Thursday 20 February 1992

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

Edgewater Environmental Services Ltd

Ron Snow, consultant

County of Huron

Tom Tomes, chair, waste management committee

Jo-Anne Richter, waste management project coordinator

County of Lambton

Jim Kutyba, administrator of waste management

Town of Sarnia

Mike Bradley, mayor

County of Kent; Township of Harwich

Greg Rankin, councillor, county of Kent

Jim Hawryluk, councillor, township of Harwich

Concerned Citizens Against Incineration

Elizabeth Clarke Larson, chair

Sherry Morrison

East Lambton Secondary School Environmental Club

Scott MacGregor, member

Lambton Anti-Pollution Association

Geoff Smith, chair

Canadian Auto Workers, Local 444

Rick Coronado, chair, environment committee

Citizens Environment Alliance

Rose Meynes, environmental planning consultant

Dianne Wright

Warwick Watford Landfill Committee

Cindy Aarts, representative

Greta Thompson

Community Opposing Landfill Development

David Maris, representative

Turning 2000

Paula Whelan, representative

Township of Plympton

Elizabeth Tenhoeve, mayor

Muriel Wright


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):

Hayes, Pat (Essex-Kent ND) for Mr Martin

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

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

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

Murdoch, Bill (Grey PC) for Mr Stockwell

Ramsay, David (Timiskaming L) for Mrs Fawcett

Also taking part / Autres participants:

FitzPatrick, Leo B., Ministry of the Environment

Giffen, Alex V., Ministry of the Environment

McRobert, David, Office for the Greater Toronto Area

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

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

The committee met at 0904 in the Drawbridge Inn, Sarnia.


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: We are very pleased to be here in Sarnia this morning. I know I speak for the whole committee when I say we are looking forward to a very productive day. I would like to call our first presenters, Edgewater Construction Co. Our procedure is that you have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions, but that is up to you. Begin your presentation, please, just by introducing yourself. If you have any problem with the mike just press the button on the front, but it should all happen automatically.

Mr Snow: I would like to thank you for this opportunity to address the committee this morning on the proposed Bill 143.

My name is Ron Snow and I have been retained by Edgewater Environmental Services Ltd as a consultant. This morning the agenda says "Edgewater Construction." We have incorporated a separate branch for the environmental side of our company, so just that small correction.

Although I am relatively new to the private sector I certainly am not a novice to the political side. I have just finished nine years in public office since 1982: three years as councillor in the town of Petrolia and six years as the reeve. I served five years as chairman of the waste management master plan steering committee and the waste management standing committee for the county of Lambton from 1985 to 1990, in which time we developed the Lambton county waste management master plan up to the point of final site selection. Lambton county was endowed with the responsibility for waste disposal under Bill 35, effective January 1, 1991. In 1991 I became the warden of the county of Lambton and during my tenure continued to serve on the two waste management committees. I also served as one of two political representatives on the issues team of the Ministry of the Environment's waste management master plan process discussion group.

Being no newcomer to this process, I feel obliged to commend the committee on the long hours you have spent listening to countless presentations on this proposed bill. I have joined you on many evenings listening to reruns of the day's presentations on local cable TV. Many presentations made before this committee have been constructive and rational but you have also graced many with your patience. I trust your day in Sarnia-Lambton will be productive and I am honoured to lead off the presentations today.

I have prepared a document for the committee which gives a detailed summary of Bill 143, outlining what I approve of in the act and, possibly more important, what I do not agree with. The ovation will be short in that brief and is only for those areas really in part IV that deal with funding for research and development, the broadening of definitions of waste sites and systems, the placing of greater restrictions on disposables and products that pose a problem to the environment and waste management systems, and the placing of requirements on those who produce, use or sell packaging to examine and deal with the environmental impact of their product.

The rest of the act, in my opinion, is errant and irresponsible. It is an ignominy to any sound and publicly accountable environmental process. My position paper is submitted for the record, and I would rather spend these precious moments dealing with a general overview of Bill 143 as it affects all of Ontario and, most important, the environment.

Bill 143 appears to be a Band-Aid attempt at a long-term solution. It is disguised as short-term relief made by a minister who appears to be caught in her own web of environmental chaos. True, the process currently lacks direction and leadership, but we should be aimed at mending the system. The process needs direction, it needs to be achievable, and it must be for protecting the environment and not for protecting my backyard. Dollars spent should go towards putting sound technology in place, not for providing consultants and lawyers with a free ticket to dream and to print money.

The minister seems to be caught between promises and statements made in the past and the realities of the present and the future. She chose to shirk her responsibilities by giving the director or herself the right to ignore the due process that the Environmental Assessment Act and the Environmental Protection Act provided.

Bill 143 lacks public accountability. Bill 143 also ignores most other acts, statutes, regulations and honourable municipal agreements and hides behind the skirts of the deeming clauses. This bill totally lacks the open and consultative approach and replaces it with the hatchet approach. That is where you unconscionably butcher anything that gets in your way in order to get the job over with.

The Ministry of the Environment, a regulatory body, cannot hide behind the Interim Waste Authority and pretend that it is at arm's length. Government should have learned the lesson by now that its role is as a legislator and not an administrator of waste management systems. How can a crown agency such as the Interim Waste Authority be deemed "interim" when it is responsible for sites that must be for over a period of 20 years?

Bill 143 appears to be the reaction of legislators who, in frustration, must feel that they are incapable of coming up with functional legislation and would rather bludgeon and bully their way through the environmental process when everything else fails, and to date it has.

The minister has squandered almost one and a half years trying to come up with a solution or at least a provision of clear leadership and direction, but to date there has been nothing except an ever-increasing list of can't dos and no-noes, all with little or no rationale. The best attempts at providing direction have been through press releases and ministers' statements, which is fine if you listen to the media, and now this faux pas called Bill 143.


The minister was on the right track when she established a task force to review the waste management master plan process and the environmental assessment process. Having served as an elected official on the issues committee along with members from the waste reduction branch, the environmental approvals branch, district MOE branches, public liaison committees and waste management coordinators, I felt that fair and functional suggestions had been presented to the minister towards amending the process. The goal of the MOE's task force was to develop recommendations by the summer of 1991 with revised legislation to be prepared by the fall of 1991 and presented in bill form by January 1992 for passage by March 1992. It sounds like Bill 143.

But if Bill 143 is the resulting legislation, then our hours and days of deliberation and discussion were in vain. This was either a cruel joke or once again a Minister of the Environment has not been able to meet a publicly and politically acceptable scheme that has been laid out before him or her in black and white. Bill 143 is diametrically opposed to everything that was recommended to the minister.

No municipality, person or corporation, being of sound mind or leadership, would dare to start through the long and expensive wilderness to create or expand a waste management system unless money and time and patience and more money are in abundant supply. All levels of government, big and small businesses, the taxpayers and last but not least the environment have all run out of time, money and patience.

It is time we got our act together and took positive steps towards a solution. We need an environmentally sound process towards dealing with waste that will supersede the NIMBYist. That has to be a word in the dictionary by now.

I understand and embrace the need to find the best environmentally sound site, and that the term "environment" must take into consultation and consideration the social, economic and cultural conditions that influence the life of man or a community, but I do not understand how municipal boundary lines have anything to do with the environment. Does a boundary line provide for a suitable natural or biophysical environment within its perimeter? Sometimes. Does the social, economic or cultural environment recognize municipal boundary lines? Hardly. Why then does a boundary line seem to supersede everything that is sacred in sound environmental planning? Boundary lines do not serve the environment but rather the politician.

It is time politicians and people look at Ontario as a whole, study its natural and biophysical environment along with the social, natural and economic conditions, and then let's get on with the job of protecting our environment.

The position that "out of sight is out of mind" and therefore waste must be disposed of close to the source is absolutely ludicrous. Sound environmental disposal should not be compromised at the expense of education or else the educational gains are self-defeating.

Let's begin to put common sense into practice, for only then will we be able to get on with the task of long-term siting that is environmentally sound, rational and affordable. For affordability does not mean violation of the environmental process but rather that sound environmental technology and planning can and will be put into practice.

Ontario is our municipality and we need to get rid of the "we and they" philosophy, since pollution anywhere affects all of us. Waste management is an Ontario problem and we need to look for Ontario solutions. It is time to end the hollow rhetoric and put our words into action.

Technology is out there but unused, while we sit around debating whether there is a better environmental mousetrap. Bill 143 should be filed under "poor legislation" and replaced with legislation that is practical, functional and economical so as not to bankrupt us before we can do something about protecting Ontario's environment.

I would like to thank you, and should you have any questions now or at any time in the future, I would be most pleased to respond in person or in writing.

Mr McClelland: We have said throughout this process that Bill 143 is an admission of failure. It is an admission of failure, as you say, to deal with the problem, which is to review and deal with the environmental assessment process and bring together the leadership that is available in this province, the technology that is available and the creativity of the countless people in and around this province who are prepared to deal with the solutions in practical ways.

I want to thank you for trying to bring that message once again before this committee, and I want to tell you as well that I hope you do not feel a great deal of frustration. The minister has said this week in the newspaper articles that I have read that she is sorry, but Bill 143 is going to go the way it is going to go and there will be no significant changes; there may be some cosmetic changes here.

I am sorry to tell you that because I see your brief as a very thoughtful, well-presented brief that says: "Let's solve the problem. Let's put aside Bill 143 and deal with the problem in a practical way." But I think you should know that the minister stated, notwithstanding what you may hear, that there will be some little changes here and there, some cosmetic flare put on it, but she has said that fundamentally Bill 143 will go. For you and the 241 others who have come before this committee and have given us some positive ideas, I hope it is not in vain, but I hasten to tell you that the minister said that it is in vain. I can only hope that, with your persuasion, maybe some of the members in the government caucus will take the message back to the minister that it is time to listen, to think in terms of the best environmentally sound solution for this province and not political expediency.

I thank you for what you have done today. I wish you success in terms of communicating the message you have brought to the government because, quite candidly, we in opposition have been unable to do that. We have tried, and with the help of people such as yourself, maybe we will be able to get at least some of the message through.

Mr Snow: I have listened to a number of the presentations over the last few weeks. It makes for great evening entertainment after a long day at work. But I had hoped, and I guess it is always the dream one has, that if you are asked to give input to a process, such as last year being on the Ministry of the Environment review team, you would at least be heard, especially when we reached conclusive agreements at the end of the day and made a presentation back which was at MOE's request. I spent those days at 2 St Clair Avenue West in Toronto. It looked like the MOE building and I thought I was in the MOE building, but maybe I was simply being hoodwinked somewhere at that time, because nothing has come from all those hours of effort and a lot of cost and time.

Then we go through the consultative process such as we are having here today and I wonder again, "Am I being heard, or is it just that we are going through the steps and they are going to do, at the end of the day, what they want to do anyhow?"

Ms Haeck: I have a couple of questions related to your presentation and they specifically refer to page 4. Because of the time allotment, I will not give you much of a preamble, other than to say I represent an area outside of Toronto so I have some great concerns about what happens to Toronto's garbage. My area does not want it, and I suspect from other people that they do not either.

First of all, partway down the page, the third paragraph, you talk about the fact that Ontario really seems to be on the table again. The first question is, do you really want all of Ontario on the table with regard to looking for a site for Toronto's garbage?

Second, down towards the bottom, in the second last paragraph, you indicate that there is technology out there but that it is unused. What kind of technology specifically are you referring to? My question really relates to, do you want an incinerator here in Lambton?


Mr Snow: I will try to answer them in the reverse order that they were given. Hopefully, I will not forget the first by the time I get back to it.

With regard to an incinerator, I have had the fortune to view a number of facilities throughout North America, and I believe incineration has some potential to it. I am not so sure we are at the point right now where it is a better means than landfilling as an end for the final waste stream that cannot be treated in some other fashion, but I think it should always be part of the process. I think it is something that you have to continue to look at, and when the day comes that the balance shifts in favour of the incinerator, and possibly some day it will, we will have to look at that very seriously.

I stated a number of times in here -- and this starts to get back into 1 and 2 -- that I think we have to stop sitting down and saying "in Lambton" or "in Toronto." We have to look at waste as being all our problem, and I think if we are going to come up with some sound rationale for where we are going to dispose, we have to look at our borders as a whole.

It is interesting that in Lambton county, when the city was separated, which was up until 1991, had they spotted a site and gone through the very same criteria we had gone through, the site would have been within the boundaries of the city, obviously, because we are staying within boundary lines, which would have put it very close to the current site, which the city now has within its boundaries. But because the county became the proponent and now had responsibility, with the same criteria being used that the city would have had to use internally, it sees the site now being down in Moore township, which is to the south of the city. So now it says the best place to put the city's waste would be at the south end of Moore township.

I do not quite understand. If it is the best place to put the city's waste, then if the city had still been separated, I would have to follow my logic through and think that it still should be down in the south end of Moore, if that is the conclusion of the final day's presentation.

Boundary lines keep shifting it around. I look at it and say, "But Ontario is what the Ministry of the Environment has responsibility for here," and therefore I do not think you can start drawing boundary lines. You have to look in Ontario and say, "Where are the best places to take and dispose of our waste?"

There are counties around, and it will say so in my report as you read through it later on, that really do not have suitable siting facilities within them. What are they going to do? Are we going to take the best they have, which may be poor, and put it within that site, or are we going to stop this boundary line thing and erase it from our minds and say: "We are going to have to look at Ontario. Where are the best places to put it?"

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee. We appreciate your coming. It has been a very thoughtful and interesting brief. If there is additional information that you or anyone else attending these hearings or are aware of this hearing has that you would like to share with the committee, you can do so in writing through our clerk.


The Chair: I would like to call our next presentation, the Huron county waste management master plan. Please come forward. Would you begin your presentation by introducing yourselves to the committee. You have 20 minutes for your presentation, and we would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions.

Mr Tomes: I am Tom Tomes, chairman of Huron county waste management and a councillor of the county of Huron. I have with me Jo-Anne Richter, our waste management project coordinator. We appreciate having the chance to provide our comments on this bill.

In June 1988, realizing that many of the waste disposal sites in Huron county were nearing capacity, the Huron county council initiated a waste management master plan in order to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy for managing solid waste in the county. The project is being jointly funded by the Ministry of the Environment and is proceeding under the terms of reference approved by the ministry.

When the study began there were 17 municipal landfill sites in the county. It is estimated that by 1996, 10 of the 17 landfill sites will be closed, with all the sites full by the year 2008. A new waste disposal site to serve the municipalities in the county will be one component of the waste management system being developed under the master plan process. It is estimated that a new site will be operational in 1996 at the earliest. Clearly the county initiated the master plan process at an appropriate time in order to avoid being faced with a waste disposal crisis at a future date.

It is within this context that the county reviewed Bill 143 and the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. Specifically, we wish to comment on the proposal to amend section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act.

It is proposed that section 29 provide the director of the Ministry of the Environment with the power to require a municipality to collect waste, provide waste disposal facilities or replace or repair those facilities. In addition, the director may require a municipality to collect or transport waste, including waste from outside the boundaries of the municipality, and to accept and manage waste, including waste from outside the boundaries of the municipality.

The provisions which would allow the director to require municipalities to collect and/or accept waste from outside its boundaries are of particular concern to Huron county.

On January 20, 1992, the Minister of the Environment proposed a series of amendments to Bill 143, some of which relate to section 29. These include making the minister, rather than the director, responsible for emergency waste management orders and imposing a five-year limit on any provincial order requiring a municipality to accept waste from outside its borders. These amendments do not satisfy our concerns.

It is our position that the proposed amendments to section 29 of the EPA compromise the integrity of the master planning process. It is inconsistent with the terms of reference for the Huron county waste management master plan previously approved by the ministry and jeopardizes the public consultation program which has developed in conjunction with the master plan study.

The proposed amendment is unfair to the municipality and those residents who will be unwilling hosts and neighbours of a landfill site. It is difficult to ask any one municipality to accept waste from the rest of the county. The possibility that they may also be required to accept waste from areas outside the county only enhances that inequity. The people who live around the site will never know what the future holds in terms of the amount of traffic using the site, the source of the waste and the expected lifespan of the site.

In completing the master plan and developing recommendations for a preferred site, we are required to undertake extensive studies to determine the impacts that a landfill site would place on a community. Our ability to determine these impacts would be severely hampered because we would not know who the users of the site might be, where the waste would come from or how long the site will actually operate.

The proposed amendments would destroy the credibility of staff and local officials who have been involved in the waste management strategy. The residents of Huron country have been actively involved in the master plan study, recognizing the need for a waste management strategy and new waste disposal facilities. However, they do fear that the waste management study will include the import of waste or that garbage from outside the county will be brought to the county site once a site is opened. We have always relied on the terms of reference to dismiss that possibility.

The possibility that a county landfill site would be required to accept waste from outside the boundaries of Huron county will have the effect of diminishing the public and political support of the Huron county waste management study. Should the proposed amendment be approved, we anticipate that we will experience immediate difficulties in continuing our master plan study, including delays in obtaining access to candidate site areas to determine their suitability as a landfill site, loss of public confidence in the process and public mistrust and suspicion about the information being provided. It will certainly increase the time period required to complete the study and may be a critical factor in determining whether or not we are able to achieve our goal of 1996 for a site opening.


The proposed amendment places a burden on those who have responsibly planned in advance for waste management. Through successful completion of the master plan and subsequent approvals, Huron county will be able to provide waste management facilities for residents for a 40-year period. If the county is required to accept waste from outside sources, that planning period could be significantly reduced.

The proposal to establish a maximum five-year time period does not alleviate our concerns. The county site, which will be designed with a capacity of 2,865,354 cubic metres, is intended to serve a population of approximately 60,000 Huron county residents. It is not being developed to provide an interim disposal site for municipalities which have found they are unable to manage their own waste. Every cubic metre of capacity filled by another municipality under an emergency order by the minister will result in the loss of that capacity for use by our own municipalities and require that we begin a new search for another landfill site that much earlier.

In conclusion, it is felt that the proposed amendment to section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act is inconsistent with previous ministry policy and unfair to those involved in the master planning process who are seeking a means of providing safe, long-term waste management facilities for the community. The proposed amendment does not recognize those who have responsibly undertaken to plan in advance for future waste disposal needs, but does provide a way out for those who have not done so. We would suggest that the Ministry of the Environment assume authority for the entire waste management planning process for all municipalities in Ontario if it wishes to assume authority which would permit it to direct where waste should be disposed. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation.

Mr McLean: The last paragraph indicates that the minister wants to provide direction for waste management across Ontario. The previous speaker indicated that he thought waste management should be an Ontario-wide proposition. You indicate that in Huron county you do not want anybody else taking garbage in there or anybody involved once you get a site approved. Would Bill 143 not speed up the process and the approval of your site?

Mr Tomes: No, I do not think so.

Mr McLean: I thought Bill 143 gave the minister the authority to proceed once you had all the studies necessary, documents filed, except an environmental assessment that would allow her to proceed to name a landfill site. Is that not your interpretation of the act?

Mr Tomes: No.

Mr McLean: What is your interpretation?

Ms Richter: Our concern with Bill 143 is that we are proceeding under set terms of reference. They were established prior to 1988, before we started our master planning process, and we are following those terms of reference, whether it is right or wrong. Our concern is that we have established a very active public consultation process. We have told people that we are looking for a landfill site to serve Huron county residents. The delays would come about through the public again. If they realize there is a possibility that waste might come from outside of the borders, we do not feel that we will have the cooperation that we need to proceed through the process and then to identify a site that would be suitable for our use.

Mr McLean: So in your estimation, Bill 143 is a detriment to the approval of establishing in Huron?

Ms Richter: Yes, it is a detriment because it is in contradiction to our terms of reference.

Mr McLean: Your terms of reference?

Ms Richter: That is right.

Mr McLean: But what about the ministry's terms of reference?

Ms Richter: The terms of reference that we are proceeding under were approved by the Ministry of the Environment.

Mr McLean: Previously.

Ms Richter: Right.

Mr McLean: But this bill is changing those terms of reference now, is it not?

Ms Richter: We do not think it is. We think we are still going to proceed under those terms of reference, and we have this additional difficulty.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to pursue this as well, because the minister has always had some tremendous emergency powers. The previous government in my riding allocated a greenfield landfill site, "Put it there." So this is something that is of major concern to me, and it seems to me that under any emergency power the minister has a tremendous amount of power to do that.

The previous speaker indicated that he would like to go back to the old Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee, SWISC, process, where Metro's power to expropriate in any part of the province would be reinstated and would allow it to expropriate land for a landfill site anywhere. Bill 143 specifically says that Metro can only look in the Metro-York area and that all other areas are excluded from those powers.

I would like you to comment on that, because this is a very difficult decision for me. I think I am the only person in this room who has had the horrendous experience of living next door to Metro's landfill site at Brock West, which has been condemned even by Metro's engineers. My community is certainly not looking forward to having the whole province opened up.

Just to give you an idea, Brock West has about 18 million tonnes of smelly garbage in it. People cannot use their backyards, they are getting sick, and they wanted to open up Brock South, which is on an aquifer 50 metres from a creek. They have 140,000 tonnes of garbage in Brock North, which is leaching, and they wanted to put another 7 million tonnes in P1, which is in the north end of my riding.

When you start talking about opening up the province, you are really opening up a sore point in my riding. I would like your comments about whether we should go back to the old SWISC and open up the whole province to Metro.

Mr Tomes: We have 17 landfill sites, and we did a lot of around-the-county studies or open houses, and it came in very clearly. The 17 existing ones are still going to be operating. Not only the local municipal councils but the local people there did not want garbage coming in from anywhere else. There seemed to be quite an issue, and the issue countywise was that it was strictly going to be a county-wide site. The residents where the sites are proposed, the candidate sites, are accepting the fact that it is county-wide, but every time we go to a meeting: "We do not want anybody else's. We will accept Huron county's." We are told we have to listen to the local people. They will accept what is theirs but do not want anything else. I will let Jo-Anne explain.

Ms Richter: I agree, and my perception is that if we are looking for a place to dispose of Toronto's waste, we will say that up front and then go and find that place, regardless of whether you are going to look in other parts of Ontario. If you want to look for a place for Toronto's waste in Huron county, as far as I am concerned, that is fine, but let's be fair to the residents and tell them up front that is what we are doing.

We have spent the last three and a half years going to an awful lot of meetings and open houses talking to a lot of people in the county, and we are telling them what the process is. The credibility of our process and of the master plan process is going to be destroyed because all of a sudden we are changing the rules of the game on them, and that is not fair.

Mr Wiseman: Under Bill 143, Metro has been instructed to look for a landfill site within Metro and within York and all other parts of the province are off the table.

Ms Richter: Our concern --

The Chair: Mr Wiseman, your time is up. Mr McClelland, you have the floor.


Mr McClelland: I would ask you to finish your comment in response to Mr Wiseman. Let me simply say that anybody who is here this morning who believes that any previous Minister of the Environment could have directed a site like that is living in a dream world, and I do not think that anybody here is foolish enough to accept that. There is a basic question, why are our problems not already solved? The reality is that there have been some processes in place that need to be fixed up.

We have heard from the previous speaker that an initiative was under way to look at the master planning process and the environmental assessment process, recognizing that these processes needed repair. That is the wheel that is broken; that is the wheel that needs to be fixed.

I say to the people of this area: "Don't be duped into believing that this is a Metro garbage bill. It is not." If the government members are trying to tell you that we are talking about Metro garbage, understand, as you well do, that section 29 says that what cuts one way can cut the other way. This bill can come back to haunt the people of this county and every county across the province of Ontario when the minister, as is blatantly obvious with the introduction of this bill, has no handles and no grasp on what is taking place. We heard that from the previous speaker.

It is totally out of control. It is a hodgepodge of trying to use a Band-Aid as the solution. It will come back to haunt people across this province because section 29 allows the minister to order the people of Lambton county, the people of Sarnia to accept for five years the garbage of wherever. Bear in mind that when that happens, it will take nothing to extend it another five years. Once it is in the door, recognize that can happen. The people of Lambton ought not to be duped into being fooled that Bill 143 is protecting them. In fact potentially it does quite the opposite, and it removes the protection that they have under existing laws, the environmental protection and environmental assessment, and people better understand that the fundamental philosophy of this bill is that the minister says, "I know best, and I will dictate and tell you where it will go."

Planning is based on capacity and knowing capacity and projections. Bill 143 throws that all out the window. I want you to expand on that in terms of how you plan looking at capacity and looking at your needs and what Bill 143 does to you.

Mr Tomes: We cannot plan for Bill 143. Our site is geared for 40 years, but it is also taking into account that we have to phase out the rest of the landfill sites. So it is not as if it is from 1996 we expect every municipality to be coming in there. All the other 16 that are operating right now will be allowed to be phased out, which will take some of them another 10 years. So we are not planning a great big site. We do not have the capacity for Toronto.

Ms Richter: Or anyone else in Ontario. Our concern is not with Toronto's garbage; we do not care where the garbage comes from. We do not want it if it is not within the Huron county borders.

Mr McClelland: Understood. Thank you.

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


The Chair: Would the County of Lambton please come forward. As I said to the others, just begin by introducing yourself. You have 20 minutes in total for your presentation, and we would appreciate it if you leave a few minutes at the end for questions. Would you begin now please.

Mr Kutyba: Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you this morning. My name is Jim Kutyba, and I am the administrator of waste management for the county of Lambton. It is important to the county to have this opportunity to speak to the committee since we, including our member municipalities, will continue to deliver waste management services to our residents. Therefore any legislation affecting this service delivery should have our input and comment. The lobbying of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to have a public review of Bill 143 prior to promulgation is to be commended.

I would like to address some aspects of the proposed bill, particularly those relevant to the county's present situation. I will begin with a brief overview of the existing situation. Bill 35, An Act respecting the Amalgamation of the City of Sarnia and the Town of Clearwater and the addition of the amalgamated City to the County of Lambton, was given royal assent in July 1989. A number of issues were dealt with in this bill, but the one of interest and concern to my department is part VIII dealing with waste disposal. Parts VII and VIII of Bill 35 embody many of the principles of Bill 201, now section 209a of the Municipal Act, which allows county government to assume waste management powers.

Section 49(1) of Bill 35 states, "On and after the 1st day of January, 1991, the county shall provide facilities for receiving, dumping and disposing of waste and no local municipality or local board thereof shall provide such facilities." The county assumed the assets and liabilities of six operating municipal landfill sites on this date. It currently utilizes these six landfills and two private landfills to dispose of its municipal solid waste. As part of its mandated responsibility, the county took a number of initiatives to smooth transition of responsibility at the end of 1990. These included establishment of a waste management department, establishment of a landfill negotiating committee to deal with those municipalities whose landfill sites were assumed by the county on January 1, 1991, and an agreement with the city of Sarnia to jointly make application for an exemption from the Environmental Assessment Act for an interim expansion of the Sarnia landfill, as per MOE policy.

The restructured county of Lambton and the MOE are jointly engaged in a waste management master plan to chart a waste management strategy for the county for a 20-year planning period. The master plan document was scheduled to be completed by the end of 1992 with submission to provincial agencies for review to follow. In order to implement the recommendations of the waste management master plan, especially the landfill component, the county feels a five- to seven-year total time allotment is required. Because of this time lag, at least three municipalities -- Sarnia and area, Grand Bend and Sombra township -- will require short-term disposal capacity until the long-term plan can be put in place. The county's attempts to find solutions to these short-term needs have been complicated by several factors summarized below.

First, when the ownership of local municipal landfills was transferred to the county on January 1, 1991, the service areas for those landfills did not change to allow the county the most flexibility in handling its new mandate. The county of Lambton made a presentation to the Deputy Minister of the Environment in the early part of September 1990 to request that the service areas of those municipal landfills be broadened to include the whole county of Lambton, allowing for the short-term flexibility required to deal with municipal solid waste as envisioned by Bill 35.

