you raised an issue on page 10 of your brief, at the very bottom, relating to emergency measures and the last two words intrigued me, "demonstrated emergency." As someone who lives outside the greater Toronto area but has been hearing about the perceived garbage crisis for some years, I am wondering how you define "demonstrated emergency." Possibly Ms Rush, who is involved with the Interim Waste Authority, could give her perspective on what a demonstrated emergency is.

Mr Winter: First of all, we were given a set of statistics that said, "There is a demonstrated emergency." Then you got a backlash to that saying: "No, there isn't a demonstrated emergency. You still have time to do it." So any time you have someone saying there is a demonstrated emergency, you have to allow a little bit of time to have some rebuttal of that and to actually prove your case. It is not just a matter of saying, "Oh yes, we have a demonstrated emergency."

I live in an apartment building where I have people who say: "Why am I supposed to be recycling and taking all my stuff down to the recycling place? I have been throwing my garbage down the chute for 30 years, and now you tell me there is an emergency." This is someone who is never going to admit there is an emergency.

It is going to be something where you have to have a little bit of debate, but finally a decision, essentially a political decision, that this is an emergency and we are going to ride the heat on it. It is not something where I think you can always rely on having a scientific rational decision that this is an emergency. It is essentially a political decision. But that is a political process, that if you make a decision like that, you ride the flak.

Mr O'Connor: I think I would like to refer that to Jim Merritt and then perhaps further to Alex Giffin.

Mr Merritt: To sort out any confusion on our relative roles on the demonstration of the emergency and the planning and why we are where we are are, some of us in the Ministry of the Environment would prefer to deal with those questions, as opposed to the GTA. There is a difference. They report to the ministry separately, not through the Ministry of the Environment.

I appreciate your answer, Chris, on the question of emergency and I agree with it very much. It is a question of degree. In our review of this matter, we very much see a very different case between the Britannia Road site and the Keele Valley site. In our minds, the Britannia Road site is a very real emergency for us. Perhaps it was not so much of an emergency back when we were trying to wrestle with this in August and the first reports were going out. The emergency grows as we move through this, and I think we are in a very real emergency now. June 1992 is going to be upon us very quickly.

The question is very different for Keele Valley, and I think the minister has expressed the view on that. We will be looking at this very rigorously, looking at the situation Alex has shown us, the things that make this decision elastic, the time frames, the quantities of waste, how those will change, and make the decision on a hearing and how comprehensive that hearing has to be.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today. I know you are aware that you can continue to communicate with us in writing over the course of the hearings, and please feel free to take advantage of that opportunity. The committee is always happy to hear anything you have to say that might be helpful in our deliberations. We appreciate you coming forward today.

The committee on social development stands adjourned until 10 am tomorrow morning.

The committee adjourned at 1700.