A county-wide service area for these landfills would have enabled, and still would enable, the county of Lambton to most efficiently manage municipal solid waste in the short term while implementing the longer-term goals of the waste management master plan. The deputy minister indicated that the minister did not have the power to change service areas without a mandatory hearing under the EPA. This was not an avenue the county wanted to pursue, considering the projected cost to prepare for and attend such a hearing versus the potential benefit. The change in service areas, if done at no or very little cost, is still an attractive and sensible method of managing our waste in the short term.

Second, the town of Petrolia's landfill site was sold to Philip Environmental just prior to assumption by the county on January 1, 1991. The Petrolia site contained approximately 72% of the remaining landfill capacity available to the county. The time lag, approximately one and a half years, between royal assent to Bill 35 and the date that the county assumed control of the landfill component of waste management resulted in the county's loss of one key disposal site.

Although the county does and will continue to make some use of private sites, the county considers it unwise to become too dependent on the private sector. The county has concerns about using a private landfill, such as Laidlaw's Warwick township site or now Philip Environmental's Petrolia site, unless the site can be proven to meet the same engineering and planning standards expected of new facilities. There are present and future liability concerns where municipalities use a private site that may not meet current standards. Until the Laidlaw and Philip Environmental sites are proven to be environmentally acceptable, the county intends to limit potential liability by sending only current municipal users to those sites.

Third, in developing the Lambton county waste management master plan export was considered, but the consensus of various county groups, including municipal councils, the public, the waste management master plan steering committee and the waste management master plan public advisory committee, is that the county should deal with its solid waste within its boundaries. The recent experience, in 1990, of Metro Toronto casting about the province for landfills under the guise of the GTA has strengthened local resolve that municipalities need to deal with their waste within their own boundaries. Waste export does little to promote initiatives to change old habits. Thus the export of waste, for example, to the Ridge/Browning-Ferris Industries landfill in Kent county is not an option that Lambton would prefer, either in the short or long term.

Finally, the county's efforts to secure a short-term expansion of the Sarnia site have been significantly delayed by the Ministry of the Environment's lack of staff and resource commitment to expedite review of the application.


I will now elaborate on some of the above issues with reference to Bill 143.

According to the proposed Bill 143, part III, the Interim Waste Authority and its member municipalities will be exempted from the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act and approvals of the Ontario Municipal Board and/or the Environmental Assessment Board. The intent of these sections, which is to allow the IWA to deal with its waste stream within its own boundaries, is commendable and a position the county has, in the past, strongly supported as a general principle. The problem lies with the perception that Bill 143 is a political solution to resolve the GTA/IWA problem and also an apparent double standard in the application of the legislation.

The county has proposed methods of dealing with its new responsibilities which would provide cost-effective solutions in the short term while still pursuing a longer-term, comprehensive solution through the completion and implementation of a waste management master plan. The IWA, on the other hand, is to be given carte blanche exemption from the same legislation in order to deal with a problem created by the waste management process promoted by the provincial government. This process, the waste management master plan process, because of its convoluted, evolutionary nature, is the cause of crisis in a number of municipalities that elected to follow it with a desire to do the right thing and plan for their future needs. Some thought needs to be given to this issue by your committee for those counties that may wish to assume the waste management powers embodied in section 209a of the Municipal Act. Presumably any county wanting to assume these powers would do so because of the expected efficiencies from both a cost and management point of view.

Allowing counties the ability to manage the existing short-term landfill capacity in the most efficient manner through broadened service areas would, it seems to me, be a reasonable solution. It is unreasonable to ask these same counties to apply for and incur the cost of seeking other approvals, such as exemptions from the EAA for interim expansions, when a low-cost, straightforward solution is available. I believe counties would be willing to undertake a reasonable process of approval which would involve public consultation and consideration by county council prior to any revised service area approval or implementation. The rationalization of waste within the county boundary utilizing the larger number of small landfills assumed by the county in the short term will allow the county to move towards an orderly implementation of its long-term plans, while at the same time carrying out a systematic closure of these small local sites which will benefit all.

I would therefore like to recommend to the committee that serious consideration be given towards revising Bill 143 to amend the EPA to reflect the need of counties to manage the waste within their control so that upon application by the county and within a defined set of parameters, such as public consultation, the individual certificates of approval of those landfills assumed can be amended to reflect a county-wide, or equally appropriate, service area.

The second point I would like to elaborate on is one which I think is echoed by other municipal experiences in this province. Lambton county has been balancing the completion of the Lambton county waste management master plan with the need for short-term landfill capacity, as discussed above. On the one hand, the master plan, with the cooperation and funding of the MOE, began in late 1985 with a view to developing a long-term plan for handling its waste. The county and its member municipalities did not have a landfill capacity problem at this point. Needless to say, today the county has still not completed its master plan. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.

The MOE had initially committed funding in the amount of 50% with the proviso that the county follow the MOE terms of reference, which were intended to ensure uniformity among master plans. The MOE has been responsive to a number of changes to the plan direction, such as increased public consultation, perhaps because of an unclear overall provincial waste management strategy. These changes lengthened the waste management master plan process such that today the county is without a completed master plan and faces a situation where export of our waste out of county is a possibility. The present situation is aggravated by an apparent lack of commitment by the province to ensure adequate funds are available to complete the plan in a manner that reflects local issues and constraints.

The present Minister of the Environment is focusing strongly on the 3Rs -- reduction, reuse and recycling -- hierarchy of waste management to achieve targets of at least 25% reduction of municipal waste to disposal in 1992 and at least 50% in the year 2000. The recently established waste reduction office, which coordinates the master plan functions as part of its mandate, gives the impression that other aspects of the waste management hierarchy are not receiving the same priority as the politically sexy 3Rs issue. Inordinate amounts of MOE staff time and dollars should not be spent on the 3Rs development to the detriment of the remaining established programs, such as waste management master plans. The need for long-term planning should not take a back seat to a current initiative but should be addressed in a manner which allows both to proceed in an expeditious manner. The result of not providing adequate dollars and staff time for review of short-term and long-term planning will be requests from municipalities for Bill 143 types of solutions to their problems. There will be no other choice, since they will have exhausted their remaining landfill capacity by following the process in the belief that it will provide a timely, environmentally correct solution.

An issue closely related to the ability of municipalities to develop waste management systems in an environmentally effective and cost-effective manner is that of flow control. This issue has arisen in Metro Toronto where, as a result of the private sector haulers diverting waste to other landfills within and outside the province, the municipalities' tipping fee revenue, which is used to fund various waste reduction initiatives, has decreased substantially. In the local context, Bill 35, which contains a number of the provisions of Bill 201, did give the county of Lambton limited flow control by allowing it to direct lower-tier municipally collected waste to a given landfill. The provisions of Bill 35 did not address privately collected ICI wastes.

The premise behind "true cost accounting" is that tipping fees be set at a level sufficient to sustain waste management activities with very little outside assistance in the way of tax dollars. With regulations the way they are now, private haulers are able to skim off the best portion of the waste, the ICI -- industrial, commercial and institutional -- from which revenue is gleaned, through direct charges to that sector on a user-pay basis, and leave the non-generating part of the waste stream -- the residential -- for the municipality to look after. With the ability to impose flow control, the municipality can control the revenues from tipping fees, enabling it to better finance its waste management initiatives, to the benefit of the municipal taxpayer who ultimately shoulders the cost burden.

On behalf of the county of Lambton, I thank you for the opportunity to speak on the above issues. If there is any further assistance or clarification I can provide, I will do so.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your presentation. We have just five minutes remaining. We have a request from the parliamentary assistant to clarify and each of the caucuses desires to ask a question. What I am going to propose is that we allow the parliamentary assistant to clarify, ask each of the caucuses to place its question on the table and then you can respond to everything you have heard. If you take some notes, it will probably help.

Mr O'Connor: You raised some concerns, I noted, on page 3. Just to get some clarification on it and maybe ease some concerns you have, I will ask Alex Giffen to address them. It may help the matter a bit.

Mr Giffen: On page 3 you indicate that part III refers to the activities of the Interim Waste Authority. There is a misunderstanding there. The Interim Waste Authority is governed by parts I and II of Bill 143. The Interim Waste Authority will be expected to follow the environmental assessment process. It is not being exempted from that process. Rather the bill will scope the assessment that will be done by the Interim Waste Authority. Part III deals with the interim measures to provide for extensions of the landfill sites in Peel region and the city of Vaughan, where the Keele Valley site is located. It is operated and owned by the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. There is some confusion there between the two parts of the legislation.

Mr Ramsay: Thank you very much, Jim, for your presentation. I am pleased that you are happy to have the opportunity today to do this and to have this public consultation. I just want to state for the record here in Sarnia that if it had not been for the Progressive Conservative caucus and the Liberal caucus we would not be here, because the government members did not want to have public hearings. I think it is important too and I hope it is not a waste of time. I hope your words are going to be taken seriously.

Mrs Mathyssen: I know that the waste reduction office is currently streamlining the master planning process to address some of the concerns you mentioned. Have you been in touch with the waste reduction office? Have you had any discussions with them about this streamlining process?

Mr McLean: The questions I have, which you can write down and get back to me on, are how much did the county pay for the landfill sites it got from the other municipalities, how much did Petrolia get for its site that was sold and where is Sarnia's hospital waste going to?

The Chair: There are approximately three minutes remaining, if you care to both respond and sum up in that time.


Mr Kutyba: All right. Maybe I will speak to the waste reduction questions first. We do have an adviser from the waste reduction office, Juanita Berkhout, and she has kept the committee up to speed, mainly over the fall of last year when a lot of the intensive committee work was being done that Mr Snow referred to. We have not seen anything come forth from the waste reduction office yet in the way of what those amendments are going to be. We have heard verbally what they are but not had them in writing. I think a lot of the amendments are not going to impact the county, because we are fairly far enough along with our master plan and we have been responsive to the 3Rs issues to build them into the plan over the last couple of years since Mr Bradley brought forth the 25% and 50% reduction issues. Did that answer that? Carry on? The other easy questions?

The Chair: Yes. The time is yours. I will let you know. We have about one minute remaining.

Mr Kutyba: Okay. On the municipal landfills that were assumed by the county, the county has established a landfill negotiating committee which has over the last year and a half met with the individual municipalities to resolve this issue of assets and liabilities.

The problem has been that in Bill 35, and I think also in Bill 201, it says that the assets and liabilities assumed are to be determined by regulation. The regulation that came forth from Municipal Affairs in September 1990, I think it was, basically said it would be market value of those landfills. We have a few landfills that are closed. It is pretty tough for us to go out to determine a market value for those sites. You cannot put them on the open market. Who in his right mind is going to buy them? All they are is a liability.

The deal that was worked at the Petrolia site was a fairly complex deal. Basically the town was given $300,000 up front, with the contingency that every tonne of waste that goes into that site under the current service area would glean them $10 a tonne. If the company, Philip Environmental, was successful in expanding the service area to all Ontario, as it still wants to do, the town would glean $20 a tonne from that waste. So it is a little bit more complex.

The Chair: I would like to thank you very much for coming before the committee this morning. If there is additional information you would like to share with us in response to some of the comments or questions that have been made, please feel free to do so in writing. We very much appreciate your taking the time.


The Chair: I would like to call our next presentation, the city of Sarnia. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Please introduce yourself. Welcome to the standing committee on social development.

Mr Bradley: Thank you very much, and welcome to Sarnia. It is a pleasure to have a standing committee in the city. We are often overlooked in these types of discussions, so we do appreciate your coming to Sarnia. Like your first speaker, I have been watching the deliberations of the committee on TV late in the evening, which tells you a little bit about my social life.

The Chair: Someone told me they thought they were better than drugs for falling asleep, better than a sleeping pill, a cure for insomnia, but I did not agree at all. I thought they were very interesting.

Mr Bradley: Madam Chair, I would not say that. It is a toss-up between the weather channel and your hearings.


Mr Bradley: But I say that with respect.

The Chair: Thank you.

Mr Bradley: It is the nature of the subject we discuss today.

The Chair: Hansard will note the laughter, please. Thank you.

Mr Bradley: It is the nature of the topic, but it is a very important topic, and I think it is very hard for us as political people to get the message across to the public about how important this is.

The Chair: Yes, it is a point well made.

Mr Bradley: I serve as chairman of the environmental committee of AMO, and we have presented a full brief on this issue to you. I do not intend today to go through this brief again. I do have a member of the committee here, Dawn Erskine, who is a member of London council, who also was involved in the presentation of this document. We have presented the document to Ruth Grier, and we also have made a presentation to your committee through our president, Helen Cooper.

Reading the bill indicates quite clearly that the provincial government is admitting that the environmental assessment process as it now exists does not work for waste management and for siting landfills. All municipalities want is a fair and equitable treatment for all communities in Ontario, not legislation that is specific to the greater Toronto area and ignores the enormous and complex problems we are facing throughout the province.

I have been on the waste management committee of Lambton county for the last six years. The process we have gone through has been one that is frustrating, expensive and time-consuming, with little progress in the actual siting and bringing about of a new landfill site. Community after community, county after county is dealing with different rules, interpretations and extremely expensive consultant and legal bills, without a dime of it being directly invested in environmental protection.

I give you the example of our own landfill site in Sarnia, which is now operated by the county. We are less than two years away from closure, and we are receiving no special treatment from the province. We believe we fit the definition of a crisis, yet our needs are being ignored, as are many others of the 80 landfills that are near closure in this province that do need extensions or special consideration.

In the last two or three years -- and that is why you see so many people here today -- this county has been barraged by different proposals to service Toronto waste. I joined county council last year as the first mayor from the city who has sat there for 77 years, and I joined with a vote of 40% representing the old city. On five different occasions, we had to fight back efforts to look at proposals to bring in Toronto waste to this area. I understood the reason why county politicians were looking at those options. It is because of this process that has frustrated them, and the expense. All we are looking for in Lambton county is to deal with our own problems and landfill sites in a simple, straightforward and inexpensive manner which at the same time safeguards the rights of our citizens and builds on environmental protection.

I do not intend to dwell on parts I or II of the act. However, it is part III that causes a great deal of concern for any municipal politician. I do not want to sound alarmist, but I believe the ability of the provincial government to override municipal agreements and many other environmental laws regarding the siting of environmental assessments for landfills is a dangerous power to put in the hands of any government without appropriate protection for the ordinary citizen.

The fact that you are here today and there have been a large number of municipalities, lobby groups and environmentalists who have spoken against this bill tells you the greatest flaw is the fact that there was absolutely no consultation with the impacted parties prior to the introduction of the act. This concern was drawn to the minister's attention at our January 20 meeting and she indicated there was a serious gap in the communication process and it would not happen again. Consultation is something we believe is crucial if we are to continue to work as partners in resolving some of the serious environmental problems we face.

I will say to you that after the minister's comments, we have been dealing with the Ministry of the Environment and the minister's staff on different other environmental legislation and I detect a great change in attitude. There has been, I think, a willingness by the minister and the minister's staff to make a sincere effort to work with us at the beginning of the process on legislation and not at the end in reaction to entrenched positions and legislation.

While I appreciate that the committee is visiting to listen to us across this province as municipalities, we believe the legislation would have been much better and more acceptable to all the interested parties if there had been a great deal more provincial-municipal dialogue before it was introduced in the Legislature.

I also want to point out to you -- I know many of you are former municipal politicians and you are aware -- that we are not a special-interest group. Municipalities represent the same taxpayers and constituents you do as elected politicians, and we believe we should have the same rights of input on legislation that directly impacts on our ability to govern and has severe economic impact on our taxpayers.

The simple solution is to guarantee consultation with any party that is directly impacted as a required practice in provincial legislation. It does not take away the rights of the province, but I think it brings about better legislation, as long as the consultation is not window-dressing, simply to exchange views. I think it has to be a true building of legislation from the ground up.

There is no question that the Environmental Assessment Act and the waste management master plan and their procedures do not work for the identification and siting of Ontario landfills. There is a crying need for a new Waste Management Act which is separate from the Environmental Assessment Act. The very introduction of Bill 143 indicates that my previous comments are correct, with a specific solution to a particular political problem in the Toronto area so the Interim Waste Authority does not have to explore alternatives, something all other municipalities have to do.

There are too many possible overrides in Bill 143 and they are too selective, as they create the possibility of omitting the environmental assessment process for three sites in the greater Toronto area, which is grossly unfair, as it selectively deals with the problems of three municipalities in the greater Toronto area and does nothing to address the many other communities, including the Halton area, the county of Wellington, the city of Kingston and Lambton county, that are also experiencing similar, if not more serious, waste management and landfill siting difficulties. I believe the regional municipality of Durham and the municipality of Toronto do not have crises for the landfills named in this act, and I believe the statistics at the present time support that.


In November 1991, at a meeting between AMO, the Ministry of the Environment and the minister's staff, it was noted by the minister's staff that the only landfill site in immediate crisis was the Britannia sanitary landfill site in the region of Peel. The Britannia site is scheduled to close in May or June of 1992. The Keele Valley site in the regional municipality of York has benefited from significant waste reduction and does not appear to be in a crisis situation at this time. In fact, there is information from Metro Toronto that indicates Keele perhaps will not reach capacity until 1999. There are many other communities that have landfills that will reach capacity prior to the ones for which this act has been introduced.

I sincerely question the need to railroad this legislation through the House without proper consultation with all the parties so we can fully understand and explore the ramifications, environmentally and financially. I would suggest to you that the best solution is that the minister deal directly with the Britannia situation while developing a new Waste Management Act which applies equitably and fairly to all Ontario communities, and also to define to us what is a crisis situation.

If you ever wonder why there is alienation in northern Ontario, southwestern Ontario and eastern Ontario towards Metro Toronto -- or the province of Toronto, as it is commonly called by us -- this legislation is a classic example of why. Our taxpayers are being treated differently than the taxpayers of the Toronto area, without any effort by the provincial government to address the overall process of environmental assessment and waste management where all municipalities would be treated fairly and equally.

There is a great deal of intermingling throughout this legislation of the responsibilities of municipalities and the province. As you know, there is a process under way between the province and the municipalities right now called disentanglement, a process we have high hopes for in eliminating waste and duplication in government. This legislation should be part of those discussions.

While there have been some changes made by the minister to the bill -- and I congratulate her on doing that; I think they addressed some of the concerns we had in certain areas -- I do not believe it changes the fundamental concerns about Bill 143. A simplistic way of stating it is that the province seems to want to govern the rules of waste management and environmental assessment but pass the financial responsibilities to the municipalities. That is not my definition of a partnership or fairness. We would prefer to see that before there is any further movement on the financing of the waste management system or any of the initiative papers presently released, we have the ability as municipalities to fully understand all the financial impacts of the proposed changes before they are introduced.

In conclusion, I would simply suggest that you recommend the bill be withdrawn and you work with AMO and the municipalities and the other interested groups to develop a Waste Management Act separate from the Environmental Assessment Act which addresses solid waste management for Ontario municipalities and which applies equitably and fairly to all Ontario communities. Do not proceed until the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs paper on statutory authority for communities is presented to municipalities in 1992 and we have completed the process and the issues have been resolved between us.

The Chair: Thank you very much for an excellent presentation. I have a number of people who would like to ask some questions. In total there are 10 minutes. I am going to suggest three minutes for each caucus and one minute to allow the mayor to sum up at the end. First is Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: Thank you, your worship, for your presentation. I would like to point out a couple of things, though. On page 3 you say, "I can tell you quite clearly, the citizens of this area do not want Toronto waste," and then on page 9 you say the bill should be withdrawn. If this bill is withdrawn, Lambton county is back on the table for Metropolitan Toronto's site selection search. There are no ifs, no ands and no buts; that is the result of the withdrawal of this bill.

The reason I am saying this is because the first three quarters of this bill deals with the restriction of Metropolitan Toronto to have to deal with its garbage close to home. That is the philosophy of the bill and that is the direction that is written into the bill. The withdrawal of it means that all of Ontario is back into the hopper, including, incidentally, my riding, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. I do not know if you were here earlier, but the audience has heard that Metro has proposed four landfill sites in my riding, one with about 16 million tonnes in it and another with 143,000 tonnes of garbage in it. So this is of major concern to my residents, who are absolutely fed up with Metropolitan Toronto's mismanagement of waste. They welcome the parts of this bill that restrict Metropolitan Toronto's site selection to the area closest to it. To withdraw the bill, as the opposition has suggested and as you have suggested today, would result in all of Ontario being back on the table, including Lambton county.

Mr Ramsay: Bring another bill in.

Mr Bradley: I would like to suggest the dilemma to Mr Wiseman. We have been under this pressure for the last three years anyhow and we have been prepared to use all the different legislation we can to prevent the importation of Toronto waste. This bill, by being selective in some of the overrides -- and they are there, but I have faith. I think Mrs Grier is a minister who has an inner belief that she will never have to use some of the overrides in the legislation. However, ministers change and governments change.

I am very concerned that the rules are going to be selective. As I said, our side is going through a crisis, if you want to define crisis by length of time. We are under this pressure anyhow as it relates to Toronto waste. I would prefer to see legislation that addresses all the concerns and is not hurried through the House. That is part of the problem we have right now with the Environmental Assessment Act and the Waste Management Act. Bits and pieces of legislation have been put together over the years, and I have not met one party at the provincial or the municipal level that thinks those acts are functioning. If we have to wait six months, the government has the power to hold back any application for bringing in Toronto waste in the meantime, but let's have the best legislation possible.

Mr McLean: I am curious to know where the garbage and waste from Sarnia hospitals are going. Does all your garbage go to the landfill site?

Mr Bradley: That is a question I cannot honestly answer. I believe one of the hospitals has an incinerator. I am not sure where it is disposed of. It could possibly be the Sarnia landfill site; I honestly do not know.

Mr McLean: You spent a fair bit of time talking about waste and duplication. The briefs we have had so far have been printed on both sides of the page. You have nine pages printed on one side. Why would you not have it printed on both sides?

Mr Bradley: I stand chastised.

Mr McClelland: You indicate in your brief that taxpayers are being treated differently outside Toronto. I would hasten to add that taxpayers within the GTA are being treated differently as well. There is a mix of rules, principles and procedures within the GTA as well. I suppose it depends on what day of the week it is and how the minister might be feeling on that particular day. God forbid that some day some terrible guy like myself should be sitting, as my friends would say, in the minister's chair.

Mr Ramsay: Or Murdoch.

Mr McClelland: Or big, bad Bill Murdoch, whom I want to welcome here.

I think you are right. I think Mrs Grier is committed in terms of environmental principles, but the very principles that are embodied in Bill 143 could be used by somebody to our detriment.

One of the things I want to touch on very briefly -- and I hope it is not indicative of what is happening with this committee hearing -- is that Mr Wiseman just talked about the disaster that would befall us if Bill 143 was withdrawn, but the government is saying, "We'll only hear what we want to hear; we'll only see what we want to see." The rest of your statement talks about developing a Waste Management Act separate from the EAA which addresses the problem. Bill 143 does not address the problem, your worship, I agree with you. What we are hearing from the government is: "Don't pull Bill 143 because disaster will befall us. The sky will fall down upon us." It is not listening to what you are saying. You and others are saying: "Let's deal with the problem. Let's fix the wheel that is broken." I say to the government members, listen to what people are saying here today.

I share your concern too, sir, about being told what to do by a minister, whoever he or she may be in the future, yet being charged with the responsibility of picking up the tab. I wonder if you might comment a little bit further on that.

Mr Bradley: I think that is part of this whole disentanglement process. Municipalities really have a sincere belief, working with the former government and with this government, that we need to separate the roles of government. We also need to deliver programs better and not work in conflicting positions. More and more, we are seeing legislation or initiative papers that really say, "We want you to do this and this; however, you will find the money from your local property tax base to support these initiatives." I do not think that is appropriate.

For example, in Lambton county we are spending millions on deciding on a landfill site and we are not achieving anything. We are probably seven years away from it. We are not getting any direction. We have to guess continually at the direction of what they will look for when we get to the board. The cost to our taxpayers is horrendous. That is why county politicians often look at these off-the-wall proposals for gravel pits and greenfields and everything else, because they are concerned about the economics, even though they are not environmentally correct. It is the costing factor. I do not mind responsibility, but I want to be part of making the decisions on what responsibilities we take on as municipalities. We are not right now, at least with some of the initiative papers.

The Chair: There is about a minute remaining, if there is anything further you wish to sum up or suggest to the committee.

Mr Bradley: Once again, just to reiterate the position, we believe the bill could be a much better bill by withdrawing it, whether you do it through this process or simply by bringing us all together and we hash this all out, but there are some solutions which we think would rectify this legislation. There are many good things in the legislation; I do not deny that, but I think that is not in question. It is that some of the pieces of this legislation are draconian enough that they could cause some real problems for Ontario communities in the future. Once again, thank you for visiting Sarnia.

The Chair: As I have said to others, if there is any additional information you would like to share with us over the course of our deliberations, we would be pleased to hear from you in writing. The committee starts clause-by-clause March 9 and will conclude that week. We look forward to hearing anything anyone would like to share with us during that period of time. We are delighted and pleased to be here in Sarnia. I want to thank you for your hospitality and for sharing your presentation with us this morning.

Mr Bradley: If I make any further presentations in writing, I can assure you they will be doublesided.



The Chair: I would like to call our next presentation. The next 20 minutes is being shared by the county of Kent and the township of Harwich. Please come forward and introduce your delegations. You have 20 minutes in total. Begin your presentation now. We would appreciate it if you leave a few minutes at the end for questions but that is up to you. If you wish, I will try to give you a couple of minutes to sum up at the end.

Mr Rankin: Thank you. I am the deputy reeve, township of Dover, representing the county of Kent. The county of Kent, as an active member of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, wishes to emphasize that as municipalities are the local level of government and because they are responsible for solid waste management, they should have been consulted before the provincial government introduced Bill 143 into the Ontario Legislature.

The county acknowledges that the Honourable Ruth Grier, Minister of the Environment, did in her introductory remarks to this committee propose amendments to the legislation which address two preliminary concerns raised by AMO, namely, (1) leaving the minister responsible for emergency waste management orders rather than allowing delegation of this authority to directors, and (2) removing the emergency power presently in the bill to order a municipality to assess waste management needs and prepare plans, a power that did, in Kent county's opinion, represent intrusion on municipal authority.

Even though we appreciate the initial steps taken by the Minister of the Environment to address issues raised, the county of Kent submits that the provincial government should work with AMO to develop a Waste Management Act separate from the Environmental Assessment Act which addresses solid waste management for all Ontario municipalities and which applies equitably and fairly to all Ontario municipalities.

The county of Kent is concerned that the provincial government, through Bill 143, is establishing one set of rules for three municipalities within the greater Toronto area and another set of rules for all other municipalities.

The county of Kent is concerned that Bill 143 has far-reaching implications for waste management jurisdiction. In the first instance, it raises many concerns about the Minister of the Environment's right to unilaterally assume responsibility for an area which has traditionally and legally been overseen by municipalities. Kent county is particularly disturbed that these municipal powers have been assumed with no prior consultation with municipalities. In the second instance, we are concerned that the Minister of the Environment's action places a cloud over the ongoing discussions among the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs relating to legislative changes which deal with municipal legislative authority for waste management.

It is the county's submission that Bill 143 should not be allowed to proceed until the Ministry of Municipal Affairs paper on statutory authority regarding waste management for municipalities is presented to AMO, and issues identified as the result of the consultation process have been resolved.

The county acknowledges there is a need to address the specific crisis situation in the region of Peel and recommends that separate measures be adopted to deal with this matter. Presumably this would allow the provincial government to meet with AMO and deal with the concerns raised by that organization on behalf of municipalities across Ontario.

In the event that the government decides to proceed with Bill 143 without further consultation with AMO, it is the county of Kent's submission that the following issues need to be addressed:

Clause 23(2)(k) of Bill 143 provides the minister with the authority to "establish and operate, use, alter, enlarge and extend waste management systems or waste disposal sites," a further intrusion in the municipal arena. It is the county's submission that clause 23(2)(k) --

The Chair: Excuse me for one minute. I am going to ask all those people who are here to observe and who are not observing if they would have their conversations outside the room so the members of the committee can pay attention to this excellent presentation. Mrs Mathyssen, please have your conversation outside the room. Would you begin now. I will not deduct that from your time.

Mr Rankin: It is the county's submission that clause 23(2)(k) be amended to read: "in the absence of suitable alternatives, establish and operate, use, alter, enlarge and extend waste management systems or waste disposal sites." The county of Kent is concerned with the proposal to repeal section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act and replace it with legislation that may require a municipality to collect or transport waste, including waste from sources outside its boundaries, and accept, process or otherwise deal with waste specified in the order, including waste from outside its boundaries. The county acknowledges that there may be situations where it is necessary and even advisable to export waste. However, in the event the host municipality requests, the capacity used through the exercise of a ministerial order under section 29 should be replaced at no additional cost to the host municipality.

It is the county's submission that clause 29(2)(c) is not required and should be deleted.

The county of Kent notes that funding of waste management is primarily a municipal issue and questions the intrusive nature of clause 33(2)(j), which allows the province to govern the manner in which municipalities carry out the financial management of their waste management activities. Obviously, this has far-reaching implications for municipalities.

It is the county's submission that clause section 33(2)(j) of Bill 143 be deleted.

The county of Kent is concerned that there is no provision for financial assistance to municipalities faced with meeting the minister's requirements under Bill 143. It is our understanding that the Ministry of the Environment is expected to release another initiatives paper on who pays for waste management in early 1992. It is impossible for the county to completely assess Bill 143 and the proposed regulations until such time as the Ministry of the Environment releases its position on the financial arrangements that will be required. In addition, the county is concerned that the Ministry of the Environment intends to proceed with its initiatives on who pays without any acknowledgement of the disentanglement process that AMO and the provincial government are conducting to examine and realign the financial responsibilities of the provincial and municipal levels of government in Ontario.

It is the county of Kent's submission that municipal-provincial discussions regarding funding of waste management should be set in the context of disentanglement.

The county of Kent is concerned that sections of Bill 143 override the Environmental Assessment Act, the Planning Act, agreements binding on municipalities, the Ontario Municipal Board Act and the necessity for hearings under the Environmental Protection Act. Citizens and municipalities have a number of rights under existing legislation.

It is the county of Kent's submission that Bill 143 sets a dangerous precedent for Ontario, since these overriding sections remove every protection available to municipalities and citizens under the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Municipal Act, the Planning Act, the Ontario Municipal Board Act and other legally binding agreements that may presently be in place. Surely a provincial government that espouses concern for citizens' rights would not introduce legislation of this nature without providing an alternative.

Finally, the county notes there is a reference in clause 14(2)(a) of part II of Bill 143 to the minister's preference that there be no incineration or transportation of solid waste from the primary service area to any other area. In fact, the minister's statement to this committee on January 20, 1992, makes it very clear that incineration is ruled out.

It is the county of Kent's submission that unless the Ministry of the Environment can provide empirical justification for the deletion of the options of incineration and transportation of solid waste in clause 14(2)(a) of part II of Bill 143, these provisions should be deleted from the bill.

The county of Kent does appreciate this opportunity to address our concerns regarding Bill 143 and recommends that the standing committee on social development urge the Minister of the Environment to work with the municipalities in Ontario to develop a new Waste Management Act that would address the waste management and landfill problems faced by all municipalities and that would apply equally and fairly to all municipalities in this great province of Ontario.


The Chair: How would you like to proceed? I know you are sharing your time. Would you like to just continue now? Please introduce yourself.

Mr Hawryluk: My name is Jim Hawryluk. I am a councillor of Harwich township and I am chairman of the environmental committee. On my right is Mike Phipps, administrator of the township of Harwich.

The township of Harwich appreciates the opportunity to appear before the standing committee on social development as it continues its public hearings on the Waste Management Act, Bill 143. The township is the host municipality to two privately owned regional landfills serving a large part of southwestern Ontario. The township has been actively involved for the past 25 years fighting, negotiating and monitoring the development of these two sites. The citizens of this township, through their actions and the efforts of the township council, have had a significant impact on waste management policies in this province for the past 15 years. For these reasons, the township council felt compelled to have me appear today to express its concerns regarding the legislation proposed by the Minister of the Environment.

You have previously heard some of these concerns expressed by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the county of Kent. We bring to you the concerns of a small municipality and its citizens who respectfully remind you there is more to the province of Ontario than the GTA.

It is reasonable to expect the Minister of the Environment, wearing the hat of the minister responsible for the GTA, to move so forcefully to protect the interests of one of her ministries. However, we understand and sympathize with the concerns of those in the surrounding communities of the GTA who strongly oppose the contingency measures proposed by the ministry. The ministry has suggested those groups and individuals who oppose the interim disposal measures will have their concerns taken into full account. We caution and urge your committee to separate the legitimate concerns from those of the not-in-my-backyard group.

We urge you to listen carefully to the concerns of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and to all municipal representatives appearing before you. We have the hands-on experience and will work with the minister, if given the opportunity, to move towards a conserver society.

Specific concerns regarding Bill 143: The township of Harwich cannot proceed without specifically addressing the ministry's apparent attempt to circumvent the public consultation process by proposing that this bill be rushed through the Legislature and passed on December 19, 1991. It is just such action that has led to the erosion of this ministry's credibility over the past 10 years. The five or six weeks allowed for public hearings by your committee has certainly not been well publicized, particularly in the municipal sector outside the GTA, and only through the good graces of the county of Kent and your committee clerk were we able to appear today. We all must ensure the proposed regulations are not handled in a similar manner.

The township of Harwich agrees with the AMO response and recommends that Bill 143 be tabled until full consultation can take place with all municipalities and certainly prior to further legislation, policies or regulations being introduced.

The following are some of our concerns:

1. If the minister feels it is imperative to proceed in the matter of the Britannia sanitary landfill site in the region of Peel, emergency powers are currently in place for such action. However, it must be emphasized that there are many municipalities in this province, outside the GTA, which are in a similar crisis situation. The township of Harwich suggests interim measures can and should be implemented rather than allowing passage of Bill 143 in its current state. We suggest the legislation is discriminatory in exempting GTA municipalities while forcing all other municipalities to fully comply with the time-consuming and expensive approval process under the Environmental Assessment Act.

2. The township of Harwich notes that the minister has decided to assume the powers, originally intended to be delegated to a director, which provided authority to order municipalities to collect or transport waste from outside the municipal boundaries to a local waste disposal site. The township realizes that having this decision-making at the ministerial level will result in more political accountability. However, the township is very concerned that in order to provide this political accountability and to reduce the time and money spent appealing directors' decisions, the approvals process will be accelerated at the expense of municipalities which will no longer have the right to hearings and appeals from governmental orders.

3. The township of Harwich is concerned that Bill 143 grants too much authority to the Ministry of the Environment to adopt regulations, again presumably without significant public consultation, which would have the effect of denying municipalities the rights to hearings.

For example, Bill 143 provides that cabinet may by regulation deem a certificate of approval to exist in respect of a waste management system or waste disposal site. It appears to the township that deeming existence of a certificate circumvents the requirements in the act for notice, hearings and appeal.

Subsection 136(4) would permit the ministry to adopt a regulation regarding the financial management of waste management activities by municipalities. The minister has indicated that the section is intended to debunk the myth of cheap waste disposal by taking into account the costs involved in wasting energy and resources and in the environmental damage that results from excess consumption and careless disposal. The township's concern is that the ministry will have the authority by regulation to commit municipalities to expenditures and financial reporting well beyond the means of most municipalities in the province. The township of Harwich, as earlier stated, recommends the bill be tabled until all draft regulations are prepared and full public consultation is undertaken.

Other proposals in subsection 136(4) propose extensive intervention to require municipalities and such other persons as may be specified to comply with mandatory waste management standards and establish mandatory programs and facilities. The minister has repeatedly stated that another initiatives paper on funding for waste management will be released this year. In the absence of clear responsibilities for financial management, the township of Harwich insists Bill 143 and all regulations be tabled until it is established who pays. This committee is fully aware of the joint AMO and provincial government undertaking to review the disentanglement issue and to examine the responsibilities of each. The township of Harwich agrees with the submission of the county of Kent and AMO that municipal-provincial discussions regarding funding for waste management should be set in the context of disentanglement.

4. The minister has made it very clear that local responsibility means, among other things, assuming full charge of waste in the communities where it is generated and dealing with it effectively in the community. The township of Harwich is unsure if the minister has suggested that all urban areas are responsible for waste disposal within their respective boundaries. If this is the intention of the minister, and it clearly seems to be the ministry's GTA waste strategy, will the next logical step be to have each municipality have its own jails, universities, libraries, etc? These are no more logical than having each municipality deal with waste within its own boundaries. The township suggests "community" must be defined.

The township of Harwich submits that the preservation of farm land policies will be sacrificed for annexation to urban areas in order to achieve the conserver society suggested by the minister.

5. The township of Harwich agrees with the county of Kent that the minister must provide justification for her outright rejection of incineration and the export of waste as acceptable alternatives. The minister speaks of environmental hazards associated with incinerators, yet does not make the commitment to have her ministry undertake research and development of such systems to verify her claims.

This is not to suggest that incinerators replace our goal of establishing a conserver society. The minister has suggested only reduction, recycling, reuse. Other landfill sites need be considered in the future, because incineration and export of waste are not acceptable alternatives in her opinion. The township of Harwich suggests we must be prepared to consider all alternatives without allowing the personal preferences of the minister to override these considerations.


6. The minister, in her comments to this committee on January 20, 1991, indicated that the transporting of waste from one municipality to another is a throwback to the days of "out of sight, out of mind" garbage dumping. The township of Harwich agrees that the transportation of domestic and ICI waste from one municipality to another in the long term contradicts the province's waste reduction goals. The township is pleased the minister intends to place a five-year limit on the transfer of waste beyond municipal boundaries. However, the Ministry of the Environment must be prepared to address the issue of disposal of post-recycling wastes. It is the township's opinion that these wastes will continue to be transported beyond municipal boundaries.

7. The township of Harwich feels Bill 143 goes too far in overriding the Environmental Assessment Act, the Environmental Protection Act, the Planning Act, the Municipal Act, the Municipal Board Act and all other legally binding agreements which exist between municipalities. The township of Harwich submits that these provisions remove every protection available to municipalities and citizens. The township of Harwich is concerned that exempting sites from these acts or agreements will jeopardize existing and future agreements which provide to the local citizens safeguards and benefits such as property value protection plans, provision of municipally treated water, compensation agreements and intervening funding agreements, among others, which citizens and municipalities hosting landfills have the right to expect. The township agrees with the previous speaker; surely a provincial government that espouses concern for citizens' rights would not introduce legislation of this nature without providing an alternative.

Conclusion: It has only been in the last 10 years that citizens have achieved the right to fully participate in major environmental decisions affecting them. However, to achieve her goal of a model post-consumer society, the minister intends, regardless of cost, to compel social change by regulating municipalities. The township of Harwich emphasizes that the disentanglement issue, so heavily promoted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, is contradicted by this bill. The proposals will force municipalities into open-ended increases in waste management expenditures at a time when costs are escalating in other vital areas.

A municipal council's ability to allocate that small proportion of municipal revenue still remaining within its discretion will now be eliminated. We hope the government will reconsider and proceed with a more measured, moderate and progressive approach that respects rather than ignores democratic principles and municipal autonomy. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming before us this morning. We very much appreciate your thoughtful presentation and would encourage you to continue to communicate with us in writing if there is additional information you would like to share with us.


The Chair: I would like to call our next presentation, Concerned Citizens Against Incineration. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Would you begin now, please.

Ms Clarke Larson: Thank you. My name is Elizabeth Clarke Larson. I live in the county of Lambton on a farm. I am the chairman of Concerned Citizens Against Incineration, a member of Lambton Wildlife, Rural Action on Garbage and the Environment, and the Warwick Watford Landfill Committee. I am also an associate of the Holy Cross Centre of Ecology and Spirituality at Port Burwell. I have served on a public advisory committee on landfill selection for Lambton county. I am also a registered nurse.

Today I speak to you as chairman of Concerned Citizens Against Incineration. I should not need to remind you of the perils of incineration; however, I will. First, let's talk about waste or garbage disposal. Though we speak of garbage disposal, we really do not dispose of waste. It is simply moved from one place to another, or we cover it over so we cannot see it, or we change its composition and it becomes ash and emissions, but it is still there waiting to be put somewhere, is it not? Eventually it is released into the environment.

Waste treatment also is not really a treatment. It consists of moving the garbage or waste, if you like, from one part of the environment to another, or we change it from one type to another. In incineration, the volume may be reduced but the garbage is not eliminated altogether. It has merely changed its composition. There is still matter to be dealt with. I would use the word "disposed," but we do not really dispose of it. It is still there, only changed in form, and more toxic. Simply put, incineration does not dispose of garbage. It merely changes its form and, as a result of the burning, the air becomes foul, as does our land and water and the life around us.

Consider this: Our garbage goes into a plastic bag. In that bag there are some batteries. The plastic bag goes to the incinerator and is burned. I know that the proponents of incineration tell us these batteries would never be in the garbage burned. However, you tell me how a spot check is going to find a battery used in watches or hearing aids and those tiny AAA batteries. It would take a lot more than a spot check. It would take sorting through the garbage by hand.

Anyway, back to the scenario. The plastic bag is burned. Plastic melts to form dioxins and the dioxins are released into the smoke and go up the stack. The filter collects most of the dioxins if the incinerator is operating the way the proponents state it will at its optimum condition. The filter collects most of the dioxins and they becomes fly ash. The batteries melt and leave toxic metal, cadmium, in the bottom ash. The ashes, fly ash and bottom ash, are mixed together in an effort to reduce the toxicity of the fly ash. If it is below a certain standard it goes to a domestic or community landfill site.

Water seeps into the landfill and carries the dioxin and cadmium into the leachate lagoon. It overfills due to heavy rainfall and runs off into the drainage ditch, which goes to the creek, which flows to the lake or river. The pipeline for a water treatment plant goes into the same lake or river. This does not just happen once; this is an ongoing thing. What about the cumulative effect? What about the interaction with the other substances in the air and water?

Let's go back to the landfill site. Let's say it is a secure site, meaning that it cannot leak. I do not believe there is such a thing. However, for the sake of discussion I will say it is secure and that it does not leak. All the leachate is collected. What do you do with it? It has to go somewhere. If it is toxic, it goes to a hazardous waste treatment plant.

But there really is not a treatment that destroys the toxic substances or the dangerous levels of metals, so it is put out of sight and we are made to believe that it has gone away and that it has been destroyed and is gone. Perhaps for some that is true, because it has left their community. But for us it is not true, for this community has a hazardous waste site. Waste can be dumped and forgotten but it never goes away. It is still there.

Back to the mixed ash that I spoke of if the garbage is burned. If upon testing the ash is above the acceptable level, then the ash goes to a hazardous waste facility. There it is buried in a safe landfill. You already know what I think of that idea.

Meanwhile, this ash is flying about in the air as it is transferred from the incinerator to the transport vehicle. Then during the transportation some more ash flies out into the air and again at the hazardous waste facility as it moved from the vehicle to the landfill. Each time it is handled there is further contamination of the atmosphere, the dioxins and the cadmium being strewn from the incinerator to a hazardous waste facility or landfill, and there is still waste to be put somewhere.

The products of incineration are toxic and cause all sorts of health problems. For this discussion I am only highlighting dioxins and cadmium, because they are some of the worst kind.

Dioxins are not naturally found in our environment. This was suggested by one proponent of incineration when he was doing a presentation I attended. "Both dioxins and furans are unwanted byproducts of combustion, created by anything that burns." That is from page 82 of The Silent Earth, by David Israelson.

This is a further quote from him: "The reason dioxins are referred to as deadly is that the worst form, 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD, is 10,000 times more deadly than DDT. A dose of one two-hundredth of a drop can kill a 70-kilogram man or woman. By contrast, it would take 400 drops of arsenic to do in the same person, or half a cup of bleach."

Dioxin is a mutant. It causes birth defects and genetic changes. It causes miscarriages, skin conditions and cancer. It is also under study for causing impotence as a result of the spraying of Agent Orange. Copies of this research can be obtained through a clearing house in Toronto. I did not have time to run copies for you today.


Not only does incineration pollute through air emissions; the fly ash left over goes to landfill, where it pollutes the land and leaches into our waterways. Incineration also destroys finite minerals which could be reused. That is from page 9 of Waste War. This type of waste cannot be tolerated. Therefore the Ministry of Environment must emphasize recycling and reduction of waste. Front-end technology must be incorporated. At the present time we are using back-end technology.

On page 11 of Waste War, Jeremy Leggett says: "Some scientists and industrialists believe that if we try hard, we could cut down waste to a small fraction of what we produce today." This is a waste management bill. There must be more emphasis on waste reduction, front-end technology.

Let's get away from thinking waste and disposal. As I said before, it is not disposal; it is merely moved from one place to another. I was at a mall display and spoke to a woman about recycling. She said she did not do it. I said, "What do you do with your garbage?" She said, "I put it in a green garbage bag and I put it out on the curb." I said, "What happens to it then?" She replied, "The garbage truck comes and picks it up." I then asked her what happens to it after that. She told me that she never even thought about it and that she just puts it at the curb and it is gone. I said, "Well, where did it go?" She did not know where it went. Up until our conversation, she had not really thought about it or even cared. Once it was out of her sight she was done with it, but since our conversation I know this woman is thinking differently and giving more thought to reducing her garbage and recycling.

That is exactly what each and every one of us needs to do. We cannot just put it out of sight. It must not be sent to other municipalities. It must be dealt with in the area where it is made. I resent working hard reducing, recycling and reusing and encouraging others to do so only to hear that garbage could be transported here from Toronto and indeed from any other area too.

"Out of sight, out of mind" is an old saying, but very true. If you cannot see the problem, it does not exist. Well, it does exist and we have to do something about it. Each municipality has to be responsible for its own garbage. Intensive recycling has to be pushed. Package reduction must take place. This is an absolute necessity. Markets for recycling materials have to be encouraged. Incentives should be made for persons interested in establishing such businesses. As for packaging, why do we need to have our apples packaged in plastic bags? Indeed, why do we pick out our apples from the open display and then put them in plastic bags? Is it because we are too lazy to put the apples on the counter one by one when we check out? Or is it just because we have not really thought about it?

Disposables must be outlawed. Restaurants, food outlets, aircraft and trains must use china, reusable plastic ware and reusable flatware. Jobs will be created. Yes, we may have to pay a little more for our food, but is it not worth it? Do you not want to breathe clean air, drink pure water and eat food that is not contaminated? We have been programmed to believe that we all need this disposable stuff and this useless packaging. Talk about your Stepford Wives.

In order to reduce the necessity for safety packaging, we should change the retail outlets. Salespersons should be behind the counters with the products on the shelves behind them. This would do many things. It would make jobs. It would improve customer service -- everybody is crying about customer service and that you can get it better in the US -- enhance shopping, reduce shoplifting and reduce the necessity for excessive packaging in order to keep the products safe. Yes, it may cost a little more, but then again it may not. Shoplifting costs are passed on to us. Packaging costs are also.

Butchers should be behind counters so we can buy our meat, fish and poultry in the quantities we want and not what the market studies have told us we want. The single people and the elderly would be able to purchase smaller quantities and exactly what they need. They would eat better and be healthier, thus reducing health care costs. For every action there is a reaction. What the Ministry of Environment does will ultimately affect our health.

To further continue to promote a healthy environment, hazardous waste has to be reduced. Incinerators such as the Laidlaw facility here in Lambton county have to be phased out. Hazardous waste should not be transported across international borders or indeed about this country. Each time the material is handled, the risk of further damage to the environment exists.

I challenge technologists and industry to put their efforts into working on ways to produce products without toxic wastes or products that become toxic if they are no longer usable. Make the products so that when they are no longer usable they are returned to the manufacturer for reprocessing.

If the Ministry of Environment heavily fined company CEOs for polluting, not instituting measures to prevent spills and cleaning up messes created, we would soon have some changes made. They must be made accountable. It is not the worker in the plant who is creating the problems. He is merely doing his job. He may be able to document that a problem exists that may cause a spill, but it is ultimately the supervisor and those higher up the chain of command who make the decisions. If the worker has really caused the problem he should be held accountable, but ultimately those in charge are at fault and must be heavily fined and jailed for lack of accountability for the company's action.

It is very expensive to clean up messes. We do not really clean them up; we merely transport the mess to another place. The infamous blob was cleaned up from the river, but where did it go? It did not disappear; it went to Tricil.

I resent my tax dollars being used on cleanups and on health problems that occur as a result of mismanagement of our wastes. The polluters should be paying the costs. They would soon change their habits. Yes, I know that ultimately the consumer picks up the cost, but it is cheaper using upfront technology. There are not the repercussions that occur through the damage of waste and pollution.

For those of us dedicated to improving circumstances for our communities, funds should be made available to us for incidentals. Many of us would dedicate more of our time to helping this ministry and our government, but due to financial constraints we are not able to do as much as we would like. We have to turn down serving on panels or serving on committees and attending other meetings due to the costs. We should be reimbursed for assisting, just as consultants are, and all our expenses should be paid.

I have spent hundreds of dollars, as have many others in this community, which we could ill afford. In order to be involved we spend money on attending meetings, travelling distances, researching materials and purchasing resource materials and books, postage, paper, copying, faxing messages, long-distance phone calls, accommodations, mail etc, not to mention taking time from our jobs and families. I would like to do more, but financial constraints limit my activities. Indeed, due to financial constraints I was unable to provide you with the numerous copies the government requested.

In closing, I would like to say that the government is to be commended for having these hearings out in the communities and giving us the opportunity to speak to you. I would not have been able to attend a meeting in Toronto, due to my job responsibilities and finances. I thank you for your attention.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We have a very short time remaining for questions, just four minutes in total. Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: My comments are very brief. Thank you for your presentation. I think it is an excellent reminder of the direction that we have to go in, what our goals are and how we should get there. In fact, you remind me of something I said a few years ago when I was making a presentation to Metropolitan Toronto in response to its wanting to put another garbage dump in my community, that in reality there is really no way; you cannot throw anything away. We have to start from that premise and work to eliminate what is going into the waste stream.

I guess there is one thing I would like you to comment on. We have heard from the packaging people and we have heard from different groups and they say, "Let's do it voluntarily." From what you are saying, is the message that the government should regulate and should really push them a little bit harder than they seem to want to be pushed?

Ms Clarke Larson: Yes, I believe we should. I spend a lot of time getting rid of packaging.

Mr McLean: I have a short question for you. How many landfill sites are there in Lambton county?

Ms Clarke Larson: I cannot really say.

Mr McLean: I believe there are six, and two private ones.

The Chair: Thank you. You have had your question. I am sorry.

Mr McLean: The question is, should there be a new disposal site established in Lambton county, yes or no?

Ms Clarke Larson: I am not prepared to discuss that.

The Chair: Mr McClelland, you have the floor.

Mr McClelland: I appreciate your being here. I take seriously your concerns about incineration. What you put forward is an issue of considerable debate and very worthy of consideration. I hasten to add that Bill 143 is not just about incineration. Many of the things you talk about, as a citizen who wants to be involved, who wants to fight and continue to be able to fight to protect our environment and the future of this world we live in and leave for our children, I believe are very much in jeopardy because of Bill 143 and because of the underlying principles.

I just want to add that and to emphasize today that to carve out, as the government has done -- that is not why you are here today. You are here to speak passionately and sincerely about an issue. But Bill 143 is not about incineration; it is not just about incineration; it is not just about the transportation of waste over municipal boundaries. It is about much more. I personally simply feel very passionately that those elements of it that appeal to you do not make it redemptive, in the sense that it makes it okay to wipe out everything else.

The Chair: Do you wish to respond? You now have the floor. There is a minute left.

Ms Clarke Larson: Unfortunately I did not have a copy of the bill prior to being here, Mrs Caplan, so I was unable to go through it. I only had the amendments.

The Chair: I think it is important for you to know that you can request copies of legislation either from your local member or from the Legislative Assembly, if you notice that committees are coming to town. Publications Ontario also has available all Hansards as well as bills that are before the Legislature.

Ms Clarke Larson: It was requested.

The Chair: If you have difficulty in getting them you can always contact the committee Chair.

Ms Clarke Larson: It was requested. However, due to my job and travelling, much the same as you do, I was not able to follow up and make sure that I had it on time.

The Chair: That is unfortunate. Thank you for coming today. If there is additional information after you have had a chance to review the bill that you would like to share with us, please just jot it down in writing and you can send it to us via our clerk.



The Chair: The next presenter is Sherry Morrison. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Would you begin now.

Mrs Morrison: I welcome the opportunity to speak to you today on this most important issue on waste management and its relationship to our environment. I come before you as an ordinary citizen, not as one who has been trained in the legal profession. As such, I will not attempt to discuss this bill in legalese or attempt to analyse it for the loopholes that those who are so inclined will attempt to use to circumvent or delay this essential piece of legislation.

I have resided in close proximity to a waste disposal site for some 17 years. This makes me somewhat of an expert on the psychological damage one can incur by having a waste disposal company in the midst of one's immediate surroundings. The anxiety, apprehension and dread that one lives with is practically indescribable. I should perhaps clarify that the site I reside near is a hazardous waste facility, which adds to the fear.

Nevertheless, I believe a parallel can be drawn regardless of the type of waste in question. Many of the same players are involved, whether it be toxic or municipal waste. Their involvement is based solely on the pursuit of the almighty dollar while often displaying a callousness towards the neighbouring residents.

The Minister of the Environment must be applauded for her intentions and principles expressed in this document. It is laudable that she wishes to expand on the application of the 3Rs and that the transportation of waste will be kept to a minimum. Her ban on future incinerators with a review on existing ones should be expanded to cover hazardous waste disposal as well.

This method of taking our trash and simply using a high-temperature incinerator to create a disappearing act is absurd. We are all aware of the toxic technology developed by the giant corporations promoting their machines of destruction. This mentality seems to come from the devil's pantry itself.

We must deal with the root of the problem: the creation of waste. We must implement recycling and composting facilities and educate municipalities on these programs. When you burn garbage, the ash created from most incinerators is considered hazardous waste and is consequently buried in a facility in my community. I strongly agree that incineration not be considered a viable option.

In spite of my apparent support of the minister and of this bill, I do have a couple of reservations. It is my understanding that disposal gap measures would continue to allow the practice of waste transportation in the event that capacity expires within the greater Toronto area sites. Although comment is made that this practice would be unacceptable in both the long and short term as a viable option, it appears that the disposal gap measures open up one of those loopholes that some unethical operators would avail themselves of. It states that it may be considered as an option as long as there is a new landfill site within the GTA ready for operation within a few weeks or months. I believe this to be too vague and would suggest some time limits be established. "A few weeks or months" is open to interpretation and may cause legal wrangling and debate to carry on into infinity, while some host municipality has the GTA's waste thrust upon it. Some clarification and specifics are needed here.

As for bypassing the EA process, it has caused quite a quandary for me. On the one hand it prevents those who wish to profit from the poor planning and shortsightedness of the GTA from establishing any number of artificial roadblocks and mounting a multitude of frivolous challenges to enable them to line their pockets and make fortunes off the misery of others, while on the other hand it deprives the people faced with having a site established in their area or an expansion of a site in their area from having the opportunity to voice their concerns and to have their concerns addressed in a fair and equitable manner.

It would appear that it will take someone with the wisdom of Solomon to adjudicate this matter. I wish to go on record as stating that everyone should be given the opportunity to voice his or her opinion. However, steps must be taken to expedite the proceedings so as not to drag the process on for a ridiculous amount of time.

I would also like to speak to the matter of compensation. To simply state that any person whose land is affected is entitled to compensation provided for under the Expropriations Act is not sufficient. I believe that to be a fair starting point and perhaps that should be the initial payment to those so affected. However, in my opening statement I alluded to the anxiety one experiences living near a waste disposal site. People spend years constructing and developing their homes and lands, only to have some third party arbitrarily decide that through no fault of their own they are going to lose everything they had hoped and dreamed for, and through the Expropriations Act X number of dollars will be awarded to them for all of their toil and heartache. The greater good for the masses. Something is morally wrong with that concept in North American society. My home, my land: If it is to be wrenched away from me, then I should be compensated well beyond fair market value. A high premium must be paid to uproot families and cause untold hardships just so others can cast waste upon my land.

I have endured many instances where my life and routine have been put into disarray because of inadequate performance at the neighbouring site. Too many times I am told that due diligence was shown; therefore, no action is taken against them. Well, I am fed up and I think it is time to say, "To hell with due diligence." If these facilities cannot operate in such a manner as to ensure no adverse effects result, then they should be made to pay. Our crops enter the food chain and God only knows who is being affected by these malfunctions in operations, which are explained away with "due diligence."

Either clean up their act or shut them down, but in the meantime make them pay for their mistakes, which in my mind will improve their performance. The money from these penalties should be forwarded to the people affected, the neighbours, and not the general coffers of the province.

It is heartening to see we have a minister ready to make tough decisions to protect the people and the environment. Bill 143 is a step in the right direction. It is my sincere wish and fondest hope that she takes steps to expand them to all waste facilities in the province, including hazardous waste sites.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address you today.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your very thoughtful presentation. I have a number of members who would like to ask you questions.


Mr McLean: I appreciate your presentation here this morning and I agree with a lot of things that you have in that presentation. One of the aspects that I agree with wholeheartedly is in your second paragraph on the second-last page: "However, steps must be taken to expedite the proceedings so as not to drag the process on for a ridiculous amount of time." I have been saying that for a long time. There must be a way we can establish the criteria whereby municipalities and counties can apply to have a landfill site established within a period of time that is safe and sound and through the environmental assessment hearings.

The question I have is: While I agree that there is nothing in the bill pertaining to anything laid out to do that and the EA is not in the bill to have the public hearings -- and that really concerns me -- what is your feeling on the "no EA" aspect of the criteria?

Mrs Morrison: As I stated in my presentation, it has been my experience with the Ontario Waste Management Corp, which has done EA hearings and they are still going and it has been 10 years and there is nothing in writing yet -- so I can honestly say that on one hand we have the citizens who want to participate. How long is long enough? I would assume that with the speakers here this morning you would get the gist of the feeling that there are people there who want to recycle, reduce and then look at that problem first. Let's deal with that end of it.

Mr McLean: But they also want the public to have input.

Mrs Morrison: That is right.

Mr McLean: That is the problem with this bill: The minister can proceed without that public input, and that really bothers me.

Mrs Morrison: Yes. There is this garbage crisis, though, but I think Toronto has to deal with it. Let's keep the garbage in Toronto.

Mr Wiseman: Thank you for your brief. This echoes about 15,000 that I have heard from my own constituents who live next to the Brock West landfill site. My comment is in regard to the bottom of page 1, the section of the bill that deals with the disposal gap. I know this causes concern for you and it causes great concern for me as well, because I have always been an advocate of the full process, but the gap is going to be handled by lifts on Britannia and Keele Valley. As I have said to many others, the leachate from Keele Valley winds up in a sewage treatment plant less than half a mile from my front door. It is not something that I have undertaken lightly, and I think you have raised some very good points here and some good reminders. The issue of compensation is something I personally will be looking at.

Mrs Morrison: Yes. Okay. Could I just make one more point?

Mr Wiseman: Sure.

Mrs Morrison: The company in my community is now proposing a rotary kiln capable of burning PCBs, so that will be two incinerators in my area.

Mr McClelland: You have heard of the proposed environmental bill of rights?

Mrs Morrison: Yes.

Mr McClelland: I am speculating, and I will be candid about that. Obviously it was the promise of the government that the first priority in terms of its environmental agenda would be an environmental bill of rights. We now learn from the government's legislative priority-setting exercise, which our leader received a copy of this week, that this will be reconsidered in the fall of 1992. It is not a priority any more for this government.

Clearly Bill 143 would contravene every principle of the environmental bill of rights that would provide you, as an individual, and people like you around this province with the kind of recourse and the kind of remedy you are looking for. Do you recognize that while you are saying you support Bill 143 you are also saying you therefore, of necessity, could not support an environmental bill of rights? You therefore, of necessity, are saying you could not support a process that would allow you to have direct recourse to make those people who have affected you pay. You are asking for it on the one hand, saying that you think that is what ought to happen. Bill 143 denies you that right because it denies, by its very nature, the introduction and implementation of an environmental bill of rights, which would give you everything you want. Bill 143 takes that away from you.

Mrs Morrison: Sir, it has been my experience in dealing with different policies in Ontario that it does not matter what political party is in power. I have had the same response. It is growing pains. We are changing attitudes here.

Mr McClelland: Hopefully.

Mrs Morrison: We are going to come to that some day. I do believe there are some problems with Bill 143, but it is a starting point.

Mr McClelland: At that cost. It would take out your rights as an individual and those of other citizens --

Mrs Morrison: Sir, I have no rights now. It cannot take anything away that I do not have.

Mr McClelland: It will prevent you from getting them.

The Chair: Mrs Mathyssen, you have the floor. There are approximately two minutes remaining for your caucus.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for speaking so eloquently for the protection of the environment. There is one thing that I heard from you and I heard it from the previous speaker, and it disturbs me. I want to clarify that part III of this bill makes it incumbent upon Metro Toronto to handle its long-term and immediate waste situation within the GTA. So as far as being afraid about getting Toronto's garbage, I want to set your mind at ease.

Mrs Morrison: Yes. That is domestic garbage. Hazardous waste can still be transported.

Mrs Mathyssen: I see. Okay. Thank you.

Mr Sola: Madam, you have me confused in your brief, because on page 2 you have two very devastating statements. You say, "Bill 143 deprives people faced with having a site established in their area from having their opportunity to voice their concerns." That is the first statement. Then you say, "People spend years constructing and developing their homes and lands, only to have some third party arbitrarily decide that, through no fault of their own, they are going to lose everything."

On page 1 you state, "The Minister of the Environment must be applauded for her intentions and principles expressed in this bill," and on your final page you say she should be applauded for having the intestinal fortitude to make these tough decisions. Do you not think that these types of decisions are the exact things you do not want anybody to have the right to make?

Mrs Morrison: I am talking from my experience over the last 10 years in dealing with previous governments and with the facility. We are starting to address the problem, and there is still room for communication there. I do not see that it is going to jeopardize anything that I have already lost.

Mr Sola: But you are stating that somebody could lose whatever he has worked for through this bill.

Mrs Morrison: That is right.

Mr Sola: Yet you say you support that principle.

Mrs Morrison: One of the first things you have to look at is compensation. That is one of the first things you are going to look at. Nobody wants a landfill in his backyard; nobody wants one in his area. But you are going to have to deal with the problem of putting this somewhere, so the people who are most affected will be the ones you are going to be talking to. Compensation should be the number one factor when you are looking at where to put this siting.

Mr Hayes: I enjoyed your presentation. This issue that you are talking about, developing your home and your land and wanting to live in the area, is quite familiar in many other areas, including mine.

We seem to think about compensating the municipality or the people it purchases the land from to put in a landfill site, but sometimes we forget about the other people whose families have lived there all their lives. They want to continue to live in the area, but they want, whether it be private or public, to control and to protect the people who live in the surrounding area. I think that is very important and I believe this bill will help in that particular direction.

Mrs Morrison: I think so too.

Mr McLean: I would like to talk to you about incinerators, and you refer to those on page 1. "Her ban on future incinerators with a review on existing ones should be expanded to cover hazardous waste disposal as well." What would the Sarnia Hospital do with its hazardous waste?

Mrs Morrison: It depends if they classify it as hazardous waste. That is the problem with legislation and policy. It is coming to a point where we are going to redesign that. A lot of your domestic garbage in future years will be reclassified. Paint is a good example. It now goes to a disposal site. They recycle it or do something. Before, we used to take it to the domestic garbage. I believe that in time we will have composting facilities and we will have recycling facilities. Disposal will be the last thing we will look at.

Mr McLean: Pearson International Airport is under federal jurisdiction. My estimation is that all goods that come in there have to be incinerated on site at Pearson International Airport. What would you do to get rid of that site?

Mrs Morrison: What was it that came into Pearson airport?

Mr McLean: Everything that comes off the airplanes has to be incinerated at Pearson International Airport, which is federal law. What would you do and how would you get rid of a facility that is under federal jurisdiction such as that?

Mrs Morrison: That is our problem as well. There are federal politics involved, and we have cross-border transportation of waste, export and import, so it is a much bigger problem than I ever thought. But as far as Pearson goes, what is it is burning? If it is everything, then they classify that domestic garbage. They are taking domestic garbage and using it as source of getting rid of it, not really looking at the problem.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate your appearing before the committee today. As I have said to others, if there is additional information over the course of our deliberations that you would like to share with us, you can do so in writing through our clerk.

As well, for the information of everyone here, a full and complete Hansard, which is a transcript of all the presentations, questions and answers, everything that is said during these committee hearings, is available through Publications Ontario. There is one in Toronto at 800 Bay, and there may be government bookstores nearby that could also arrange to get it for you.



The Chair: I would like to call our next presentation, the East Lambton Secondary School Environmental Club. Please come forward and introduce yourself. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We ask if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions, but that is up to you. Please begin now.

Mr MacGregor: My name is Scott MacGregor. I am an OAC student at East Lambton Secondary School, which is just east of this area in a small town named Watford. It has a landfill governed by the Laidlaw corporation. I am also president of the East Lambton Secondary School Environmental Club.

On behalf of the East Lambton Secondary School Environmental Club and all the youth who will be the future citizens of Canada, I welcome this opportunity to speak to you today about the urgent issue of waste reduction in Ontario, in particular Bill 143. The challenge faced by the various levels of government will be less difficult if a clear decision on major reduction in disposal of waste is enforced, as specified in Bill 143. The public is anxious and deserves a clearly progressive, innovative and responsible plan designed for the 21st century.

During our environmental meetings, we have many debates and discussions concerning waste disposal sites, as mentioned in Bill 43, and each time we have concluded that waste must not be transported away from its origin. We feel that there are effective alternatives to hauling garbage around the province for either landfill or incineration disposal.

Although we are a small group from a small school, we firmly believe that we can make a large difference if we practise ourselves and educate others to start reduction now. We know reduction, reuse and recycling cannot make garbage disappear completely. However, we agree that we must all become involved. One of our main goals is to learn and, in turn, teach others how to reduce and recycle their own waste. We have adopted the slogan, "Don't Wait for Others to be Environmentally Friendly -- Show Them How and Show Them Now."

Within our school we attempt to do this in several ways, such as setting up blue box and white box depots throughout the school, with the aim of teaching others how simple and quick it is to separate and recycle the garbage.

I might mention, having toured other recycling systems in some schools where the privately owned recycling companies pick up the bags of garbage, truck it to their depot and then sort it, that this does little to actually educate and get people in the habit of recycling. On a similar thought, it reminds me of the same old problem presented by the larger municipality: Dump it. They truck it away and let somebody else worry about disposing of their waste.

Responsibility must be the number one concern of everyone. Whether you live in a large metropolis or a small farming community, as I do, we must be individually responsible for our own garbage. If people are permitted to continually buy and discard articles without concern for their disposal or for renewable resources, they may never see the need to learn to conserve or, more important, to care.

How many of us listen to the 6 o'clock news? Nonchalantly, we hear about the murder that occurred in the city of Detroit and then quickly forget about it. In other words, out of sight, out of mind. On the other hand, if that same murder occurred in your own local community, everyone would be immediately outraged, concerned and looking for ways to protect whatever he has and loves.

We feel that the only way our environment will be protected is to have the problem of waste disposal in the sight and in the mind of each individual Canadian. This conscious effort can only be accomplished if the problem is in your own backyard and you have to solve it. As teenagers, we are continually and for ever being told to learn to be responsible and, "If you make your bed, you must lie in it." Should we not expect the same from our elders?

As president of our environmental club, I have been inspired by another president's quote, that of John F. Kennedy. He said: "There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction."

Being a person who enjoys competition, I would love to present a challenge from our high school to all other high schools in Metropolitan Toronto on a per capita basis. The challenge is simple: to get rid of or at least reduce the quantity of paper lunch bags thrown away every school day. Hopefully, this would be the beginning of reinforcing the idea that if you live in Toronto, you are responsible for the amount of garbage you throw out.

Ideally, this new way of thinking and concern would go with them through their maturing years into their adult years and eventually as an example to their offspring. Somehow we have to stop and get off this merry-go-round ride of unconscious wastefulness. I really believe educating and challenging the youth is the answer and the direction we need to take.

As we teenagers enter the next decade, we know we will have many challenges ahead of us to guarantee a safe environment for our future generations. It is more likely that we will succeed if any confusion in our definitions and our planning is eliminated now. The teamwork required to essentially restructure resource consumption and waste management systems across Ontario can be more effective if we are all working towards the same goals. Wake up, Metro Toronto youth. We are all in this fight together and we can also win this fight together. Bill 143 is the ammunition we all need to fight the enemy: garbage. As relayed in the war phrase, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

In closing, I again thank you for your time and interest in hearing my concerns and thoughts. Although I cannot speak from years of experience or extensive knowledge, I can speak from apprehension and enthusiasm. If the youth of Ontario are to look to the future of our environment, we need to feel safe that our leaders are confronting the uncertainty of solid waste management with certainty. We believe this certainty is found in Bill 143. The future of our environment depends on you. We know we can depend on you to protect the future of our environment.

Mr Wiseman: I particularly would like to thank you for coming before the committee as the representative of your environmental club. In my previous life I was the school liaison with the the Ajax High School Environmental Awareness Club, and it brought back some good memories of all the bags of paper and pop tins that we collected every week to put out for the recycling. It is good to see you.

I am going to ask you a question that has not been asked by anybody before. It has to do with a presentation I heard while attending the Durham Board of Education's environmental awareness week for educators to encourage recycling. This presenter came from British Columbia and he suggested there is a connection between the violence and the hostility in our society and the lack of environmental awareness.

It is with respect to your comments about the number of murders across the border and so on. It was something that struck me, because the description he had was that just outside his community there was a gunfight across the railway tracks and somewhere in the neighbourhood of 176 shells were shot. He suggested that the alienation the young people felt was directly linked to the fact that they had no control over their environment and no control over what they could do about this apprehension that you also talk about.


Mr MacGregor: That is one of the nice things about living in Canada is. I am not being oblivious to the fact that there is crime and such in Canada, but it is nice to redirect our efforts rather than having to worry about the violence, crime, shoplifting and such that is involved in other societies. We can redirect our efforts to giving more emphasis to environmental awareness and education and such.

Mr Ramsay: The first thing I would like to say is that if my generation in high school had half the interest that you have now, we would not be here today to discuss this. Good luck to you in all your work. I want to ask you about your program at school. Did you say blue box and white box?

Mr MacGregor: White box, yes. That takes in all the paper. I have actually a copy of Bill 143 here, and instead of having it photocopied on brand-new paper, I had it photocopied on used paper which was found in our white boxes.

I am not sure what the facility is, but it goes to a facility and is recycled from there. One of our newest things is that my mother, two of my brothers and I are right now making these environmental lunch bags in our own basement. This is a new thing that is going out. It says ELSS Cares. Inside it has a lot of Ministry of the Environment information and some from the Ministry of Energy. We also have a Tupperware set that goes with it too so you lessen all their stuff.

That is what our program right now is aiming at. We have different presentations from the industrial area of Sarnia. The Laidlaw facility outside of Watford comes in, plus we have the Watford Warwick Landfill Committee, which is our own little concern in the area of Watford. But our actual program tries to stay as objective as possible.

What we did this year was try to emphasize one area. As leaders, you have to bring in many beliefs and many races and you try to make a compensation between them all. We found that the idea of reduction seemed to bring all of them together. That is where our main goal is, in reduction.

Mr McLean: A great presentation, and I wish you every success in your endeavours. I hope that turns out to be a profit for you in time to come.

Mr MacGregor: Not really, no.

Mr McLean: You have a copy of the bill?

Mr MacGregor: Yes, I do.

Mr McLean: I am interested to know your views on that bill with regard to cutting down on packaging. Does that bill go far enough or does it even elaborate on it at all with regard to the reduction of packaging?

Mr MacGregor: I agree with the packaging aspect of it. This is an excellent initiative, an excellent start in the packaging area. There can always be more emphasis put on these companies which bring out packaging and all their fancy arrangements. I agree strongly with what I have seen in here and the amendments put in it about packaging. I think it is an excellent start.

Mr McLean: Is your environmental club involved? Have you met with the county people to have any input? I appreciated your analysis of when it hits close to home. The previous delegate had indicated her great concern for the environment, but it also hit close to home because she lives near it. We would have to wonder if that individual would be here today if it was not hitting home, so to speak.

Mr MacGregor: Right.

Mr McLean: In your view, with regard to dealing with the county, do you believe there is a need for a new landfill site in Lambton county?

Mr MacGregor: I hate to say. Rather than saying there should be a new landfill or a new incinerator, I wish we could improvise new reduction measures. We all classify incineration and landfill as an industry -- I know recycling is considered an industry -- but can we not consider reduction as an industry also and have it up front? I think that is one of the surefire measures to not even using incinerators or not even using landfills. I would much rather say I would not want a landfill. No one wants a landfill in Lambton county, but we have to think about reality too.

Mr McLean: I have said many times that I think the day of the landfill site should be gone. I agree with your sentiments with regard to reducing the packaging first. That should be our top priority.

I got a flashlight the other day. It was all packaged up and it had a string in it to hang it up. Why did that not just hang on the shelf without all the packaging?

Mr MacGregor: I agree.

Mr McLean: I am not so sure the ministry's Bill 143 addresses that like it should.

Mr Lessard: I think Bill 143 is a step towards dealing with the problem my parents helped to create and what you are doing is a step towards making sure your children do not inherit a worse situation than we have created. You have also demonstrated that people do things for motivations other than strictly profit. I hope you continue to keep that in mind.

You have also stated that we need to deal with waste close to the source and we need to make people more responsible to deal with their own waste. I wonder if you can give us some other suggestions as to how we, as legislators, may be able to encourage people to take responsibility, to deal with their own waste.

Mr MacGregor: As we have seen here, this is the first, best step. I am sure getting in touch with the youth is one of the best ways. Speaking just to the youth usually opens up their minds extensively. I do not know what other ways, but reduction is number one. If they can legislate that, that would be amazing, but that is not reality either. I do not know of any other ways.

Mr Lessard: You can understand how tough our job is.

Mr MacGregor: I agree totally with your job. I think it is tremendous that you have a committee hearing doing this. I think it is extraordinary. I think it is just simply excellent.

Ms Haeck: I want to thank you for coming. I had the great privilege of being at your high school about two weeks ago. I noticed there are all those signs in Watford opposing Toronto trash. Can you give this committee some insight as to what in fact you are opposing?

Mr MacGregor: Yes. We have Toronto garbage coming into our area. I am against that. We have the Watford Warwick Landfill Committee as the concerned party. Just outside of Watford, about a mile away from our high school, we can see the landfill. It is governed by Laidlaw and we have, I understand, more garbage than the ministry actually says should go through there. Right now they want a 300-acre expansion to that landfill. We are opposing that as much as possible.

As I have stated in my brief, it would be nice to see that the Metro Toronto area just realized what we are going through. I had my relatives come down from Richmond Hill. My uncle is with a corporation that produces a lot of garbage.

Ms Haeck: I hope you talk to him.

Mr MacGregor: I will not say which one. I cannot mention names or anything like that. He was just oblivious to the amount of garbage that was coming into our area. But I am good friends with the Laidlaw people out there and they do understand. They are the smaller people. By what you are doing here today, hopefully you can keep in touch with the high facilitators of these big corporations who only see profit and do not see the little people. That is the basic problem in the Watford area right now.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We very much appreciate your coming to the committee today. I think I speak for all members of the committee from all caucuses when I say how impressed we are with your articulate and well-thought-out presentation. I believe we have gained a lot in hearing what you have had to say. You are an excellent spokesman not only for your school but I think for the youth of our community and I want to thank you very much.



The Chair: I would like to call our next presentation, Lambton Anti-Pollution Association. Please come forward. We ask that you begin by introducing yourself. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. Would you begin your presentation now, please, and could I have order.

Mr Smith: Thank you, Madam Chair, and members of the standing committee on social development. My name is Geoff Smith. I am the chairman of a residents' group, the Lambton Anti-Pollution Association. It is a non-profit group of around 100 residents concerned primarily with improper hazardous waste disposal here in Ontario.

Although Bill 143 deals specifically with municipal waste within the GTA and does not specifically include hazardous wastes, we feel that provincial initiatives aimed at dealing with the issue of municipal waste management on a regional basis should be broadened to cover all generated waste and substances regardless of their classification.

Our industrialized, modern world has been developed into a pattern of combined wasteful practices and we have more or less become a disposable society through poor patterns of habit, I guess. Our habits of discard for convenience have elevated us to the prominence of having North America as the most waste-generative continent in the modern world.

Those of us here in Ontario, in what is clearly the most heavily populated area of Canada, must take a leadership role in Canada's continuing efforts of waste management strategy so that we try to maintain the environmental viability and integrity of our province. What good are the benefits of industrial diversification, successful commerce and the high economic gains if our short-term solutions in environmental policies in pursuing those goals create a regional environment that cannot sustain life or health?

Proper waste management strategies and philosophies are a balance of present conveniences, which we enjoy today, versus the realism of future necessities of tomorrow. I think it can be symbolized by something as simple as a link chain. A chain is known for its consistency and strength. Each link plays a very vital role in maintaining that consistency. The weight of the chain is significant, but if we look at the weight of one particular link, it does not form as much of a burden as the total weight of the chain. Placing the chain in an even, consistent manner across a geographic area promotes an even balance of weight. The links in the chain are evenly distributed and each area has a link which they must support.

Now suppose that this is Ontario and the centre links of the chain refuse to support their obligation to the chain. It weakens the balance. The consistency of the common strength is essential in maintaining that chain. The chain divides easily, and it polarizes into two different areas. The weight of a singular link, borne previously across a broadened area, becomes generated and more condensed on two specific areas.

It is important that we acknowledge this additional load has been wrongfully placed on links which were willing to keep their area of commitment, willing to hold up their end of the bargain. If the middle is relieved of its portion of the weight, obviously it is very pleased. Unfortunately, that outer burden becomes very difficult for the outer areas to maintain. The integrity of the chain has been destroyed by one link failing.

Should waste management strategy for a province be any different than that simple chain? Is it unrealistic to expect the municipality that is generating waste to weigh its own link of the waste stream and support that on a regional basis? It is unfair to shift it to the outermost links. Should the other municipalities within the waste management chain have to unwillingly assume that weight with no say? Does it seem realistic to ensure the continued strength of the chain, doing whatever it takes to maintain that balance across the broadened area? It is clear that when we speak of the chain I have here, or whether it is municipalities across Ontario, the balance of the load cannot be allowed to shift to the polar regions simply because the middle links choose to falter.

Enough of the chain. I think we are here to talk about Bill 143. I have read Bill 143. There are a number of concerns, but I believe generally it is a positive step for Ontario. It cannot be done in a way to maintain popularity with everyone in Ontario. I am sure the people involved in provincial politics are more than aware that this is a rather contentious issue when you begin dealing with people's wastes within their community. I have heard an outcry of criticisms against this bill, apparently for three general reasons.

One is centred around what I believe to be a lack of clarity to this point regarding the interim waste management strategy within the GTA while it is reformulating its landfill situation. Reading the bill by itself leaves a number of unanswered questions regarding the location of the interim dump sites or the vulnerability of other communities in accepting Toronto waste. What I have heard here today with the reiteration of the committee to other people who are speaking has somewhat clarified that for me.

I do believe we cannot allow export on a vast geographic range when it comes to waste management strategy. Given the magnitude of the GTA waste problem, the interim site issue may be a necessary evil, but I believe a good portion of the criticisms could be alleviated by a mass balance on total tonnages: if you are forced to place waste in a municipal community neighbouring your own, to allow a symbolic transfer of waste once the new site is established back to the original community, therefore having no real net effect on the balance of environmental impact. The financial onus should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the community within the GTA that is unable to maintain its end of the waste management picture. The interim municipality should bear no costs associated with the temporary garbage mass displacement or its subsequent mass relocation.

The second reason I find criticism of this bill is the ability to sidestep the environmental assessment process. I believe the minimum commitment to an Environmental Protection Act hearing, and precedent has been set in the province to do just that, could silence a great number of these criticisms and still give people an opportunity to respond.

The last area of concern I find with this bill is that it appears to deal only with a singular facet of Ontario's waste problem. We as a province really suffer from an absence of a clearly defined total policy on waste management within our province. Typically, we rise in the morning and we go to work to sustain our own personal financial security. It is likely that during the course of the day, a percentage of our workforce will produce a grade of commercial waste, industrial waste, institutional waste or hazardous waste as a direct byproduct related to our work activities within our community. We finish for the day at 5 o'clock at night, we leave and we return home and essentially become a municipal waste generator at that point primarily. Our activity pattern continues until such time as we go to work the next day and start producing that commercial grade of waste again, in theory.


Bill 143 only deals with the non-workplace activities between 5 at night and 8 o'clock the next morning. There is really no control over commercial, industrial or hazardous waste generation within the GTA. This bill really will continue to allow institutional, commercial and industrial grade wastes to be trucked long distances into communities such as Lambton county, as is happening now. Furthermore, hazardous waste from outside the province has not been dealt with, and outside Canada. We have wastes that come into Lambton county from the United States, hazardous wastes which are buried here within our area. Realistically, are we not threatening our own viability of Ontario by taking someone else's problem? It is similar to the criticism I was putting on the GTA coming down this way with Metro Toronto waste. I believe the wishes of the majority of Lambton county residents are that they do not want to be a host community for someone else's problem, and I believe that is consistent no matter where you go.

If I could deviate from my written text, I had the opportunity of going to the Ogden Martin incinerator facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a 575-ton-per-day incinerator. I am not an advocate of incineration, but I had the opportunity of speaking with the plant manager. The plant manager was quite proud of his facility. I asked the waste nucleus, and it was about a 30-mile radius within the site. At the same time, Ogden Martin was also proposing a 3,300-ton-per-day incinerator for Lambton county to deal with GTA wastes.

I asked him: Economies of scale are being argued in our community. Why would you not construct a 3,575-ton incinerator and take 3,000 tons of Chicago waste and bring it here? He said, "We'd be ridden out of town on a rail. Communities don't mind dealing with their own waste problem. They take responsibility for that, whatever the consequence, but they don't want to be burdened with other people's problems." I think that is realistic. People point to it as a NIMBY situation, but it is not. It really is wanting to take care of your own nucleus, but at the same time do your piece of the more or less locus of control you have the ability to effect a change on.

It is our hope at the Lambton Anti-Pollution Association that Bill 143 is the first part of a movement towards provincial policies which will see more emphasis on visibility placed on the waste-generating community in dealing with the waste at source. There is little deterrent to change poor waste management practices upon their creation when the only local environmental impact associated with the disposal of those wastes comes from the sight of the back of a truck as it is leaving your community. It becomes someone else's problem by hauling it to another community. The focal point of that community waste problem is no longer any larger than the size of the visual impact of that truck.

The reality can only be found by viewing the final resting place, the dump site, and the resultant impact, the rings of impact around the dump site or the facility dealing with this megaproblem. Local pressure for positive environmental change becomes closer to home at this point. The waste is placed in a dump site that immediately impacts your community. You have a tendency to get up and make change. Sometimes the visual daily reminder of the dump's presence is the best form of motivation to ensure positive change in dealing with Ontario's problems.

In closing, on behalf of the Lambton Anti-Pollution Association membership I would like to thank you for the opportunity of speaking here today. I would be happy to deal with any questions.

The Chair: In total there is about six minutes remaining. I will divide that two minutes for each caucus. Mr Ramsay first.

Mr Ramsay: Thank you, Geoff, for a good presentation. I particularly enjoyed your link analogy and your physical demonstration there. A lot of people in Toronto would like to know how to do that, I am sure. You see lots of bicycles and other things locked up by chain.

I would like to return to the chain, because as you said, what allows the chain to garner its strength is the equal construction and weight of the different links that make up that chain. In Ontario we are dealing with municipalities that are unequal in terms of the waste they generate and in their environmental ability to sustain the waste generated. So it is not a chain of uniform links but quite the opposite.

I think that is the difficulty we have with this bill, in that we have to be able to find the best environmental solutions, and they may not be possible in certain municipalities. I was just wondering how you reconcile that if we are all here to work for a better environment.

Mr Smith: I have been associated with a number of people who have concerns about the GTA, and I find the biggest singular problem associated with GTA waste disposal options is the land value that is placed upon the Toronto area. It is somewhat cheaper to buy agricultural land outside, incur the financial transportation costs if so allowed and develop that land into a subdivision. I think the necessary evil, the deterrence factor within a community, given the density and resources of Toronto, it has a better opportunity of effecting change than a rural community does, because of the lack of resources, the lack of professionalism, the lack of people who are willing to undertake the challenge. You are saying that maybe Toronto cannot deal with its own waste problem. I am saying it is better equipped to deal with its waste problem than we are.

Mr B. Murdoch: I am very interested in your brief. I am concerned, though, that we heard municipalities say they have not had enough input into this bill. I notice too that you have some criticism of the bill, yet I take from this that you think the bill should proceed. Since we are hearing at these committee meetings that there are problems with the bill, would it not be better for the government to withdraw the bill, listen to the people and maybe strengthen it and make it even better than put through a bill that is flawed? What do you think?

Mr Smith: I would have to make a comment of no comment, because I do not feel I am really sufficiently versed on the history of the bill to deal with that. I am seeing it at face value as a document, not the backroom negotiations and discussions and research that have gone into preparing this bill. Certainly Mrs Grier has a formidable challenge in dealing with the GTA waste and I cannot offer a better solution than Bill 143 at this particular time, so it would be unfair for me to say she should withdraw it. If you make effective criticism, you have to be able to supply an alternative. I myself, personally, cannot do that for the GTA right now.

Mr B. Murdoch: That is why we are having these meetings, to find alternatives and for people like yourself to give us briefs. There have been quite a few, as you know, and there has been a lot of criticism, but there has also been some advice. That is why I am saying maybe they should take the bill back, withdraw it, try again and come up with one that is more effective rather than coming in with a flawed bill. If we get a flawed bill, we are going to have problems all along.

Mr Smith: I would prefer to see amendments based on realistic points that are of concern as opposed to a total withdrawal.

Mr B. Murdoch: So you would support amendments to the bill?

Mr Smith: Yes.

Mr Wiseman: In a package at the back of the room, I believe, is Initiatives Paper No 1. On page 19, it speaks specifically to your comments about industrial, commercial and institutional waste. It states, "ICI waste generators located in the greater Toronto area (municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and the regional municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York) shall implement their source separation programs by September 30, 1992." In two minutes, we do not have enough time to go over it, but I would recommend that you perhaps take a look at it. In fact, the bill is the beginning of the process, not the end.

I take your comments and I congratulate you on being an adviser to your environmental club at school.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate your coming before the committee. If you would like a copy of that initiatives paper, I am sure Mr Wiseman will give it to you right now. If there is additional information you would like to share with the committee, please feel free to communicate with us in writing.



The Chair: I would like to call the next presentation, CAW Local 444. Please come forward. You have 20 minutes for your presentation. We would appreciate it if you would leave a few minutes at the end for questions, but that is up to you. Please begin by introducing yourself. We are glad you made it. We know you had a question about that. We are glad you are here.

Mr Coronado: Good morning. My name is Rick Coronado. I am the chairperson for the environment committee, Canadian Auto Workers, Local 444. We very much thank the committee for allowing us to come up and state our position on Bill 143. The CAW Local 444 environment committee is a member of the Windsor District Labour Council environment committee and Windsor and District Labour/Environment Project, serving 40,000 union members in the Windsor and Essex county area. We are also members of the Ontario environment network and the Ontario environment network labour and environment caucus.

The labour and environment caucus attempts to bring unions and environmentalists together to seek dialogue and agreement on actions to solve the mutual problems of jobs and environmental issues. We view the environment as a sociopolitical as well as an economic area of concern requiring the combined and collective efforts of all society to seek new alternatives within new structures.

Bill 143 is necessary but the result of many years of bad planning or, should we say, no planning. As a society we have painted ourselves into a corner. We must now try to find a way out of this corner. Bill 143 we believe makes an honest and pragmatic attempt to find a path out of our major social dilemma. In 1971, 21 years ago, unions and environmentalists in the Windsor-Essex area were demanding action in the war against waste. We have attempted through those years to recruit new soldiers in this war to crusade for a new direction and new solutions.

Part I, Interim Waste Authority: We support the Interim Waste Authority but not because we believe that continuing waste landfilling is acceptable, but because there are at the present time very limited alternatives. We are not particularly happy with the long-term emphasis, however, with some cynicism we feel that if our present situation is perhaps a mutant and inherent human trait, then it is probably justified. However, we must add that to continue with long-term landfilling of resources will lead to economic and social bankruptcy long before the GTA proposed landfills are filled.

The Interim Waste Authority will keep Toronto garbage in Toronto. Our environment committee and our affiliates believe that garbage should not be transported to other areas of the province. We must take responsibility for our own garbage. It is a tall order at this late stage; however, solutions are available.

In Windsor we are contemplating examining the feasibility of a tricounty consortium to handle disposal and share resources in waste management as well as waste diversion, reduction and elimination.

CAW Local 444 and the labour council environment committees believe that aboveground land banking can be achieved for those materials that cannot be processed immediately. This would require emergency mobilization of large centrally operated composting and continued promotion of backyard composting as well as the vermicomposting used in high-rise apartments.

Although we accept the idea that inspectors may be required to enter on to private land to carry out examinations, we support the right of any property owner to access all data that are collected and to have the right to call independent experts to evaluate all work. Beyond this point we do not support the philosophy of private property regarding the environment.

Part II, waste disposal sites: We are not in favour of granting permits for landfills that have a capacity to handle 20 years of garbage. We would hope that concentrated efforts to minimize waste and to prevent export to other regions will solve the necessity of planning for 20-year landfills.

We do realize that a few regions may view the export of garbage as an economic windfall they cannot afford to miss. However, if we are to follow the ethic of a conserver society -- or, as people like to call it today, the sustainable development model -- this scenario will be unacceptable, for it will allow proponents of the free-enterprise mode of social operation the continued function of waste and eventual terricide. We must be prepared to look at a new social contract, one that involves conversion from the culture of waste to a culture of conservation and social equity.

We are pleased to see that the idea of utilizing incineration as a component of a waste management system has been eliminated from Bill 143. CAW 444, along with the labour council and other organizations from the St Clair and Walpole regions and the United States, has battled for six long years the spectre of the world's largest energy-from-waste incinerator in Detroit. We have witnessed the city of Detroit virtually bankrupt itself to put up the money to finance the construction, operation and now retrofitting of this facility.

Incineration is an unacceptable alternative for waste disposal. The environment and public health are the major victims of this type of techno-solution. Mercury and other heavy metals, S02 and NOx are persistent toxins that find their way into the food chain and bioaccumulate over time. But this is not the only reason for the failure of this alternative. The economics of incineration are bad. Those who have witnessed the Detroit incinerator and its faulty RDF technology, as well as the Victoria incinerator in London, realize that these facilities will not pay for themselves. They will bankrupt a community and compete with 3R programs.

Part III, implementation of the minister's report: We recognize the urgency of finding landfilling space, as is occurring in Toronto and shortly in our own region of Windsor-Essex. However, we do not support the trampling of individual rights in implementing the minister's order. The Canadian Auto Workers, as well as labour in general, have supported the protection of civil liberties in this country.

We must also once again emphasize that landfilling cannot and will not support waste reduction and avoidance targets as contained in the minister's new waste initiatives paper.

Public hearings may be necessary in matters of implementation, and we must again emphasize that we certainly support an individual's right to a hearing. However, we do not support the individual's right to hold up for ransom the right of a society to pursue what we perceive as the only alternative at this time to fill in these gaps. This could require that an independent board be maintained to deal with these matters. Aboveground land banking should be subject to individual hearings before an independent board.

Part IV, amendments to the Environmental Protection Act:

In section 22, we support banning the transportation of garbage to foreign jurisdictions.

We support section 23; however, we find the idea of the minister or director having the power to enlarge or extend waste disposal sites difficult to accept, for reasons stated earlier.

Overall, we commend the minister for taking a politically difficult initiative. We find most of Bill 143 acceptable, with certain reservations and provisions for amendments as stated within our comments.

Thank you very much. We are now prepared to take any questions.

The Chair: Thank you for a thoughtful presentation. Mr Lessard.

Mr Lessard: I think the Canadian Auto Workers should be commended for the work they have been doing and are continuing to do to try to improve living conditions within the communities where they work and live. I know how hard you have worked as well to do that job in Windsor.

You talked about the incinerator in Detroit and the economics with respect to that. We have heard from others here who are trying to encourage us as the government to conduct further research before we eliminate incineration as an alternative. Do you feel you have enough information from the operation of the facility in Detroit to justify your decision to oppose incineration, and could you tell us a bit more about the economics?

Mr Coronado: Our research was mostly US because we were battling a facility in the United States. At the present time, I am not talking about that particular incinerator, which we spent six years on and which is still not done, but I think the figures were that in 1990, 230 RDF incinerators were operating in the United States, of which there are only 30 operating today.

The economics are not there. If we talk about the waste stream, as we have many times with the Michigan Air Pollution Commission and with Detroit, and about the economics and eliminating the various products that are necessary to maintain the economics of incineration, it would totally eliminate the viability of asking a community to put out what it did in Detroit. That was over $500 million to build an incinerator, and then going back three or four years later to put another $120 million into retrofitting it because they did not put in the proper technology in the first place.


We can also use the example of Victoria. The Victoria incinerator obviously went broke. It is still operating on a piecemeal basis, but it is certainly not operating the way it was designed to operate. So we do not feel the economics are there.

We also feel that incineration is certainly going to interrupt any attempt by a community to set up a blue box, and even beyond the blue box program. If we are going to go after plastics and recycle them, if we are going to eliminate those items in the waste stream that have high BTU, that is where the battle between incineration and recycling and reduction comes from.

Mr McLean: Concerning one part of the bill, I would like to hear your comments with regard to the public process and individuals having input into establishment of landfill sites or alterations. It concerns me greatly. If anyone was introducing this bill except the party that is introducing it today, we would have this whole room full of placards opposing the EA, the public process -- that people are not being heard.

Here today, from what I am gathering, you are supporting most of it except that part of it really. I think you agree with me that the process of public participation is not there. What are your comments on that?

Mr Coronado: Well, you heard my comments. As I said, we think that is necessary and must be maintained. We do agree with Bill 143, but that is one area we feel cannot be trodden on. We believe people have the right to have input, to have their say on these issues regardless of the bill and how it is set up.

We feel very nervous that we would be infringing on private property rights, although coming from the long term, we are not in agreement, and we have made our presentation to the constitutional setup federally that private property and the environment do not mix in a lot of cases. However, we feel that people have a right to have a say, and we have battled that issue for many years.

Mr McLean: Do you have any course of action you are going to take to make sure that happens?

Mr Coronado: We are certainly going to be making presentations to the minister, and I think obviously the labour unions and the environmental groups in Windsor-Essex are going to maintain that level of public consultation and public involvement.

I might add that there are many areas over the last 10 to 15 years where we have had major problems in public involvement and public participation, and we are certainly not going to lose it now.

Mr Ramsay: I would like to continue to pursue this point, because as legislators we are guilty sometimes of the very same thing. Because we agree with some of the principles in a bill, we sometimes support legislation that in the end is flawed. I think we are going to have to start to work sharper as legislators to make sure we do not allow legislation to pass, even though there are some good aspects, as there are to this bill, when the bill is flawed.

The principle here, as Allan has just talked about and on which you are in agreement, is the principle of the public participation that people in the last 20 years have fought for to get to this point. It is very worrisome that we will allow that principle to go by the wayside because of other good aspects. What is your comment on that?

Mr Coronado: I would not go so far as to say we are going to be shortchanged. I do not think anybody is going to shortchange the public on public input. Yes, there are some problems in there with public input. I think amendments could change that issue. I think we have had the opportunity over many years of having access to the various ministers, and I go back to at least the last two governments.

We had good rapport with Jim Bradley. We have had good rapport with Ruth Grier. We do not have any complaints, but we have to constantly remind any government in any position that this is the direction we want to go in, and there are obviously going to be some differences of opinion.

I can appreciate where the minister has come from. I have had some very lengthy talks with Jim Bradley and Ruth Grier about that very issue. It is a very difficult position we find ourselves in. I can recall Jim Bradley saying many times that perhaps it is one of these positions where you are damned if you do and damned if you don't; you are in a particularly difficult corner.

I have to say that as the political leadership of this country, these are the people we have to be questioning. For years we have attempted to battle this issue, particularly waste management and public input. We have to go back and look at our own backyard in Essex-Windsor, where we have not had proper access to the means whereby they are coming up with these proposals. We have wasted literally millions of dollars in Windsor and Essex fiddling around with private sector proposals when we should have gotten on with the job. These are our concerns, and we are going to constantly bring these concerns to the politicians.

Mr Hayes: Thank you for coming today, Rick. I am not a regular member of this committee; I am just filling in for one of the other members today. The thing is that I do not know how the committee has been going, but the comments I hear, especially from the official opposition, are: "Let's get rid of this bill. Let's start over again. Go back to day one." Being in the labour movement, you have been involved in legislation, especially health and safety legislation. Bill 208 was a good example where the labour movement did not like the whole bill but felt it was a step in the right direction. I would like you to comment on that. In your opinion, even though you are going to have further input in this, what would happen if this government decided, "Let's withdraw this bill and start over again"?

Mr Coronado: No, I think we would be at the door right away to say no, we cannot get rid of this bill. We have to make a decision. We have been delaying these kinds of decisions for too long. As I said in my comments, we have put ourselves in the corner. Now we have to make some very difficult decisions. I can appreciate where a lot of the people in the greater Toronto area are coming from, but one thing that we have pledged, just as lately as Walpole Island, at a meeting with four labour councils and a number of environmental groups around the area is that we do not want to support transporting garbage across borders or international boundaries. Let's get on with it. Bill 143 has some flaws. Let's make some amendments. Let's support it and let's push it through.

Mr B. Murdoch: Just as you said, "Let's push it through." This is what the government wanted to do. They wanted to have this through by December without public consultation. That is what makes me so concerned about this, that they were going to just push it through. If it was not for the opposition, you would not be here today. That is why I am saying that maybe we should withdraw this whole bill and look at it doing it properly. Obviously there are flaws because there have been a lot of people here today saying, "We haven't been consulted."

Mr Coronado: I disagree with you. I think there are always flaws in any bill. We could sit here and waste more time and spend a lot of the taxpayers' money trying to find flaws in a lot of bills we are not happy with. I think that Bill 143, for some of the problems it has, is acceptable. We will stand on it. We will support it. However, we will bring to the attention of the minister and the opposition parties our particular aspect that public involvement and public participation must be an important part of this bill. As it stands now, and I agree with Mr Hayes, there are very many examples of other bills that have gone through the same way.

Mr B. Murdoch: You would not have had that chance if it had gone through the way it was.

Mr Coronado: We will give you a medal.

Mr B. Murdoch: That is very nice coming from the union. I appreciate it.

Mr McClelland: I am not sure anybody is looking for any medal, but I think there is an awful lot of substantive material on the table that has resulted from the presentations that have been made. My concern in part flows from what Mr Murdoch has said. You have stated that there are some concerns you have and you want to see some amendments brought forward. There have been an awful lot of other people who have said the same thing. The result of this process is such that in the final analysis approximately 40 seconds of third reading debate, if you apportion it equally, will be attributed to your presentation, sir.

The process has been determined by a government that quite frankly said that it believed in open and public consultation. If you take a look at the number of deputants who have been here, the average time that would be allotted would allow 40 seconds of participation on the substance of the amendments I am hoping you will bring forward. That is one of the concerns we have about this. I think you are right that a lot has to be done. You cannot go back to square one, but certainly you have got to look at the fundamental principles that are involved here. If they do not work, let's get the amendments in place that you can present to us. That will be helpful. Let's work with them. Let's give them their due course and an opportunity to work with them in some meaningful way.

Mr Coronado: What are you advocating, that we do away with Bill 143?

Mr McClelland: Yes, I am. I will be very candid. I will say to you very plainly that I am quite frankly astounded that the CAW would come forward and say that you believe in overriding all the rights Bill 143 overrides, that you believe in overriding the municipal authority and the municipal autonomy that has been granted in the past, that you believe in the principle of overriding agreements that have been entered into in good faith. I guess the thing that a lot of people hold as sacred is their own property, their own home, and a lot of that is put at stake. This says: "You entered into an agreement in good faith, you believed people, you thought this was what was in place. I'm sorry. We're going to override it." It further goes on to say, "If there's anything else that stands in the way, we're going to just wipe it out by way of regulation."

Mr Coronado: That is funny. Where were you 21 years ago when we were hollering and yelling to get on with the job? You as a politician have painted this society into a corner. You are the leadership. You are the people we come to to ask for decisions and answers as to where we go, and now you sit there and tell me that.

Mr McClelland: Absolutely.

Mr Coronado: Give me a break. What would you want? What are you advocating? What is your position on Bill 143? Do you want Kirkland Lake to take the garbage? Do you want North Bay to take the garbage? If it stays in greater Toronto, let's handle it. What do you do with your garbage? Do you throw it on the curb and forget about it?

Mr McClelland: Let me tell you, sir, that the people who fought 21 years ago fought very hard to get the rights in place --

The Chair: Order.

Mr Coronado: As far as I am concerned, we will maintain the rights.

The Chair: Order. I am going to have to say thank you very much for the presentation. Mr McClelland, I cannot allow the debate to go on further. Time has expired. Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate your coming before the committee.

I have some housekeeping before members leave, some important announcements, please. The committee will reconvene at 2 o'clock for this afternoon's presentations. For the information of all committee members and staff, the holding room for all luggage is room 120. Please have everything there by 1 pm. That is extremely important.

The committee has to make a decision so that we can direct our researcher. As you know, Jerry is putting together a summary. That will be very helpful for all members and caucuses during the clause-by-clause process. Clause-by-clause begins Monday, March 9, at 2 pm. We have to give some direction to research as to when we would like to have the completed analysis of the hearing process ready. We can either direct Friday, February 28, by 4 pm, or Monday, March 2.

The final date for all amendments is March 11. That means that you have to consider when you are going to need the summary by, so that you can plan. The other request from the clerk is that we have the amendments as soon as possible, but the last possible date is March 11. What I would like to know is when you would like to have the summary.

Mr Wiseman: My question would be to the researcher. Knowing his desire to give us a high-quality document, when would he feel he could have a high-quality document ready for this committee, the earliest date of that.

Mr Richmond: If you could give us until Monday, March 2, that would give us adequate time. My concern is that there are over 250 written briefs. I would like to make sure, even once the material gets inputted -- thank God we have word processors -- that there is adequate time to edit and proofread it. Because this document goes to the committee and the public, I would like, in view of professional standards, to get the best product out. If you could give me until Monday, I will do my level best to get it to you. I will table it with Lynn, the clerk, and she will handle the distribution.

The Chair: Is that agreed, Mr McClelland?

Mr McClelland: Yes.

Mr Wiseman: Just one last thing about that. As soon as you get it, will we be getting it right away, the same day?

The Chair: This is what I am going to tell you right now. That is next. The request from research is that the document be in the clerk's office by 10 on the morning of March 2. That will allow the clerk sufficient time to see that it is copied and couriered on that day to caucus researchers and whips as well as members of the committee. You will probably not receive it until late afternoon on March 2, but you will have it on that day. If you could have it in by 10 am, Jerry, that will ensure that everyone has it on March 2.

I repeat again that the last date for receipt of amendments is March 11 and that clause-by-clause debate begins on March 9 and concludes on March 12. We are all set for that.

Mr Wiseman: On the amendments, I believe the clerk has indicated that up until noon you will be able copy them but any amendments brought in in the afternoon should have 20 copies.

The Chair: We will make that reminder again on the 9th. We will remind everybody about that on the 9th. It will be in Hansard, but if you want, I will go over it with you afterwards again.

Thank you all. This committee stands in recess until 2 o'clock this afternoon.

The committee recessed at 1225.


The committee resumed at 1401.

The Vice-Chair: Good afternoon. The standing committee on social development will commence with hearings on Bill 143 in the afternoon session.


The Vice-Chair: Our first group is the Citizens Environment Alliance. Would you come forward, please, and identify yourselves for the sake of Hansard. You have 20 minutes to make your presentation. We would appreciate if you would leave a few moments for questioning by members of the committee. If you would commence, please.

Ms Menyes: Thank you, Mr Chair. My name is Rose Menyes. I am an environmental planning consultant retained by the Citizens Environment Alliance of southwestern Ontario out of Windsor.

I have been retained by the alliance to act for it on behalf of its membership regarding waste management issues in Windsor and Essex county as well as regarding Bill 143 input. I suppose the first comment I would like to make on behalf of the Citizens Environment Alliance really relates to the waste generated by this so-called waste management process. It does not only relate to this particular committee and the process regarding Bill 143; it also relates to the waste management process all across Ontario with respect to the myriad of consultants' reports that are produced and the waste generated by waste management committees in trying to resolve the waste management problem.

It is quite scary sometimes when you look at all the reports, and if you really go through some of the reports it is unfortunate that the consultants -- I am going to speak very broadly and generally because I am a consultant myself -- like adding, thickening the pot and putting paper into reports that are repetitious of what was in the previous report. The usefulness of some of that material is really questionable when it keeps repeating itself over and over again.

It comes as some surprise, not only as a consultant but as a resident, that some waste management committees do not take a little more positive direction to their consultants. Some of them must read the reports that are produced regarding the waste management issue and they have to see the repetition. I think it is a real crime that this is going on in terms of trying to resolve the crisis we already have, yet we are producing so much waste ourselves.

In particular as it relates to this committee, I believe one of the directions we received when we submitted our group as coming before this committee was that we were required to submit 30 copies of this submission. I am not really sure whether 30 copies are absolutely necessary, but that certainly leaves something to be desired . The report the Citizens Environment Alliance has submitted is a one-page report with double-sided copying and it is certainly brief. It has not tried to repeat submissions you have had from other groups in the province. We are trying to focus on a few issues and bring some points home. Rather than repeating the whole issue that you have probably heard in your travels through the province, we are trying to ensure that only a few of the important messages get to you in terms of our submission.

The Citizens Environment Alliance firmly believes in the ecosystem approach to environmental planning and daily decision-making in terms of municipal, provincial and any groups that make decisions that affect the environment. We certainly realize, as many of you do -- I suppose the profile of this is coming more to light -- that everything is interconnected and interrelated and that the quality of life and human health depend on that interconnectedness. Negative effects to the environment obviously will negatively affect the quality of life, and certainly human health has been drastically affected in the Great Lakes basin. There are all sorts of scientific studies available now that certainly demonstrate this in terms of wildlife, and slowly in terms of human health as well.

The Citizens Environment Alliance has been involved with the waste management issue since about 1988. Since that time the group has proposed different alternatives and different options to the local municipality and to the waste management committee all in an effort to reduce waste. In 1989, the group suggested that a household hazardous waste program be established. The following year a household hazardous waste program was established, but it only allowed for pickup three to four times a year. Three years later there still is no permanent depot to deposit household hazardous waste in Windsor and Essex county. Some of this waste is still going to the landfills in Windsor and Essex county.

In 1989 the group also offered suggestions to the waste management committee regarding mixed plastics. Unfortunately, the only plastics that are collected in Windsor and Essex county right now are the PET plastics. Although suggestions were made for above-ground storage until appropriate markets and appropriate processes were found, the suggestions were not implemented and we still have all these plastics going into landfill. We have lost valuable landfill space because of that. There are many municipalities in Ontario that are collecting mixed plastics today. Windsor and Essex county is not one of them.

As a result of all this involvement, we are certainly relieved to see that there is some impending legislation regarding the reduction of waste. Bill 143, with some amendments and some changes that will hopefully improve it, will certainly help us to take some more positive steps to reduce the waste stream.

We did not really want to get into the details about the GTA specifically. As a result, we are only going to comment on some sections that we feel may have provincial implications for future initiatives. The Citizens Environment Alliance is definitely and positively opposed to any incineration. The group, since the late 1980s, has been one of the key groups in fighting the battle against the Detroit incinerator and the transboundary impacts in Windsor and Essex county. We certainly are not going to look favourably on any consideration for incineration in terms of transporting our local waste across the border to have it incinerated in the Detroit incinerator. That is a vicious circle. We certainly do not want to have any part of it.


Incineration is obviously a detriment to the 3Rs. When you build a monster you have to feed it, and if you feed the monster you lose the ability to have effective reduction and recycling programs. I have briefly touched on air emissions -- dioxins, mercury and all sorts of other things. They are obviously a concern. Even with the best available control technology we still get some impact. Small as it may be, it bioaccumulates in food and in people. We are certainly not prepared to support any type of incineration as an alternative.

We are also strongly opposed to the export of waste across transboundary frontiers or across regional-municipal boundaries. However, we recognize the need for possible regional management of waste. There have been some meetings that we have attended regarding discussions on a tricounty waste management authority. That might be one of the many solutions needed to deal with the waste in the southwestern tip of Ontario.

Bill 143 certainly talks about landfill quite a bit. Landfill as the disposal solution should not be considered as a long-term solution. There needs to be some clarification. There should be a goal to minimize landfill through reduction and the investigation of alternative and new techniques for landfilling; in other words, separating certain items in the waste stream and having them stored above-ground etc in suitable sites.

We certainly hope the Initiatives Paper No 1 released by the minister will minimize the use and expansion of landfills. We hope that paper does that job for us. If it does not, then please make those considerations when you are looking at this aspect of the bill.

To follow that up, it is certainly critical that policies for effective decision-making are established by the minister. But if and when those policies are established, there needs to be public consultation. The public needs to be involved in the process before the decisions on policies are finalized.

We certainly support part II, section 16 of the bill in terms of offering funding for participants at an earlier stage in the process. That is very good from the public perspective and certainly should help us to have more effective decision-making in public input knowledge.

In part III we are very concerned about the removal of the right to have a formal hearing, in particular as it relates to subsections 18(6) and 18(7), in terms of the fact that the minister is delegating that responsibility to a director and it is his or her decision as to whether there should be a hearing. Then on top of all that, he or she does not necessarily have to provide notice of the decision or notice of whether there will or will not be a hearing. That is very concerning to us, very upsetting for us. No hearing and no public notice are not acceptable. We strongly recommend that the minister maintain this authority and not delegate it to directors. There has to be some sort of public accountability here. We do not necessarily feel that a director can provide that impartial decision-making and necessarily have to take the responsibility upon himself or herself.

In part IV we generally concur with the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. Certainly it is a good start, but does it really go far enough? I am sure that in your travels throughout Ontario you have heard about whether in fact part IV goes far enough in terms of excess packaging, packaging legislation, packaging limitations, disposal etc. We are not really going to expand on that. I am sure you have heard enough in terms of waste reduction strategies and whether part IV really goes far enough in terms of that.

But as to the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Act that deal with the delegation of the minister's powers under the act, we question whether that should proceed in that fashion. We believe the minister should have that responsibility and those powers should not be delegated. We request that you seriously consider that aspect. It is unacceptable to deal with decisions that have no public accountability and no possibility for public input. The transferring of such powers to a director, in our mind, may not necessarily be in the best public interest as a result.

We certainly believe that we must move towards a conserver society, and that requires major lifestyle changes on the part of all of us, each and every one of us. We all have to evaluate the ways in which we deal with our daily lives and our habits and our lifestyles. All that needs to change.

I sound like a broken record, I am sure, but those changes need to be made and we will need to take some responsibility. We are all part of the problem and we are all part of the solution. We have to work together, and together, hopefully, in processes like this, we can come up with a palatable solution that will deal with resolutions to the problem. Waste reduction is definitely critical, but education is the key. Without education, without educating the public and the residents of Ontario on the necessary lifestyle changes to be responsible for the wastes they produce, it is going to end up a failed system.

It does not matter what kinds of regulations and legislation we put into place. It is the people of Ontario who have to make changes in the way they live every day. Unless they do that, unless we all do that, and unless there is some sort of formal education outreach program that goes out from the government to the people and provides some sort of incentives, we are not going to solve this problem. In the year 2000 we are still going to be looking for what we are going to do with our waste. We hope everyone realizes that the future is in our hands. If we are going to leave any type of legacy for future generations, at the very least we should try to leave a clean and safe environment with air fit to breathe, food fit to eat and water fit to drink.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Thank you very much for a thoughtful brief. There are four minutes for questioning.

Mr Lessard: I want to thank you very much for your submission and for coming from Windsor to attend the hearings today. You made some interesting points with respect to waste caused by waste management. As far as the process in Essex county is concerned, it is interesting to note that we have been working on this for years and have spent millions of dollars and now the consultants are recommending that the existing sites be expanded, and we have spent all that time and money in order to get that result.

You also mentioned meetings you have had with respect to regional management of waste disposal in Essex, Kent and Lambton counties. That is something Rick Coronado from the CAW mentioned this morning. I did not get a chance to ask him about that, but I wonder at what level those meetings are taking place and how you have become involved in them?

Ms Menyes: I suppose the levels are so far only limited to CAW, labour and environment groups. However, we have had a meeting with the mayor of the city of Windsor and have discussed this issue with him as well, so it is in the very initial stages of talking about this, although the labour movement in our region has certainly talked about this for some time. We are just slowly starting to make some progress towards that, and hopefully we will be able to get a meeting in the near future to talk about just that at a government level.


Mr Ramsay: Rose, I want to follow on this issue also because I was very impressed that you brought up the idea that we should be looking more regionally for the management of waste. I agree, and it is interesting that groups such as yours seem to be, as usual, ahead of government and politicians in this thinking. It is one of our criticisms of this bill that the arbitrary, politically drawn lines of municipal jurisdictions are the lines that also have to contain the waste.

I think you are right and I hope the government members will listen and you pursue that so we have more flexibility, so we can make environmental decisions rather than political decisions on this. I wish you well on that.

Ms Menyes: Thank you. We still feel, as a group, that you are responsible for taking care of your own waste; the waste you produce should be taken care of where it is produced -- although there are some regional areas, and maybe the GTA is an example, where you have to reassess and look at where exactly things should go and are more suited.

Mr McLean: I was concerned about the Windsor-Essex blue box program that you referred to in your remarks. Why has it not been proceeded with in that area? What has been the problem there?

Ms Menyes: We do have a blue box program, but it only is collecting PET right now in terms of plastics. They have not really progressed from the basic blue box program in spite of the fact that groups such as the Citizens Environment Alliance have been, for the last three years, coming up with suggestions and alternatives to deal with it. They have not moved on it. It is unexplainable to us why the politicians have decided not to implement it.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. The time is up. As you know, if you have further information for the committee, you may let us know in writing.


The Vice-Chair: Has CUPE Local 82 arrived? Since they are not here, I would ask that Dianne Wright come forward. Please identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard. You have 20 minutes for your presentation and we would appreciate a few minutes at the end for questions by members of the committee.

Mrs D. Wright: Good afternoon. My name is Dianne Wright. I am a mother of two. I got my husband to take the day off work so I could come down and visit with you and give you some of my ideas regarding the amendments to the Environmental Protection Act, Bill 143, part IV.

As a mother of two, I genuinely dread what future may await them, but more pressing to me has been the dramatic changes I have witnessed in my lifetime, which is not too awfully long yet: changes in the quality of water, air, wildlife and forest cover. I am afraid to swim in the lake. I worry when I think about the quality of the water my family drinks. I am frightened when I think about the contaminants in their food.

My feeling is that we are still compromising the earth and the future of all creatures. Yet with strong action through the amendments to this act, we could make a difference. Sooner or later we will have to wake up and smell the coffee, bite the bullet, determine what is really important, the packaging or whether what is in it is edible.

Although I am here as a concerned individual, my ties to certain grass-roots citizens' groups are strong and I would like to discuss their goals. I too am with the Citizens Environment Alliance. Its mandate is to protect, restore and enhance the quality of the local environment in the Detroit-St Clair River corridor and in the Windsor-Essex county region. The proposed waste management objectives of the CEA are to support the 3Rs to lead to a zero waste disposal strategy. I do not wish to comment on any waste strategy. With this in mind, the CEA has worked with and supported Environmental Action Ontario's excess packaging campaign.

The campaign received the support of over 55 municipalities in Ontario. Its goals are that fast-food restaurants provide reusable dishes and cutlery for their sit-down customers; that the province impose a special tax on disposable take-out containers with revenues dedicated to waste reduction efforts, and that supermarkets reduce their excess packaging.

The fact that we receive support by municipalities to that degree indicates they would welcome strong government legislation, strong government intervention. Although we have been campaigning to seek legislation and changes in corporate policies, generally this has not occurred.

What do citizens like yourselves believe to be an overpackaged item? We handed out over 9,000 Dirty Dozen survey cards across the province to shoppers in supermarkets asking them to identify 12 products which they felt were overpackaged. Funded by Environment Canada, the number 1 item was Tetra Paks or drink boxes -- I am sure you are all familiar with them -- followed by vegetables on a paper-board tray and wrapped in shrink wrap; processed cheese slices; meat, fish and poultry on a polystyrene tray wrapped in shrink wrap; individual cereals; sanitary pads or tampons; cookies; pudding cups; pumped toothpaste; bagged milk, and frozen dinners. In other words, our everyday fare is overpackaged. An opportunity exists for this legislation to clearly identify what packaging should be made of in order to maximize source reduction, reuse for the same package, and the ability to recycle the packaging material.

Packaging is considered excessive when it uses more resources than necessary to efficiently serve practical purposes. Packaging that could be reduced or eliminated through this act might include that packaging whose function is marketing and display of a product. Cereal boxes do not seem to serve any purpose other than advertising. I have one here as an example. It has lovely raspberries and granola in it, but I really just want to see what is in it when I buy it.

They block the consumer from actually seeing a product, and in this instance it would be nice to see what we are buying, not a picture of it. Gimmicky packaging directed at children that is designed specifically to be thrown away, such as the squeeze-it bottles, could be removed since it promotes a throwaway attitude in our most vulnerable age group. They are gimmicky and they have nothing useful inside either.

The single-serving package which is designed for convenience and for measured portions, such as individual cereals, soups, drink boxes and the whole gamut of microwavable meals in disposable dishes needs to be examined. Industry has not provided us with responsible packaging choices, nor has it integrated the cost of disposal into the packaging.

Would you be willing to pay a tax on fast-food throwaway containers? We asked 4,000 people across Ontario and 74% approved of an environmental tax on fast-food throwaway containers; 86% support fast-food restaurants serving sit-down customers on reusable dishes. We have reached a point where citizens are prepared to make a financial commitment to environmental protection and I hope this act will follow through and take advantage of this opportunity.

I must admit to having difficulty deciphering the proposed amendments. I confess I am not a legal beagle. In comparison, I found the federal legislation being implemented in Germany to be far more readable and direct. I am just a layperson, though.


The ordinance on the avoidance of packaging waste places packaging into three categories and identifies the types clearly. Transport packaging, sales packaging and secondary packaging will be returned to the producers whose responsibility it will be to recycle. Why can we not take a close look at this legislation and apply it here?

The use of the word "avoid" conveys a strong sense of conviction. "Avoid" by definition means to keep away from, to shun, to refrain from, while the term that we generally use here is "to reduce," which means to bring down, diminish in size and in quantity. Will our legislation have that strength and conviction that seems to be apparent in the German legislation? I hope that we can meet this challenge.

Packaging legislation must stress source reduction. The costs must be integrated into the product, and producers or manufacturers must take responsibility for whatever packaging remains. Those who would criticize us concerned citizens suggest that we are against progress. Progress means to advance or develop towards a better state, and I believe that beginning the process of long-term change towards a sustainable way of life is progress.

We want ultimately to see less overall packaging, not just a package that has lost weight. We need standards, regulations and legislation, and we need to work in conjunction with all interests considered, but the environment must be considered first. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for a very thoughtful presentation. We have got a total of 10 minutes, so three minutes per caucus, giving you one minute to sum up.

Mr Lessard: I think I speak on behalf of all the committee members in saying how much we appreciate having concerned citizens and parents take their own time and effort to make presentations to us. You have no financial interest in the outcome of any of this legislation and therefore your views are appreciated and very important.

You talked about some efforts that you have taken at reducing packaging, and you talked about the survey you did. We have had a number of corporations and retailers come before us and say: "Let us do it voluntarily. We can respond to those issues without regulation." I just wondered whether you conveyed the results of your survey to retailers and to the corporations that produce those items and if you saw any response.

Mrs D. Wright: Yes, we met with many of them, many of the fast-food chains and the supermarket people down in Toronto, and we conveyed our responses from a number of surveys we did, including the two I mentioned. They were quite open in a lot of cases and a lot of them felt that they had already been doing a very good job. We appreciate the fact that they had tried, perhaps more through the back door and the transportation part of their packaging as opposed to what goes out the front door. We got a very positive response from most of them, but I think they feel limited as to what they can do because they are afraid that the competition is not going to be doing it. If there is something right across the board -- the fancy expression is "a level playing field" -- then they would probably take that initiative much further, but you have got to make the first step.

Mr McClelland: We have heard a lot of people come before the committee who have made some very valuable and worthwhile suggestions, as have you. Many of them had been pursuant to part IV of the bill, which provides the legislative authority to move in certain directions with regulation. At the same time, people have come who have said that they want to be partners in the process.

I just simply want to say for the record in response that I am not sure that it is always an either/or and an us and them. I think there needs to be an atmosphere, and I am sure you would agree and I hope you would agree, where there is a cooperative spirit in all segments of society and all sectors: citizens, government and the business sector getting together. There have to be issues of leadership, and you have to be on the cutting edge.

You may not have been here before lunch when somebody said, "Well, would you scrap the whole bill?" I said, "Yes, I would." One of the reasons I would scrap the whole bill is because we came up with something that we thought was worthwhile and that was to carve out part IV, and we did that. We felt very strongly about other parts of the bill and said early on in November, even prior to --

Mrs D. Wright: I do not agree with cutting out part IV at all. I think you need to strengthen it extremely.

Mr McClelland: Hang on. Can I finish? Carve out part IV and bring it in as a separate piece of legislation, bring to it some amendments, tighten it up in certain areas and back off in other areas. That is the process we believe in, that part IV of the bill should be kept alive. When I say "carve it out," I mean carve it out, keep it alive, deal with it, and deal with it as you have suggested, by looking at specific ways to improve it. I just want to say thank you for your suggestions, and I hope we can work positively towards accommodating that.

Mrs D. Wright: Can I just say one more thing?

Mr McClelland: Go ahead.

Mrs D. Wright: I do not think that it needs to be carved out or separated from the whole Environmental Protection Act or from the whole waste disposal --

Mr McClelland: Maybe I should not use the terminology without explaining it fully. I do not mean carving it out from the Environmental Protection Act -- that is the whole purpose of part IV, to deal with the Environmental Protection Act -- but to deal with part IV, focus our attention on that, focus the attention on the positive initiatives that need to be taken. So I think we are, for the most part, saying the same thing. I am just saying it is a matter of focus, and that is where you have said our focus should be; that is where I believe our focus should be.

Mrs D. Wright: I do not think the legislation you have proposed is strong enough. I am just a layperson, and it is not very readable. If you take the English translation of the German legislation, I do not know if they have changed the words or what, but I can read it and I can comprehend it, but I cannot comprehend part IV very well.

The Vice-Chair: Join all of us; we are not lawyers.

Mrs D. Wright: Okay, thank you.

Mr Hayes: A very good presentation, Dianne. There is a group they call the national packaging protocol. Of course it is a voluntary group, and the Minister of the Environment in Ontario is part of that, and we have industry also and environmentalists. With the participation of industry, it is alluding to what Mr Lessard had to say about industry wanting to do things voluntarily. What we are actually seeing is that this would pertain to anything that is packaged or sold in Ontario.

How do you feel about my government coming out with legislation or saying it is voluntary and "Do it on your own" versus legislating it to ensure that it is really done?

Mrs D. Wright: I am sure that industry is aware of the national packaging protocol and if it wanted to it could be working towards those goals at this time. Is that not correct?

Mr Hayes: Yes.

Mrs D. Wright: So have we seen any major movement in that direction?

Mr Hayes: There is some. It is not going to be an overnight thing, I am sure.

Mrs D. Wright: How long do we have to wait?

Mr Hayes: You have been waiting a lot of years now and we are trying to speed things up.

Mrs D. Wright: That is why I think you need to go ahead with legislation and try to coax them along. We cannot wait much longer.

Mr Hayes: Very good.

The Vice-Chair: You have got a minute to sum up if you wish.

Mrs D. Wright: No. Thank you for your time.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for a very thoughtful presentation and some personal insights and also some practical suggestions.


The Vice-Chair: At this time I would ask that Warwick Watford Landfill Committee come forward, please. Would you identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard, please.

Mrs Aarts: I am Cindy Aarts from the Warwick Watford Landfill Committee.

The Vice-Chair: You have got 20 minutes to make your presentation, and, as I have stated before, we would appreciate a few minutes for questions by members of the committee. Go ahead.

Mrs Aarts: On behalf of the WWLC, Warwick Watford Landfill Committee, I welcome this opportunity to speak to you today about the critical issue of waste management in Ontario, in particular Bill 143. The members of our committee believe it is essential to express our views about the process that is currently under way that is determining the province's future waste system. While our concerns about the current system of waste management are many, the one I would like to address today is the relationship between public and private waste management systems, primarily disposal companies.

Four years ago I, along with most of my neighbours, knew only that Laidlaw, a company that currently owned and operated a 100-acre landfill site, was proposing to double its size to 200 acres and as a means to that end bought 600 acres of prime agricultural land all around us, right next to the town of Watford.

What started off as a series of self-interested meetings in our farm kitchens has grown into a community of enlightened individuals who are searching for equitable and lasting solutions. We boast a central committee of eight individuals who have the complete support of 1,500 rural and town residents, along with their mayors and our council members. We belong to the Rural Action on Garbage and the Environment coalition, which represents 10 citizens' groups across Ontario. We purchased stock in Laidlaw so that we were able to attend their annual meetings. We have participated in Laidlaw's pre-submission consultation process events. Members of our committee are involved with the Lambton county waste management plan.


We are not simply opposing a little landfill site down the road. We already have one; we live with it every day, and we accept responsibility for our area's waste, but when Laidlaw placed our community under siege almost four years ago by proposing to transport Toronto's garbage to Warwick township and other sites in Lambton county, our fight began. We are not, in any sense of the term, willing hosts.

The WWLC supports part II of Bill 143. With regard to the GTA, the Minister of the Environment made a good decision, in our opinion, that a landfill site search for GTA garbage should be conducted within the GTA boundaries. Having to keep waste close to home does create a very strong incentive for waste generators to minimize their waste production. We urge that the transport policy be consistent across the province. If the same administrators who control the 3Rs program are also responsible for the local landfill sites, you can be sure that they will do everything in their power to conserve landfill space.

Private developers create tremendous conflict in our communities as they propose landfills and incinerators across the country. Private companies consider garbage a growth industry, and therein lies the conflict. How can we expect a company which makes its money from volumes of waste to encourage garbage reduction?

In his presentation to your committee on January 22, Mr Cook of Laidlaw said that his company pioneered the blue box program "as part of our commitment to proactive waste resource management." In Warwick township, Laidlaw provides the residents with one large bin in which the only recyclables acceptable are clear glass, tin and newsprint. They do not accept wood, gypsum board, corrugated cardboard, clear glass, plastics and have yet to introduce composting.

Laidlaw provides little commitment to our community towards waste resource management. Laidlaw operates according to a profit margin, as do all successful companies; but where there is profit, there is loss. In the case of Laidlaw and the community, it is most definitely the latter which shows up the loser. Laidlaw does not answer to the public, but rather to its shareholders. Our local concerns are too often immaterial to them.

While we strive for reduction of waste, Laidlaw is looking to grow bigger and bigger. Site proposals originate with private garbage companies intent on developing new sites or expanding existing landfill sites for profit. Many private firms, including Laidlaw, still hope to capture huge disposal revenues by transporting GTA garbage over the next 20 years.

The disposal industry has little interest in waste reduction because it makes money on disposal of waste. Laidlaw, for example, does not even use the word "reduction" when talking about waste management. They describe waste management as "recycling and disposal." They have told us that if they could, they would have a licence to bring waste as far as their trucks could haul it. In other words, their approach to waste management is a volume business with only a passing interest in recycling.

A good example of this is our own site in Warwick township, where there are no gate restrictions on what goes into the site except for hazardous waste; they do not accept that. They accept anything from refrigerators to scrap iron because their interest centres on disposal. In many ways, Laidlaw's disposal operation reflects society's own wastefulness, but now that we have an opportunity to restructure our waste management system, we need to ask ourselves whether we want Laidlaw's disposal interests to undermine the public commitment to reduce waste.

The purpose of public waste management, on the other hand, is to look after the needs of each community. The responsibility lies within each community to keep the volumes of garbage down so that a crisis does not arise. This approach translates into reduction of garbage at its source. Living with the realities of one's own waste reinforces environmental awareness and makes each of us sensitive to garbage problems and solutions. Sites must be located near where the garbage is generated. Private disposal companies will not agree with this concept for obvious reasons.

Private companies that answer to shareholders often emphasize profits over local accountability and even ministry regulations. Bruce Cook from Laidlaw said in his report to your committee that there seems to be a growing mistrust among Canadians towards private industry. We might ask Mr Cook why the public mistrusts companies such as Laidlaw.

Three years ago when Laidlaw officials first introduced their expansion plans to our community at an open house, they promised us that the expansion was in no way the target for Toronto garbage, yet exactly one year later Laidlaw submitted a proposal to SWISC, the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee, designating the Warwick site as one of the three company landfill sites in its bid for Toronto trash. There was no public consultation with citizens on this bid. Over the past few years our citizens' group has received little cooperation from Laidlaw on issues that range from waste reduction initiatives to alternatives to landfill expansion and the public consultation process in general.

There are grounds for mistrust of private disposal companies. In June 1990 six charges were laid against Laidlaw Waste Systems: two tonnage violations and four height violations. In April 1991 Laidlaw was convicted of the tonnage violations. The height violations were dropped as part of a plea bargain. The company was fined $24,000. It should be noted that it was a local resident who initiated the investigation after noticing a tremendous increase in truck traffic. Laidlaw is only allowed 200 tonnes of waste per day but was receiving 3,800 tonnes per day during a three-day period.

Another example: In January 1992 the quasi-judicial competition tribunal found that Laidlaw has used stealth, threats of litigation and anti-competitive contract terms in an attempt to monopolize business in areas in British Columbia. Laidlaw's successful efforts to buy up most competitors on Vancouver Island left customers with little choice but to agree to unfair contract terms locking them into long-term deals with automatic price increases. Mr Howard Wetston, director of the competition bureau, was quoted as saying, "The waste management business has a history of anti-competitive behaviour across North America that must be combated."

Since 1972, on our Warwick site alone there have been several violations and unsafe practices investigated by the Ministry of the Environment. I must emphasize that Laidlaw was not charged on all of these violations, but these occurrences indicate the rather questionable practices of the company. On December 17, 1975, the MOE discovered plating sludge from Crouse Hinds Ltd had been disposed of on the site. This was classified as liquid hazardous waste, but no charges were laid by the Ministry of the Environment. In March 1976 liquid industrial waste from Eastman Kodak in New York was dumped on the site. No charges were laid. In January 1984 a surprise MOE inspection of all trucks going into the site discovered several hazardous waste loads.

The MOE, while taking action in some areas, lacks the means to enforce all of the conditions on all certificates of approval on all of the sites in Ontario; therefore, we need to emphasize community responsibility and accountability for the amount and type of waste that enters their site. Most of part IV of Bill 143 establishes legislation which enables the government to put in place important new measures for waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The WWLC supports these amendments.

Although we question the current practices and motivation of private companies, we believe private industry can work in a waste management master plan. Indeed, private industry could help fulfil the public mandate if it could meet all of these objectives of the waste management master plan such as increased application of the 3Rs, keeping disposal facilities as close as possible to the source and keeping the size of landfills smaller.

If private industry can work cooperatively to fulfil these strategies and meet the public requirements then it can, of course, be part of the system. If waste management is publicly controlled, private waste companies can be given the opportunity to participate in the public system. The public should have control over waste management the same way that we now control other public utilities such as water and transportation.


Other concerns of ours: While we support the banning of waste transport from the GTA in part II, we have concerns on part IV, section 29. We propose several recommendations to reconsider this order and thereby protect the rights of the citizens as well as the environment.

The purpose of this order can be understood in light of the fact that when many landfill sites close in the next few years, municipalities must find new disposal facilities. We all know some transport situations have already occurred around the province, and while we oppose in principle the transporting of waste, we recognize the reality of having to ship some waste for a limited period of time to available sites. We have already seen two examples of such orders in the past year, and in our view they must remain a temporary emergency arrangement and not a precedent for future transport decisions.

One such example was the minister's closing of the Storrington site in 1991 and her order to transport Kingston garbage to Ottawa-Carleton, with Laidlaw hauling waste from its Storrington site to its other site in Carp. It was agreed that Kingston's waste should be transported for two years and Kingston would pay the region of Ottawa-Carleton a royalty for the privilege of waste disposal at the Carp site.

The minister issued another transport order when Bob McCaig's Greenlane landfill site closed in 1991 and Elgin and Middlesex waste was transported to Laidlaw's Warwick site, near where I live, and Browning-Feris Industries' Ridge landfill in Kent county.

In each instance the waste transport complied with the existing certificate of approval for the host site. As well, the transport orders are temporary arrangements while the transporting municipality works seriously on waste reduction and develops a site for waste disposal.

The proposed legislation has no real conditions to limit the transport order. Therefore we recommend the following terms:

1. That the term "emergency" be defined with specific criteria and conditions;

2. That the minister justify the order before an independent hearing board;

3. That the transporting municipality seriously consider alternatives to transport;

4. That the reasons for a transport order be public information from the beginning of the process, in particular all decisions from technical and legal services;

5. That the host municipality and its citizens be consulted and participate in the hearing;

6. That both municipalities and citizen groups have the right to appeal the minister's order before an independent hearing board;

7. That the transport time be reduced from five years to two years maximum to ensure that the transporting municipality moves quickly on waste management responsibility;

8. That the transport order comply with the host site's certificate of approval: waste volume, composition and service area;

9. That the host municipality can negotiate acceptable terms and conditions before accepting the transported waste. An independent board might be the negotiating body for such conditions: (a) that the negotiated compensation must be given to the host community, either in monetary terms or in some environmental service from transporting municipalities; (b) that all legal and technical costs incurred by the host municipality be covered by the transporting municipalities; (c) that the host site, public or private, cannot base any expansion proposal on the increased volume or service area of waste transported to the site; (d) the emergency transport orders are non-renewable for a transporting municipality;

10. That time lines be drawn for the transporting municipality to complete each stage of the waste plan, particularly waste reduction and diversion;

11. That incentives be given for exceeding those conditions and penalties be applied to the transporting municipality for failure to comply, and

12. That the minister review the order within a designated time limit -- either six months or one year -- agreed upon by the municipality.

We believe these recommendations should be the minimum basis for any discussion of waste transport and could certainly be developed more between the minister, municipalities and citizen groups.

We oppose transport in part IV, section 29, and hope the conditions we listed can be acted upon.

We advocate public control on all present and future sites, with private industry helping to fulfil the public mandate.

While the WWLC endorses part II of Bill 143, we urge the government to extend it to cover the entire province, not just the GTA.

On behalf of the Warwick Watford Landfill Committee I thank you for your time and interest and especially for the opportunity to make our views known.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for another very thoughtful brief and some innovative suggestions.

Mr McLean: Those last suggestions just kind of caught me. How many of those do you think will be implemented in the form of amendments to this legislation? What is your hope?

Mrs Aarts: I would hope that all of them could be, of course. Actually, that is an interesting question, because when I was thinking my speech was too long I was going through it thinking I could stroke some out. I could not find any that I did not think were serious enough to do.

Mr McLean: I am glad you did not because I saw the parliamentary assistant nodding her head yes when you were saying most of them, so I am sure that she will take that into consideration.

A few weeks ago the county of Simcoe made a presentation to the committee and at that time indicated that with this bill the direction could come from the minister or her representative to put garbage anywhere in Ontario. I heard some members indicate that is not true and that is not the way this bill is written. I would like what your interpretation of it is if the ministry does decide to direct garbage other than the GTA. I know that it says it is supposed to be kept within the GTA, but at some future date a regulation could change which would allow garbage to go anywhere in Ontario. Is that your interpretation of it?

Mrs Aarts: Do you mean the way the bill is written now?

Mr McLean: Yes.

Mrs Aarts: I am like Dianne. Last time I had trouble understanding most of it when I read it. If another government comes into place I would hope we would be able to make our opinions known to it, too, and that it would see that that will not reinforce any of the things we are trying to get across to the people about garbage reduction and so on. I hope we will not have to go back to that.

Mr McLean: I am aware of that, but the concern I have is that it can allow garbage to go anywhere in Ontario. That is what disturbs me.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr McLean. Mrs Mathyssen, have you a question?

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for a very good presentation. As Mr McLean indicated, I am the MPP for Middlesex and I understand that we, as a society, have been very slow to understand the consequences of the waste we generate. I am very grateful that you have brought these suggestions to us.

My question has to do with some of the things that you said about Laidlaw. According to this article from the Edmonton Journal they are still up to their old tricks out in Alberta; they have some anti-competitive behaviour charges against them there. But you said specifically that they were bringing in refrigerators and scrap iron to their site. Do you know what happened with those refrigerators? Did they have a vampire to take out the Freon and make sure that it did not release dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere? Do you have any idea what they did?

Mrs Aarts: Yes, I do. Right now there are no precautions taken for that.

Mrs Mathyssen: So they are just there releasing chemicals?

Mrs Aarts: Yes. They come in on trucks and there is nothing done about that.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much again for a very thoughtful presentation. If you have any additional information, would you please make it available to the committee in writing.



The Vice-Chair: At this time I would ask that Greta Thompson come forward, please. As you are aware, you have 20 minutes to make your presentation. We would appreciate a few minutes towards the end for questioning by the members of the committee. Would you please identify yourself or your organization for the benefit of Hansard, please.

Mrs Thompson: My name is Greta Thompson. I live surrounded by the Ridge landfill, Browning-Ferris Industries Ltd. I represent no organization, just our family. In answer to the questions you are asking, all the answers are in that rural basket there. There are 22 hours of tape and there are numerous documents which I have prepared or received. Your questions on whether or not residents should have assessment hearings, whether or not municipalities should control the waste; all your answers, different from any that you have heard, are in that bushel basket. The only request I would make is that you review the answers onsite, drinking our water.

I am before you today as a victim of Ontario's dumping. My situation can best be described by a little plagiarized verse:

It's not my place to manage waste;


But when the damages occur,


Since August 1989 direct and indirect costs to survive a landfill exceed $100,000. I do not receive tipping fees; I do not receive reimbursement. All across Ontario residents adjacent to garbage dumps are struggling to survive Ontario's dumping, and we are losing the struggle. For the last 25 years of my life -- and Doug McTavish and I and some of the ministry representatives and operators have turned grey together -- Ontario has been in a civil war. Our family has suffered continual casualties, damages, hardships and costs. These have become so severe they now threaten to destroy us completely. It is a war, this garbage war, of two opposing forces holding two very opposing values. It is the force of big city need and business greed and ethics versus the rural family heritage, values and way of life. It is the strong against the weak. The strong side values the things that dollars can buy. The weak side values the things dollars cannot buy. Through this our province is divided in half.

The strong force: This side started the war by an aggressive invasion. They want to make as much money as possible from Ontario's waste disposal needs and crisis. They have unlimited time, expertise, soldiers, technology, weapons, equipment and money. They are using their unlimited budgets to gain physical and public support -- sometimes we refer to that as "willing hosts" -- offering dollars for approval to damage and destroy. They refuse to voluntarily limit their aggression if it restricts their advancement. They project a caring operation, justifying the invasion and aggressive acts as a necessary social service: "We need somebody to pick up the garbage for the good of the people." They present themselves as professionals and undertake public relations campaigns.

On the other side of the war is the weak force. This side entered the war as an act of self-defence. They are defending their rural family, their rightful ownership; they want to enjoy their home and land and all they ask for is a reasonable degree of security. They belong to a faith that teaches them God put man in the Garden of Eden and told him to take care of it. They view the invader scorching up their good earth in one broad sweep as an act against their faith.

Since 1924, past and present generations have spent time and effort incurring personal costs to protect and enhance their rural family, home, land, heritage and our way of life. They have demonstrated a continual commitment to save one special pocket with unique amenities and special features for future generations to enjoy. They have very limited time, no money, no expertise, four untrained soldiers, and no technology. Their only weapons are their minds and their pens. Their only equipment is a spade to plant the Carolinian trees, including Canada's extinct cucumber tree. They dream that these trees will reseed our scorched earth to help it recover thousands of years from now. They took great pride in the family's past ingenuity, which made them self-sufficient. They are convinced the invaders intentionally destroyed their free-flowing gas well and water well, which was their proudest possession, leaving them now dependent and helpless. They are using their common sense, with their knowledge of right and wrong and justice, as well as the awareness of the need to protect human life and the environment, to gain government support and protection of those things they value most, which money cannot buy. They have demonstrated a willingness to negotiate peaceful coexistence, and that is the answer I am bringing to you today. The garbage inside the rural basket represents that peaceful coexistence.

You must understand, however, the realities of life in a dump. You must know about the victims. I have already provided you with solution number one. I believe committee members have a copy. It is my intention to come before you today with answers. I could not possibly tell you my problems in 20 minutes. I believe this committee is looking at alternatives, so I came to you hoping to give you answers of what we need to do.

The physical, financial, social, emotional and environmental hardships inflicted on the victims of dumps are unbearable, and eventually it destroys them completely. Look at the map attached and you will see all the neighbours who have sold out to landfills. Our rural residents cry, "Not in my backyard," but sell their land for landfilling. Victim prevention must be your mandate, established priority and goal. You will not solve the waste management crisis without focusing on protecting our rural residents and environment from Ontario's garbage.

Many of the acts in this garbage war are not fair. They are not moral. The war will not end until these acts are stopped.

My review of Bill 143 started with the first paragraph of the compendium of background information for the Waste Management Act, 1991.

Before I read past that first paragraph, I recognized that my government had failed again to draw together the necessary in-house resident expertise required to solve our garbage crisis. The opening paragraph should have read, "The problems surrounding waste management in rural and urban Ontario" -- and in the backyard of Keith and Greta Thomspon in particular -- "have reached crisis proportions and a state of war and emergency exists."

On December 27, 1991, the identifiable damages and hardships which we attribute directly to the Ridge landfill operation forced us to abandon our home and rent an apartment. We left behind us four generations of effort, work and time, along with thousands upon thousands of dollars spent to enhance one small pocket for future generations to enjoy.

This bill does not represent a decisive step towards resolving the situation. As a 25-year soldier, I believe this bill will not end our war. It fails to address too many of the reasons we are at war. Some suggestions may escalate it or encourage new, unacceptable acts. There is, however, one very good suggestion in it to help us find the answers to our problems, and this is where we have to start. These answers can and must be found by the warring parties directly affected, and this part of the bill allows them to do that right now.

My solution 2 is a recommendation that you take the required action to ensure approval and passage of part IV, amendments to the Environmental Protection Act, subsection 23(1), and that it be invoked by the Minister of the Environment to establish a pilot project. This pilot project is to form a new, strong foundation for solving our waste management problems and crisis together.

I support both of my recommended solutions by presenting you with just two of several of the areas of Bill 143 that concern me. These two areas apply to environmental protection and protection of the adjacent residents. I cannot tell you all my concerns resulting from 25 years of experience, but I will try to help you understand some of them to support my recommended solutions.

We will look first at environmental protection. This bill does not place the emphasis on managing Ontario's environment wisely. This must be the mandate for environmental legislation and it must be met with foresight. The first question should not be, is it fair to put GTA garbage in a rural backyard? That should not be our first question, but it seems to be one of the first questions many times.


Everyone must realize there is a war going on. There are victims and casualties. We are in a crisis. As a victim, my first concern is not who made the bullets being used in the gun that is being fired at me; it is not the name of the soldier on the other side firing the weapons; it is not what party is responsible for allowing it to happen or who should stop it. My concern right now is, how do I stay alive, how do I stop the attack, how do I protect myself?

I urge all committee members to read the article by David Suzuki that I have attached.

To review if Bill 143 meets its mandate in the area of environmental protection, I offer the following sample questions for the committee to use when you are doing your review.

Should garbage dumps be allowed to scorch our good earth in one broad sweep or should we protect some things? If we must have dumps, and I believe we do, what special pockets must be saved? What criteria should be used to determine the pockets to protect? I have ample suggestions in the basket for you.

With today's best technology and best expertise, where is the safest place to dump and what is the safest way to get it there? How do we keep it safe? How do we solve new problems and implement improved technology? Is it safe to accept increased volumes just because it is legal to do so, because the dump is licensed to do so? For your answers to that question, take a good look at Keith and me and what has happened to us.

How do we ensure that operators voluntarily abide by all the safety regulations at all times? How do we prevent monopolies from escalating our waste disposal costs? How do we keep our rural communities protected from the organized crime element now reported to have a stranglehold on the American garbage disposal system?

What emergency plan should be put into place for the backup when the safety valves fail? When the safety valve failed and affected our home, we found out then that there were no emergency plans in effect to protect us.

The second area of the bill I would like you to address is protection of the adjacent residents. This bill does not protect the adjacent residents from becoming the victims and fails to establish their rights.

The Nippan family took court action for injunctive relief and damages arising from the operation of the landfill site. I have the court ruling in the basket; you are welcome to review it. The resident was awarded damages and the site was closed. The garbage from this site was redirected to Ridge landfill, in spite of our family's plight. It is not the first landfill that has closed and the garbage redirected and dumped in our backyard. Do we now have to go to court to be protected? Where will the garbage go then? If you approve this bill, and the courts overrule you, you will have an even greater crisis.

The implications of a "class action for injunctive relief arising out of Ontario's landfill operations" by environmental networks and citizens' coalitions united should reveal the need to establish residents' rights. We are uniting. The Supreme Court has also recognized the need for environmental protection in a recent Alberta decision.

To review if Bill 143 protects the adjacent residents and recognizes their rights, I offer the following questions.

What are the proven damages and hardships caused by waste disposal operations? How do you prove them? How do you determine the degree of effect? We are all affected differently, depending on the distance we are from the site. Are you legally, morally and fairly allowed to invade a community and damage the adjacent residents? How do you prevent, stop or offset them?

How do we stop this big-dollar movement to profit from Ontario's crisis and needs? That can be in the form of tipping fees, compensation packages, local improvements. It is a big-dollar movement to profit from need, including in our area speculative purchases made by parties buying properties beside or near an existing waste disposal operation.

If coexistence is not possible, should our government help the invaders or the defenders to remain and survive?

I have identified other concerns with Bill 143 relating to expropriation, site inspections, compensation, the assessment process, certificates of approval and lack of enforcement, anticipated volumes, automatic expansions, lifts and increased volumes, merely through experience and then reading the bill.

Although we have concerns regarding some sections of Bill 143, our family cannot wait another day for our elected representatives to get it together. We have a crisis in our backyard. We are not in our home. Set the politics aside and deal with our immediate emergency right now. We have gone through the Davis years and the Peterson years and are in the Rae years. Since the Conservatives, Liberals and NDPers collectively have failed to agree on the action required, I am taking my time to offer my recommended solutions for consideration. We cannot accept any more excuses. We need help now. We have too many problems and too few dreams for solutions.

My recommended solution to you is set out on page 10, that part IV, amendments to the Environmental Protection Act, subsection 23(1), as set out in Bill 143, be approved and passed and that it be invoked to establish a pilot project. We are offering our property to do that pilot project, administered by a panel of experienced, in-house resident expertise, as presented to you in recommended solution 1. The purpose of this pilot project is to:

(a) Identify all hardships and damages suffered by adjacent residents of waste disposal operations -- landfilling, recycling, and yes, incineration -- and establish the criteria to determine the degree of effect. I have suggestions for you if you want to meet with me afterwards.

(b) Undertake the required study to determine whether peaceful coexistence is possible, with the intent and focus of this pilot project to centre on meeting Ontario's waste management disposal needs and protecting and enhancing the rural family's land, home, heritage, environment and way of life -- after 25 years and all the money we have spent, we still do not know if it is possible to survive a landfill -- and to ensure that some small pockets with unique amenities and special features are saved for future generations.

(c) Prepare reports and recommendations for information, consideration, approval and/or implementation by the Minister of the Environment relative to the aforesaid.

Since we need dreamers as well as doers, I end my presentation with a simple little verse of a dreamer. It is the dream of our family to survive the hardships and damages of a waste disposal facility in our backyard. It is the dream of a 25-year, very tired soldier who has come to accept that peaceful coexistence is the only acceptable compromise. Some things, such as faith, ideals, enjoyment of one's privately owned property with a reasonable degree of security, and a need for waste disposal facilities, are not negotiable. We refer to our dream as our shiny star. Our dream, our shiny star, is peaceful coexistence.


Our pilot's a sharing adventure,

A journey to carry us far,

On a path to a new age ne'er travelled,

Together to that shiny star.

I hold no regrets for failed efforts,

I'm sorry to learn that some do,

And it seems we've lost trust in each other,

With loss borne by me but not you.

This lost trust is killing our dreamers,

And lost are those new shiny dreams,

And you cannot replace with this hearing,

No matter how good you may deem.

But deep in this bill there's a pathway,

As dreamers like me clearly see,

To a bright, new and shiny beginning,

If all just put "we" before "me."

I ask for your help for our pilot,

If only to save one small spot,

For our children to come in the future,

To see how we cared and we thought.

Come, board Ontario's "Discovery,"

In this, our 125th year,

Pioneers blazing trails for the future,

Together, right now and right here.

I thank the committee for its time and volunteer my assistance.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for a very eloquent and very emotional presentation. Unfortunately, all our time has been spent, but I think I can say on behalf of members of the committee from all three parties that your recommendations will be given serious consideration. I think that shows the value of public hearings like this, because without them we would not have been able to hear your concerns and take them into our deliberations. So thank you very much and I think all members will seriously consider your recommendations.

Mrs Thompson: Thank you, sir.


The Vice-Chair: I now call upon the Community Opposing Landfill Development. Would you identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard, please.

Mr Maris: My name is David Maris, and I am pleased to meet everybody.

The Vice-Chair: You have 20 minutes to make your presentation and we would appreciate some time towards the end to have questions from the committee.

Mr Maris: On behalf of COLD, Community Opposing Landfill Development, and the CAW Local 127, Chatham and District Labour Council, I wish to thank the committee for this opportunity to speak to Bill 143. This is a right that every citizen of Ontario must be ensured, the right to be heard and the right to be included in any decisions, present and future, with respect to waste management concerns in Ontario and, in particular, waste management concerns that involve our communities, our rural heritage and our integrity.

We support responsible waste management practices: practices that ensure viability for our communities, practices that ensure sustainability for our communities and practices that ensure that we pass on to our future generations lands and water systems that contain no injustices, while allowing them to build for our future society.

We support the intent of Bill 143, the goals of waste reduction for Ontario, the efforts to end transportation from municipalities and regions to others less fortunate, left to the mercy of unscrupulous private companies, and the need to develop responsible alternatives for the reprocessing of waste into resources.

While we support the intent of Bill 143, we still have concerns about certain parts of it. Our problems with it also take in the fact that some clarification should be made to other parts. Any criticisms should be taken as constructive efforts by our groups to ensure responsibility and the right of each citizen to be heard and the right to justice for individuals and communities.

I will begin by speaking about Fletcher. Our community group is one that has formed to fight the injustice of a dump threatening to reopen in the midst of our community, a dump that was opened improperly during the 1970s and closed later that decade. In our fight we have the support of the rural residents, Tilbury East township, CAW 127, Chatham and District Labour Council, the county of Kent, local business, RAGE and the moral support of countless others. We unfortunately do not have the support of a failing bureaucracy in Toronto that citizens in this province must rely on to make decisions, be they right or wrong.

If you were to understand our fight you would realize why I feel strongly that all have a right to be heard and all must be involved in the decision-making process. This issue illustrates that an injustice can be rendered to an individual and a community in Ontario, and it is a sad commentary on our society if it would allow even one to fall helplessly into the abyss of poor legislation. We have such a bureaucracy and we have the community of Fletcher, which fell into a loophole in present legislation. Where are those who maintain they will protect our rights?

In Fletcher we have a dump proponent, a private owner who lives in a county closer to the GTA, rumoured to be fronting for one of the larger private waste concerns, Laidlaw or BFI Waste Management Inc, a proponent who lives with greed as a guide, not out of any concern for the betterment of our society. This proponent, in my opinion, is driven by the headlines of a waste crisis in Ontario, by profit margins of private waste companies ready to exploit the people of Ontario.

When this site operated in the 1970s he violated his certificate of approval from the very first day, through violations such as the type of waste to be received, the municipality from which the waste was to be taken, the very location where the waste was to be deposited. These violations were and are recorded by the Ministry of the Environment and have never been dealt with properly. All this and more at a site that the people never knew was going to open until the very first day of operation when trucks rolled in to unload industrial waste.

This private operator reaped profits from society, never benefiting it, only violating our community from the outside, a community whose history can show only a benefit to our society. This same proponent operates with the aid of a bureaucracy that maintains that Fletcher, as in the 1970s, does not have a right to be heard properly, does not have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.

In my opinion, since Kent county has passed a resolution never to use this dump for a waste disposal site, this proponent or others that he may be fronting for see this site as a repository for transported waste. What is the system that would render such an injustice on the community of Fletcher? Who are such people who have failed Fletcher?

Part II, waste disposal sites: The Ministry of the Environment has made a policy decision that the search for long-term landfill sites should be made within the respective municipalities of the GTA, in effect making those municipalities more responsible for waste generated within the GTA.

We approve of such a decision. This is a position we have maintained, that each municipality must be responsible for its waste generation to be handled properly, employing responsible waste reduction and diversion projects.

We approve of the full environmental assessment process that allows the right to be heard properly. We approve that, during that process, discussion of alternatives will be restricted to waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

Transportation: We cannot believe transportation is an alternative, an alternative that would waste valuable resources to bus garbage instead of applying real alternatives. Our air, land and water resources are also valuable to Ontario, as is any land, water and air within the GTA. This fact must be recognized by all in the urban regions of Ontario because we too contribute to the social, cultural and economic fabric of Ontario. Our region has contributed valuable resources that were used to build Ontario, some of which sadly were never replaced. These range widely, including lumber, natural gas, rich agricultural diversity and people.

We will not allow our community to die, destroyed by the greed of others, the wastes of distant urban centres.


Transportation of waste only allows our society to be irresponsible in its practices when we should be treating this wide range of material as a secondary resource to allow remanufacturing processes that are a future growth industry, a future resource for employment. To me, it is ironic that this same irresponsibility, this foolishness runs contrary to principles we embrace as Canadians.

It is true that rural people will lose their sense of responsibility towards proper waste alternatives if garbage is dumped in their midst from distant urban centres. In Tilbury East township a recycling depot has been established that could be put forth as a model for others to strive for. This depot that residents must drive some distance to utilize has enjoyed overwhelming support and pride from these same residents. The grass-roots support from rural people is tremendous. At this facility residents can deposit newspapers, box board, cans, white goods, hazardous waste, fine paper, computer paper, glass, metals, cardboard, all plastics, used oil and tires.

Rural residents generally compost as they have for years on their own properties, adding to the organic soil content. As I have said, this is tremendous but I am most disheartened because too many residents have approached me lately to state flatly, "Why the hell should I recycle when the Ministry of the Environment is doing this to us?" I do my best to dissuade these people from any other course than that which we are already now on.

Incineration: I also applaud the Ministry of the Environment's policy with respect to incineration. This is certainly an alternative that does not encourage responsible and productive management of resources available in waste. Incinerators would only require a society to promote waste generation, not waste reduction.

You have heard from my county of Kent and one township, Harwich, this morning and their interest in incineration as an alternative. Let me tell you, this too is a concern of the people of Kent, who have opposed incinerator proposals numerous times. We do not want incineration. I am very sceptical towards any township that accepts revenue from tipping fees and would entertain incineration as an alternative, especially when they long ago stopped fighting for residents' rights with respect to waste management.

Going by the Ministry of the Environment's estimates, 3,000 tonnes of waste end up as 1,000 tonnes of ash plus 100 tonnes of hazardous fly ash. I cannot see this as a long-term benefit to Ontario; landfills would still fill up, only a little slower, but we would be required to establish disposal facilities for hazardous fly ash, a foolish waste of capital resources that would serve Ontario better in developing waste reduction and diversion projects.

Another grave concern from incineration is that of stack emissions. We do not need the benefit of another source of air pollution near us or at a distance. I do not want to discuss anyone's state-of-the-art technology that would absolve us from mercury, dioxin, chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, fine particulates etc. I am only interested in state-of-the-present examples that I have to rely on when incineration is discussed.

One day last spring, I received a phone call from a local farmer who stated that six hours earlier, as he drove from Tilbury past Chatham, he witnessed a huge jet stream of a yellowish haze in the sky. He did not know what to do about it but realized that I was concerned about such problems. Could I find out what it was? I went not a couple of miles and sure enough this haze was still there but somewhat dissipated. I had no answers so I called the Ministry of the Environment, Windsor branch, and asked if it could investigate. They did and two days later they had the answer: that on the day in question a warm front was meeting a cold front, and air conditions served to roll the pollution from the Detroit incinerator into an incredible stream that travelled for 60-plus miles well past our region.

Air pollution problems in my area were also driven home within the last three weeks when I found out that in Merlin, a farming community five miles from where I live, at a testing station for the air resources branch of the Ministry of the Environment, levels determined with upper limits of 82 parts per billion registered readings of 362 parts per billion from May to September 1988, and 158 parts per billion in 1991. It seems that our farming community not only records pollution from Detroit, Sarnia, Windsor and London but also from across Lake Erie from industrial areas in the US. We registered the highest levels in southern Ontario.

Part III, implementation: We have concerns that relate to the right to be heard and to participate in the decision-making process. As members of RAGE, we too take the position that the minister should implement broad public consultation with adequate time for members of the public to review technical reports and also reports to possibly use Keele and Britannia for the interim period. We cannot endorse elimination of public consultation but hope to see an accelerated process with proper resources available to those affected. All steps must be taken to ensure the rights of citizens within the GTA who would live near the required sites.

Part IV amendments: We encourage any regulations that improve efforts in Ontario towards waste reduction and diversion. It is hoped that this part of Bill 143 will allow municipalities and industry to accelerate programs to achieve benefits for the people of Ontario. We cannot agree, in light of the abuses in Fletcher, with section 26, subsection 29(1), as we read this. We cannot agree with that for the transportation of waste, be it in the hands of the director or in the hands of the minister, who would be more accountable to the public.

In closing, I thank you for the opportunity to participate in this process and I hope that together Ontario will rely on diversion and reduction when dealing with waste management concerns.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for another thoughtful brief. There are three minutes left, so a minute per caucus.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you, Mr Maris. I was quite interested in your description of the Fletcher dump site. Could you explain to the committee what you meant by it being improperly opened and what was going into the site and when and why it was closed?

Mr Maris: As we the citizens' group sees it, there were several abuses, as I said; the first one when the proponent applied for the certificate of approval back in 1972. He started depositing waste in a different location, closer and within the community of Fletcher. That was one of the first violations he did undertake.

Mr McLean: Has the incinerator in Detroit had an effect on the farming community? Have there been some statistics gathered to determine whether in the area it has affected the crops?

Mr Maris: There have been statistics. As for statistics towards crops, I cannot tell you those statistics, if there have been any. All I can tell you is that it is hard to relate air pollution statistics and people. How do you prove such damages from air pollution?

Mr McLean: Being a farmer I am concerned about it.

Mr Maris: So am I. It has been within the last three weeks that I have found out these statistics and I have not had time to pursue this properly.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for a thoughtful presentation. If you have any additional information, you can put it in writing to the committee.



The Vice-Chair: I would ask Turning 2000 to come forward, please. As with all the others, you have 20 minutes to make your presentation. We would appreciate a little bit of time at the end for questioning. Would you identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard, please.

Ms Whelan: My name is Paula Whelan. I am here today as a representative of Turning 2000 to discuss the waste reduction issues as they pertain to this area. Turning 2000 is a local group whose mandate is public education on household waste management; that is, we provide information to enable individuals to reduce their impact on the environment. This group was formed three years ago and since then has taken part in many activities. Most of these have been mall displays for Recycling Week, Environment Week and Earth Day. We have focused on household waste issues such as blue box recycling, disposable diapers and hazardous waste. We have also hosted a composting clinic and a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt was a hunt for garbage items in the park. The main purpose of this hunt was to highlight the problem of litter. Turning 2000 also shares information on a more individual level by providing a speaker to small groups.

There have been some waste reduction efforts in Sarnia, some more successful than others. I will discuss these in what I feel is a decreasing order of success.

First, there was a Christmas tree chipping program this past Christmas. A person bringing a tree could take back his chips for his own use or receive a voucher for a tree seedling from a local nursery. This program was well attended and more trees than expected were collected.

Second, the city has been very active in educating the public about composting and encouraging people to take part. City hall has made a variety of composters available at a subsidized price. One councillor has made himself knowledgeable about composting and, with the help of the waste reduction committee, has been active in promoting composting and vermiculture. Vermiculture is composting with worms and is suitable for indoor use. This is convenient for apartment dwellers and others lacking the ability to compost outside. The city also picks up leaves in the fall and composts them. The leaves must be placed in special plastic bags, which is not ideal, but the plastic bags are recycled afterwards. The city is able to use this compost and make some available to individual citizens.

Third, Sarnia has a blue box recycling program that has been the subject of some controversy, but the system is in place and collects glass, cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. I would like to see the system expanded to include other types of plastic and paper. There should also be a means for individuals to recycle corrugated and boxboard containers. More public education is necessary on what to put in the blue box and how to prepare the materials; that is, wash, flatten, bundle etc.

Fourth, household hazardous waste collection in Sarnia is negligible. One morning, once a year for the past six years has been set aside for cars to line up for the chance to safely get rid of hazardous waste -- and I do mean "line up." I worked at the collection the year before last and some people told me that they had been waiting in line for three hours. During this wait cars are idling and spewing out noxious chemicals into the atmosphere. This is hardly an appropriate tradeoff for the chance to dispose of the household chemicals.

Each year has seen an increase in the number of cars and the amount of hazardous waste collected. A more frequent and a more appropriate collection system is necessary to accommodate the people who are already concerned with this issue. Then, when this system is in place, the remaining public needs to be educated about what is hazardous, why it is, how to reduce the reliance on hazardous products, and how and where to properly dispose of hazardous remains.

I understand there was an article recently in the local paper about a household hazardous waste depot collection system. Two depots would be located in Lambton county and would be open one day a month for people to drop off their material. I am not aware of when these depots are to be operational.

Fifth and last, disposable diapers are a menace to society. They use valuable resources, are treated with chlorine bleach in processing, contribute to our landfill problems, can become a source of litter and contribute to our throwaway mentality. I think they should be outlawed. Since this is not likely to happen, at least not in the near future, efforts should be made to minimize their use, limit their impact on the environment and ensure that alternatives are readily available. This last issue is particularly lacking in Sarnia. Our only diaper service recently went out of business because of the lack of customers. This means that anyone wanting to use cloth diapers must be prepared to launder them at home.

Disposable diapers were one of the first concerns addressed by Turning 2000. We had information campaigns and circulated a petition requesting county hospitals to switch to cloth diapers for babies and to promote cloth to new mothers. None of the hospitals expressed interest, nor were they interested in the diaper service when it offered them a discount if they would use the service. If even one of the hospitals had availed itself of this offer, I believe the service would still be in business.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the proposed bill on waste reduction. There is no mention of proper disposal of household hazardous waste. Most people in Ontario are not aware of the quantity of hazardous materials that are introduced to our environment through improper disposal by individuals, not by industry, into landfill and the sewer system, nor are they aware of what constitutes a hazardous substance and how it affects our long-term health. There should be a target date for all communities to have a collection system for household waste and penalties for individuals who continue to poison our environment when improperly disposing of hazardous chemicals.

In conclusion, I repeat that Sarnia is making an attempt at waste reduction, but much remains to be done. Whatever is done now and in the future, a massive education program is required: education as to what the problem is and what each individual can do to be part of the solution. I would hope that this education would not rely solely or even primarily on the written word. In today's society there are too many people who cannot be reached in this manner. I feel that every person should be given the opportunity to be part of the solution.

Thank you for a chance to air my views.

Mrs Mathyssen: I want to thank you for your presentation and commend you on your efforts to educate. I think that is probably where we are going to make the most progress.

We have been travelling all week and we have heard from various communities. In one community there was a suggestion that a hazardous waste depot be established in the community and be open at all hours and that people will respond to that. Also, the community of Halton, I believe, has a permanent community depot that sort of expanded into a repair shop for various articles that might originally have been simply thrown away, and I guess a flea market and an exchange and composting area. Have you given any thought to something like that to meet the needs in your community?

Ms Whelan: Have I given thought to that? Yes, all of those are necessary, particularly the repair station. As society has gone towards being more throwaway, used appliances tend to get thrown out, sometimes not even when they are broken.

Mr Ramsay: I share your concern about disposable diapers, and I suppose even this government is finding it difficult to cope with those since they are such a popular consumer item. It was interesting to note the grant the Ministry of the Environment had given a Mississauga company a few weeks back to do further work on the recycling of it. I am not sure that is the answer, because you would have at this time one factory, if you will, one site in Mississauga, yet we have this product right around the province.

Do you have any ideas on how we maybe could educate people to the danger of using disposable diapers because of the sanitary aspect of it, their going into our landfills without any sort of sewage treatment, and of course on the resource side for recycling? How do you think we should approach that to try to educate people to try to reduce the consumption of disposable diapers?

Ms Whelan: I wish I knew. When we had our campaign, we focused only secondarily on the health issues, both for the baby as well as the workers who are carting off the waste. We focused primarily on the cost aspect and showed that it costs significantly less to use cloth diapers in the long term. So much so that, in fact, if you use cloth diapers over the course of the toilet training period, you could save enough money to buy a washer and dryer. If that could not convince people to change, I do not know what would.

Mr Ramsay: I remember that when we had our first child I was under the gun that I had to have the washer and dryer set up before my wife came back from the hospital, because of course we were using cloth diapers and that was certainly my task. As my colleague Carmen McClelland reminded me, after all that is over, they make very good cloths for washing cars etc, because they are very soft cotton material, so there are excellent ways of recycling cloth diapers after that period once family time has passed. I think they are excellent and I hope we can get people back to using them.

Unfortunately, the onset of the disposable diaper killed all the services that people in towns had used. We did our own. I know people in this fast, modern age find it an inconvenience, but I think if we had an educative program out there, people would understand maybe how well they could contribute to the betterment of our environment if we did go back to the material diaper.

Ms Whelan: When disposable diapers first came out, and probably still, there was a notice on the package that the diapers were to be rinsed out before they were thrown away. This is a legal requirement because human waste is not allowed to go in the landfill, but of course people do not do that. If they did rinse out their diapers, then the difference between using cloth and disposable would be negligible.


Ms Haeck: Thank you, Ms Whelan, for coming here and giving us an excellent presentation. I want to follow up on the diaper question because we have had two somewhat opposing views, one from a long-term care association representing nursing home operators and regional homes for the aged, and then on the other hand a firm that in fact is a diaper service.

Mr Wiseman: Jolly Bottoms.

Ms Haeck: Yes, Jolly Bottoms. On the one hand, the long-term care facilities say they really cannot get into things like reusable diapers or they cannot make use of large-sized packages -- they have to stay with the individual packages because of the threat of infection -- and yet the people from Jolly Bottoms say they know of hospitals making use of them without a problem with regard to infection.

Ms Whelan: Are you talking about adult diapers?

Ms Haeck: Yes, especially in the long-term care facility. We are talking about seniors primarily. I was wondering if in your research you have been able to discover what might be the solution to this battle of the experts.

Ms Whelan: So your question deals with --

Ms Haeck: Infection.

Ms Whelan: -- laundering the diapers.

Ms Haeck: Yes, laundering of diapers and dealing with infection and how one can satisfy possibly a health care facility's demands with regard to using cloth diapers.

Ms Whelan: As I mentioned before, the requirement is actually to rinse out disposable diapers and, in doing that, the care giver is subject to infection from the waste. But in laundering, that is one of the big concerns, purifying the diapers enough to use them again without harm. No, I do not know of any solution for that.

Ms Haeck: Okay. Thank you very much.

Mr Wiseman: I want just to add that Jolly Bottoms also gave us a description of some of the side-effects of using diapers, and --

Ms Whelan: Of using disposable diapers?

Mr Wiseman: Disposable diapers, yes. They indicated that in a study done by Pampers, the body temperature of the baby inside a disposable diaper is about five to seven degrees higher than it is with cloth diapers, which leads to infections and fissures and all sorts of different problems that the baby would have.

We have had three children and I can tell you that we used cloth diapers with a great deal of success, and there were no diaper rashes. It strikes me as a little odd when people complain that they cannot clean them, because if they cannot clean seniors' diapers, then you should not be able to clean babies' diapers, but it does seem to be the fact that they work better and there are fewer infections and fewer diaper rashes with cloth.

I think people are catching on, because more and more are going back, and there is a new style of diapers, the indisposables, that are sewn so they fit and they have Velcro tabs. They make it very easy for people to use diapers. I think they just have to be educated back to the fact that they exist. I commend you and hope you will continue to flog the indisposable diaper.

Ms Whelan: Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you, Ms Whelan. Do you have some concluding comments?

Ms Whelan: I have just one more comment about diapers. When we talk about laundering them and then having a subsequent problem with the next usage, a lot of times that has to do with the cleaning materials we are using.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. I do not know how this changed over to a diaper session, but --


The Vice-Chair: I think it brings back fond memories to all of us, especially the Chair, who had five kids that he had to help clean. I must admit that towards the end we did also use the disposable ones, especially when we were travelling. So there is a mea culpa.


The Vice-Chair: Now I would like to ask the township of Plympton to come forward, please. As I have mentioned to all the others, you have 20 minutes to make your presentation. We would appreciate it if, for the purposes of Hansard, you would identify all the people who have come forward and if you would leave a few moments of time for questioning by the committee. But the time is yours. Go ahead.

Mrs Tenhoeve: Please excuse me. I am getting over a cold and periodically my voice goes. Mr Chair, honourable members, my name is Elizabeth Tenhoeve. I am the mayor of Plympton township. I have two councillors here with me today, Roland Phibbs and Gary DeBoer.

I wish to thank you for providing this opportunity to address your committee. We are pleased that Bill 143 was not rushed through at a time when most local politicians were involved in municipal elections. We feel that there is a need for both public comment and input in the legislative process.

For many years now, Plympton township has wrestled with environmental issues, quite possibly more than most other communities of our size in Ontario. Plympton is the first municipality east of the industrial chemical valley and the city of Sarnia. Many American travellers receive their first impression of rural Ontario upon entering our township. Our many miles of sandy beaches along Lake Huron are well known. The farming community of our municipality is among the provincial leaders for production of crops and livestock.

All of these factors that we proudly display challenge us to be protective of our environment. To this end, Plympton council has led the way in providing quality water to our township by participating in the East Lambton water supply system, and Plympton residents are presently diverting an average of 20% by weight of our wastes from landfill by utilizing the blue box program. Add to this the amount diverted through home composters and other reduction measures, and we probably exceed the ministry's waste reduction objectives. Presently, we are engineering an extensive sewage treatment facility in an effort to do our share in protecting the Great Lakes from pollution.

In relation to Bill 143, our township council agrees that waste should be disposed of within the border of its source community. There is no incentive to reduce or reuse in an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality. It is only when you see the effect of the problem that you will have the will to solve the problem. Responsibility is the key issue.

On April 2, 1991, the Honourable Ruth Grier, Minister of the Environment, supported this philosophy when she announced that the search for long-term waste disposal sites for the GTA would not be outside the GTA and, further, that facilities for the disposal of residual wastes should be located as close as possible to the source of generation.

We are very concerned that in part IV of Bill 143, dealing with the amendments to the Environmental Protection Act, namely, section 26 dealing with section 29 of the act, our protection is gone.

Clarification is needed in part III, subsection 17(4). It would appear that rural Ontario could be forced to accept unwanted waste. We feel that in keeping with the minister's own policy this must be removed.

Both levels of our municipal government have gone on record against the importing of garbage within our borders. Metropolitan Toronto and Lambton county have both rejected sites in Plympton after intensive study. We have never been a willing host and are not prepared to accept anyone overturning our decision. Although we have the assurance of the Minister of the Environment that we no longer face the threat of GTA garbage, it would appear that the mechanism is in place for us to be targeted in 20 years' time. Governments and ministers change, but the legislation goes on and on.


With respect to part III, subsection 17(4), does the word "it" refer to the waste-generating municipality or to the site being owned, operated or controlled by the municipality receiving the waste? We would appreciate some clarification of this part. We request that the minister rewrite this section by adding the words "in the GTA only." To leave this section as it now stands, the interpretation could leave any and all municipalities open to the importation of waste and runs counter to the minister's statement of January 20, 1992.

The Minister of the Environment is still committed to the 3Rs, and the amendments to the Environmental Protection Act proposed by the bill enable her to demonstrate or experiment with programs involving reduction, recycling and reuse. The minister would also show leadership in researching packaging and containers. There seems to be provision in place for freer inspection throughout the industry, and we commend her on these policies.

In many areas, this bill gives the ministry the powers needed to ensure that Ontario has a safe environment. For once, the public will be informed of the true costs of this industry if the records of all the facilities are allowed to be supervised.

The minister has been wise in expediting site extension in the GTA. We in Lambton county are proceeding to do the same thing with the Sarnia interim expansion. We support your move to expand existing sites through the EPA for interim capacity. No new dumps will be established, but all of Ontario buys time to responsibly address the problems of waste management.

In conclusion, we would like to make some suggestions to this committee, the first being to encourage the producer of waste to also be responsible for the disposal of waste. This would encourage more companies to follow the example of Bell Canada and Quaker Oats, which have set standards to which all corporations should strive.

Second, transporting waste to distant municipalities would cause anyone to forget that there ever was a problem and render the principles of reduction, recycle and reuse to be hollow slogans. Transportation of waste would be costly and difficult to police.

Third, in the spirit of fair government and partnership between various levels of government, rural Ontario should be allowed to retain rights over zoning, drainage and land use. To allow any ministry of the provincial government to overrule would weaken the foundations that local government was built upon.

We thank you for coming to our community and allowing us to express our concerns. We trust that you will consider our comments and make the proper amendments to Bill 143 so that our environment is protected for future generations and that local government is supported.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, your worship. Before I turn to questions, the parliamentary assistant has asked for a point of clarification. Mr O'Connor, if you would proceed, please.

Mr O'Connor: I want to thank you, your worship, for coming before us today. You raised a point on the second page of your brief about part III, subsection 17(4). If I could ask Leo FitzPatrick to come forward to a mike and provide that clarification, maybe he can explain some of that wording.

Mr FitzPatrick: You should have no concern about the meaning of that little word "it" in subsection 4. Subsection 4 is talking about municipalities that have to comply with requirements that are in section 17, and the only municipalities that are required to do something are Durham, Peel and Metropolitan Toronto, specifically mentioned in the first three subsections.

The Vice-Chair: Mr McClelland, you are first for questioning.

Mr McClelland: Thank you, mayor, for being here. I want to just clarify, and I do not want to put words in your mouth. For reference, on the last page of your brief you indicate that rural Ontario should be allowed to maintain your rights over zoning etc. I hope that you would feel equally that all municipalities and all upper-tier governments should retain those rights as well.

As you say "Government and ministers change, but legislation goes on and on," I do want to indicate that ministers change their minds too, and with that I think there is potential problem certainly.

Just continuing within your brief, to clarify again, the existing site expansion through EPA in one site is a "maybe" and in another site in the greater Toronto area is a "no." There is no EPA hearing. So I think that is indicative of the problem. The problem is that ministers do change their minds as well, because we know very clearly that the current minister said that there would be no expansion without full environmental assessments, then said, "Maybe EPAs, if time allows," and in one case said, "There won't be any, period."

I hope the point you raised is taken to heart: that assurances of ministers at the end of the day are not sufficient and that the rights of individuals and the rights of local governments ought to be protected in law. I think we ought to be very careful about a piece of legislation that in many respects removes local autonomy and the legislative framework within which local governments function. I thank you for that.

I also want to just draw your attention to something we heard yesterday in Kingston. Representatives of Ottawa-Carleton said they realize that certain parts of this act apply just to Toronto, but they are also intelligent enough to realize that some day it will apply to Ottawa as well. I think it therefore follows to all of Ontario. In that vein, I think you are absolutely correct that we cannot take Bill 143 lightly in terms of the assurances that are given. The rights and protections of individuals have to be embodied in the law.

The Vice-Chair: Do you wish to respond?

Mrs Tenhoeve: I thank you for your comments. I guess you might feel that I am a bit naïve. I have spoken with the minister and I feel she is a woman of her word, as I hope my constituents feel I am a woman of my word. She did assure us that we would not be targeted. It is not that I do not trust the minister. It is just that with this legislation that mechanism appears to be there, but when she is not there any longer, we could have a problem. We feel we have made the decision. We do not want this. We have said so on numerous occasions and we really object to someone trying, possibly in the future, to force something on us that we clearly are not willing to accept.

Mr McClelland: I agree with your interpretation. I might also add that a lot of people in and around Toronto believe the minister's word as well.

Mr B. Murdoch: Thank you for your brief and also the way that Plympton council is handling its garbage. It looks like you are doing your share and trying to help. When you mentioned, though, that it should stay within the community, do you support county-wide waste management or just --

Mrs Tenhoeve: Yes. By "the community" I mean the county or the region or the community can be doing things. But to us, Lambton county is prepared to deal with Lambton's garbage within our own borders, and we would expect everyone else to do the same. In that vein, if everyone did that, there would be no problem of exporting of any garbage, because we are perfectly willing to look after our own. If everyone did the same thing, there would not be a problem.

Mr B. Murdoch: Okay. It is just that I wanted that clarification. That is all I have.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you very much for your presentation. In the course of these hearings, we have heard a great deal about what Plympton has experienced, shall we say, in the last little while. I want to focus on something you said about waste reduction. We heard from Quaker Oats yesterday. It indicated that not only did it significantly reduce the amount of waste that it produced but also saved $1.2 million in the process.

We have also heard from others in the industrial sector, and they are saying: "We don't want regulations. We want to do this voluntarily." I am wondering, how do you feel on this subject? Do you think that industry should be allowed to be self-regulating and voluntarily reduce, or do you prefer to see some firm regulations and legislation in this regard?

Mrs Tenhoeve: I guess I would prefer to have people do it on their own. I would like to see the will come from within. But failing to do that, I feel there should be some legislation so that if they are not about to take the responsibility, someone will ensure they do.


Mrs Mathyssen: Gentle encouragement.

Mrs Tenhoeve: That is right.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Mr McClelland, you have one minute for an additional --

Mr McClelland: The point I was trying to make -- and this is not a personal dig at anybody -- is simply to say that a lot of people who who surround Keele Valley and Britannia landfill sites are really concerned because they too depended on assurances given. It is necessary to reinforce the point: the danger of removing the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Municipal Act, the Ontario Municipal Board Act and the Planning Act.

Furthermore, as I said earlier this morning, the legislation goes on to say that by regulation any other impediment -- not protection, which I find very strange -- any other impediment that stands in the way of putting in place the minister's policies will be vitiated by Bill 143. That is the point I was trying to make. Assurances are not always sufficient to --

The Vice-Chair: Mr McClelland, your time is up. Mr Wiseman, you can break into Mr McClelland's dialogue -- for a minute.

Mr Wiseman: Yes, just for a minute. This has been going on for a long time: Mr McClelland makes his comments and then I tell about the reality.

The reality, as it was brought home to my constituents in Pickering in the P1 site, was that the Premier and a couple of chairmen of the local regional municipalities of Toronto and Durham got together, sat down and said, "We're going to put a landfill site in north Pickering." Lo and behold, the process began, and it was going to be done under the Environmental Protection Act, not under the Environmental Assessment Act, so everything was scoped. There was no comparison and there was absolutely no possibility that if the Environmental Protection Act hearings said it was hydrogeologically difficult, it would still go in. We know there are powers to be as arbitrary as anybody wants to be within the framework, so all we ever rely on is time and the crisis in the emergency of the situation and --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you, Mr Wiseman and your worship. Maybe you could give us reality from the perspective of the municipalities.

Mrs Tenhoeve: I guess our point of view here is that when the existing site is there -- and all they are asking is for another lift to be added, a bit more capacity to be put there where it already is, as we are asking to do with the Sarnia interim landfill expansion. If we do not get that, then we face a very strong possibility here in Plympton of exporting our garbage, and I will not support that. I feel it is much better planning to expand that site for a short time until we have our long-term greenfield site in place. We may never use that greenfield site, but we must have it in place. If we do not, for one thing we will be at the mercy of the private sector. When you are at the mercy of the private sector that is the only game in town, and you pay whatever price is demanded.

The second thing: It eliminates us having to do what we find offensive, to send our garbage to another site. Someone will tell you, "Oh, by the way, Plympton's garbage is leaving Plympton township." Those are private sites, private haulers; that is, the industrial, commercial, institutional sector. We have no control over that. We can only control what we can control. It is unfortunate that is happening, but it is not happening with our blessing. We just feel that to stay within the certificate of approval and to use a site that is already there -- I toured this Keele Valley site because some of you may know that the proposed site for Plympton is directly across the road from my house. Someone will tell you, "No wonder she's all up in arms." It really does not matter. I am the mayor of Plympton township and I would oppose Toronto garbage coming anywhere in Plympton township. Because it is across the road from me only makes my constituents sure that I am not going to stop fighting and I am not going to be compromised by someone else.

Now I have lost the point. I am sorry, I do that all the time. We just feel that the extension is something we would permit because we are prepared to do that ourselves.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for another thoughtful presentation. If you have any more information for the committee we would be pleased to accept it in writing.

Mrs Tenhoeve: Thank you. Could you tell me how I get a copy of all these briefs today? I did not get it written down this morning.

The Vice-Chair: Call Publications Ontario at 880 Bay and ask for the Hansard on the standing committee on social development.

Mrs Tenhoeve: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: I ask Muriel Wright to come forward, please. As did everyone else, you have 20 minutes to make your presentation. We ask that you identify if you are associated with any group for the purposes of Hansard and we would also appreciate some time towards the end for questioning by members of the committee. Please proceed.

Mrs M. Wright: My name is Muriel Wright. I am not representing a group; I am a citizen of Plympton township, though. I am here on my own behalf.

I would like to present to you my view of the critical issue of waste management in Ontario with regard to Bill 143. This enabling legislation is very broad and general, but a foundation to start. It is not a be-all and end-all document, but a beginning point to advance Ontario in a comprehensive approach to waste management for a sustainable future. Environmental issues have been my primary interest for the past few years. I have been involved in local environmental groups, focusing on reduction initiatives and collecting information associated with pollution prevention of land, air and water. One of my most recent projects has been to assist in developing a draft policy reference and regulation guide on the Ontario waste management planning steering committee for the Ontario waste reduction office.

I feel this draft policy and regulation guideline will prove to be adequate in improving the environmental assessment process. My concern is that the guideline is still in the printing stage and has not had public review. Now we have Bill 143 before us, putting it into power. It is wrong and not in the best interests of the people of Ontario to suggest passing legislation that includes this draft, which has never had full public consultation. My question is, when and how will the policy and regulation guideline be put into effect?

The critical issue of waste management in Ontario in the past has been always to look for the easy answers and blame someone else. Quick-fix or Band-Aid solutions do not work environmentally or economically for the long term. There are no simplistic solutions to such a complex issue. We must be both responsible and accountable for the problem. I congratulate our Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Ruth Grier, for her courage in bringing this comprehensive long-term plan forward.

Specifically, I would like to direct my focus on the logistics of waste management. Personal responsibility and accountability of individuals at source is my main thrust. My philosophy is based on practical, commonsense ideas to help clarify and improve the legislation. Waste is a product we all share in generating, therefore we should be responsible for its end disposal; no NIMBY philosophy allowed.

I have made reference at the top of each area to Bill 143. In part IV, section 33, I feel a true definition of waste needs to be applied to Bill 143. Clarification of this term will dispel uncertainty as to what a landfill site will be able to accept. Is this waste inert and deemed useless? Common sense tells me if the responsibility of waste generation was directed to each individual, corporation and institution from conception to disposal, this would truly be a conserving society. We would all then have a waste conscience.

Referring to part IV, section 28 of the bill, section 74 of the act: As a person dedicated to the conservation of land, air and water, I would like to apply an acronym for these elements, LAW. I would suggest it is absolutely essential to establish legislation to protect them; if you will, a law to protect the LAW. This legislation must always contain as a key focus the 3Rs, the most important being reduction. The second R, reuse, can serve our society by generating an economic base in developing reuse and refill centres. Markets for these products will be found, given time. Incentives could be offered for developing innovative technology which would in turn help solve our waste crisis.


Source separation is an important component in developing an environmental conscience, in reduction of our waste and conserving our resources. It must become as unacceptable to be wasteful as it is to be a smoker. Public opinion is changing, but a more aggressive avenue needs to be followed to complete the job. Ontario needs to become a leader in developing new markets for recyclables, to expand the blue box program.

Part II, subsection 14(a): The commonsense approach must also apply when looking at the end disposal of waste, particularly landfills. Transport of waste in Ontario is an unacceptable solution. Transporting waste from one area to another completely contradicts the philosophy of responsibility and accountability and supports the out-of-sight, out-of-mind concept. Transport encourages communities to develop a garbage economy, concerned only with obtaining more and more garbage to feed the fund. This is not the way to develop a conserver society.

Communities need encouragement to create jobs in conservation rather than disposal. Until transport is eliminated as an alternative, waste reduction will not be seriously pursued by some communities. Living with one's own waste makes one conserve and be more aware of the environment with concern for the waste problem and its solution. Landfills must be close to the generator of the waste.

Common sense also tells me that landfills should refuse to accept all recyclables, compostables and household hazardous waste. They should only accept inert, useless waste. Household hazardous waste and compostables mixed are the most dangerous elements in the waste stream. Therefore the most concentrated effort should be given to eliminating them from disposal in our landfills. Thus, less potentially dangerous landfills would be developed, making them more acceptable to communities. I support part II, section 12, regional municipal responsibility.

In part II, clause 14(2)(a), I support the minister's ban on incineration as an alternative solution. It is an approach that is deeply flawed and has no place in a sound waste management strategy.

The following will summarize my thoughts on Bill 143.

Part II, waste disposal sites, section 12: I support the regional municipal responsibility of leaving the waste inside its municipal boundary.

Clauses 13(1)(a) and (b): I would like to see added to the estimated amount of waste a 20% contingency measure to guarantee landfill site life expectancy to 20 years or more. Here in Lambton county with our landfill site selection and our master plan, this was a requirement of the ministry that we add 20%, and I would like to see it also set across Ontario.

Clause 14(1)(a) should remain the same, that alternatives involving incineration and transport should not be considered. In clause 14(1)(b), the alternative of transport would not be necessary if a 20% contingency measure was established.

In subsections 15(1) and (2), these policies should have been made available to public review and consultation before appearing in this bill.

In part IV, section 28, I recommend the establishment of reuse and refill centres; that incentives be offered for developing innovative technology for reduction, and mandatory implementation of waste reduction.

In subsection 33(2), define the classification of waste. A true definition of waste needs to be established.

In conclusion, I commend this government for taking us in a new direction in waste management for Ontario. Bill 143 is providing a tool to get to the root of the waste problem. It will encourage new and innovative methods of handling waste with a clear commonsense approach worthy of support. We must remember that we are only caretakers of this planet and we must strive to pass it on to our children as an asset, not a liability.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for another well-presented brief. Before I commence with questions, the parliamentary assistant has asked for a point of clarification, so Mr O'Connor, take it away.

Mr O'Connor: Thank you, Mr Chair. As he said, this is a well-thought-out brief with some good suggestions. I notice one point you raised on the first page. You put a question there, and quite often my position as parliamentary assistant is to answer questions the committee members put towards me, so it is nice to see someone from the public asking the questions as well. To get a good clarification on the policy on guidelines and regulations and stuff, I would ask David McRobert if he would come up to the microphone and respond to some of those questions as they deal with the waste initiatives paper.


Mr McRobert: I think Ms Wright is referring in her question to a document that was prepared as part of a review of waste management master planning that was undertaken by the waste reduction office of the Ministry of the Environment beginning in the summer of 1991. Drafts of a policy document have circulated throughout Ontario, generally to people involved with waste management master planning, over the past four or five months. It is intended that this document will be available to municipalities and to citizens to assist them in understanding how the reformed waste management master planning process will be applied in the province and how the new system will be based on waste reduction. The discussion paper on reformed waste management master planning is in the final stages of preparation. It is scheduled to be released very shortly and drafts of the policy guide you referred to will be made available at the same time as the discussion paper, which is called Initiatives Paper No 2.

The Vice-Chair: Now we will proceed with questions.

Mr Ramsay: Muriel, thank you very much for not only a clear and concise presentation, but positive suggestions in your summary. I appreciate that. I am particularly interested in your suggestion of the establishment of reuse and refill centres. It seems to me that would be a good place to start towards reduction, and I am glad you emphasized that as absolutely the first priority. I think we could work very quickly in areas where we would not be inconveniencing the public and where we could make changes very quickly.

It being the winter and as a northerner consuming a lot of windshield washer fluid, I look at all those containers I am consuming and have no other use for, when you have so many of them; and also because of the contents there, I worry about reusing that container. We are all going to gas stations, obviously, filling up our tanks. Why we do not have gas station refilling, for instance, of windshield washer fluid? There is something where we are going to a depot anyway; why not have that?

I think the government needs to look very quickly at items that could be acted upon immediately with the least disruption and then phase in other things that might take a little more time for business and consumers to adapt to. Maybe groups such as yours should be going after the government to do that sort of thing so we can get some immediate savings right away.

If maybe there are about two million cars in Ontario, and maybe people go through on average five of those a year -- I am sure it is more -- there are probably 10 million of those four-litre containers out there every year that are being stored in great land, Ontario. I would encourage you to pick items like that and really go after the government on that. Maybe as a legislator that is what I need to be doing too. Thanks for bringing this to mind.

The Vice-Chair: Do you wish to respond or make a comment?

Mrs M. Wright: I do not know a great deal about the reuse and refill stations because I have not had the chance to go down to New York state. Apparently that is where the concept of them started and they are being very successful, and not only reuse and refill; there are also depositing centres where you can take back -- there is a deposit on all items and they would strictly just exchange for your deposit, such as your pop bottles, liquor bottles and such.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Lessard, you had a question?

Mr Lessard: I want to thank you as well for your presentation. I had indicated to a presenter earlier how much we as a committee appreciate having people take time and effort to come before us who really do not have any financial interest in the outcome of this initiative. The views you express are important and they are appreciated for that reason.

I was just curious as to how you became involved in assisting in developing the draft policy reference and regulation guide in the waste management planning, because I think people who are here today might be interested in how you get involved in those sorts of initiatives.

The other question I have is with respect to markets. You stated that markets would be developed over time. Do you think there is something we as legislators can do to speed that up?

Mrs M. Wright: I think one area the legislators could help in would be offering incentives to entrepreneurs to start some environmentally friendly businesses. That would be one area the legislator could help in. I realize money constraints are tight right now, but that is one area I think could be very positive in our economic downturn times right now too, because money spent in that area could also generate more economy in the areas.

As for how I got involved in all this, first of all, it started way back in our waste management master planning here in Lambton county. I chair the public advisory committee, and then when the NDP government took over, it decided to redo the waste management master planning and I was asked to go to Toronto different times to sit for the public, advising in that capacity on waste management master planning changes.

Then with our own environmental groups here, we belong to the Ontario Environment Network and I sit on the waste caucus of that committee, with John Jackson from Waterloo, whom you may be familiar with. They asked for two representatives from the public to assist in this draft policy and regulations. John Jackson and I were called and we kindly obliged them and attended a few of the meetings. There was a lot of faxing and communications back and forth so we did not have to travel to Toronto all the time, and we are just waiting patiently for the results of our work.

Mr Lessard: Thank you for your contribution.

The Vice-Chair: Mr McClelland, a short comment or question.

Mr McClelland: By way of comment I want to say thank you to so many people, including yourself. You have an interesting contrast here -- bookends, if you will. You said this was a good, comprehensive, long-term plan being brought forward, and this morning the first one called it a Band-Aid attempt, an irresponsible and misguided Band-Aid attempt at a long-term problem. I guess that sort of says a lot about the work of the committee. Within that context we have a range of opinion, but I think the thing that is noteworthy is that the person who said it was Band-Aid attempt brought forward some positive solutions or improvements, and you, who think it is a good thing, said it can be made even better. Within that context, certainly as the opposition, and I am sure I speak for my colleagues, who I am sure will add a point or two, we want to thank the people from Sarnia and from the surrounding area who have come here to bring that range of opinion and moreover the positive solutions as we try to do our job.

The Vice-Chair: Ms Mathyssen, seeing as how your riding is the closest to being the host riding for Sarnia, perhaps you would not mind making the wrapup comments for members of this committee, please.

Mrs Mathyssen: I am the member for Middlesex, and I must say that if I could not be the member for Middlesex, I would certainly like to be the member for Sarnia. On behalf of the committee and on behalf of the minister, I want to thank the people of Sarnia and area, and indeed all the host communities that have provided us with real information, have shown their concern, their care and their genuine belief that we have a responsibility to protect our environment. I want to thank you particularly for your wisdom. I will paraphrase Ms Wright in saying that we are indeed only the caretakers and we do have an obligation to protect this world that nurtures us. Thank you for your dedication to that and thank you for helping us in our quest to find the solutions and the right answers to this situation.

The Vice-Chair: In conclusion, I would like to thank you, Mrs Wright, and all the people of Sarnia, both for their hospitality and for their interest and their participation, because I must say, having sat in on all the sessions, we probably heard the most emotional debate here today, and we also have the most facts to bring home with us. I only hope that our plane can take that basket of material with us. Once again, thank you very much for your concerns, for your participation and for your wisdom.

Before I adjourn the committee, there are a couple of housekeeping items. The bus will be at the front door at 5:30. That is for members of the committee. Please claim your luggage. You will have to carry your own. It is in room 120. Make sure you are there; otherwise you will be hitchhiking.

This committee now stands adjourned until Monday, March 9, at 2 pm at Queen's Park. Thank you very much.

The committee adjourned at 1640.