Monday 27 January 1992

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

Waste Not

Colleen Cooney, representative Bill Cooney, representative

Canadian Union of Public Employees

Michael Stokes, provincial president John Calvert, senior research person, national coordinator of contracting-out privatization Peter Leiss, president, Local 185; chair, CUPE Ontario job security committee Brian O'Keefe, president, Metropolitan Toronto CUPE council


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):

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

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

Turnbull, David (York Mills PC) for Mr Stockwell

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

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

The committee met at 1402 in room 151.


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


The Chair: The first presentation today is from Waste Not. You are welcome to the committee. You have one hour for your presentation. We would ask if you would leave as much time as possible for questions from the committee members. Would you begin your presentation by introducing your delegation. If you just speak right into the microphone in front of you, Hansard will be able to pick everything up and there will not be any problems at all. Please begin your presentation now.

Mrs C. Cooney: My name is Colleen Cooney and this is my husband, Bill. We are citizens of Orillia and we represent Waste Not, a non-profit networking group based in Orillia. We have not made copies of our address for you since we are not able at this time to buy recycled paper which does not use chlorine bleach in the primary processing. You will be receiving Hansard shortly, we believe. By the way, British Columbia has recently set a timetable for zero discharge for organochlorine effluent from pulp mills by the year 2002. We encourage Ontario to follow their leadership.

The handout we have given you is a list of references for your further research and a list of contacts throughout North America who will provide any additional information you may need.

We came here today from Orillia to tell you why we are interested in Bill 143. We are not involved with a waste disposal company, nor are we being paid by anyone for coming here today. We are here because of the sense of urgency we feel and the fact that we are angry about the deterioration of our air, our water and our land which we all share, and we are concerned about the wasting of our resources. We strongly support pollution prevention and conservation of resources.

First, we want to say loudly and clearly we fully support and applaud any legislation which enables us to become a conserver society. We applaud enabling legislation which leads to a commonsense approach in the way we use our finite resources and treat the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land which provides for sustenance. We cannot exploit our resources in the short term and then expect to have a sound economy in the long term.

We fully support the ban on incineration of solid waste. We encourage the government of Ontario to ban the incineration of hazardous waste and biomedical waste. It is time to face the reality of what we are doing in wasting resources on a finite planet. It is time to face the reality of what happens when we dump unknown substances into the land, or burn materials in an incinerator.

We did not come here to give you information which you do not already know. We know that you know it is wrong to put poisons into the air. We know that you know it is wrong to poison the land and water. We know that you know that our resources are finite and that conservation is imperative. We know that you know about the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the call for zero discharge of toxic substances into the ecosystem of the Great Lakes basin.

We came here to let you know that we feel a great urgency and we are very serious about what is happening -- global warming, acid rain, chemicals in the drinking water, dioxin-contaminated food, dioxin in mother's milk, fouled air. This is the reality in which we find ourselves in 1992, and we did it, and we are continuing to do it. Our laws let corporations continue to put poisons into our air, land and water.

We came here to tell you that we are serious about the topics addressed in Bill 143. We wonder why this committee has been formed in order to receive more input. Clearly, the decision to stop discharging toxins into the ecosystem and to stop wasting resources must be made. Why the foot-dragging?

We, as citizens who pay taxes and vote, wonder why this committee is holding these sessions when clearly those who are speaking against Bill 143 are primarily those for whom it is a sales opportunity or an easy out from accepting responsibility for wasting and polluting.

We wonder, after the numerous public sessions held to date, what it is you want the public to say that you have not heard yet. We wonder why these sessions are held at a time when the working public is busy. We are wondering why it is that the entrepreneurs in the post-consumer marketplace are again being given a forum for lobbying. We are wondering why the decision to prevent pollution and prevent wasting resources is being challenged. By whom? Why? Now, clearly, is the time to make responsible decisions. There should be no debate over wasting or polluting. These are obviously unethical. Make that decision and then get on with it.

Let us look at the reality of what we are doing in our society. This filled garbage bag with a question mark helps to visualize the waste management operation as it is being practised here in Ontario. No one knows what is in here except those of us who filled the bag -- a real coverup. Thousands of these bags of unknown substances are taken to a hole in the ground and dumped somewhere -- preferably "somewhere else" -- and then covered over again. Perhaps our century will be known as the one of the great coverup. We are not looking squarely at the many realities of life.

Who will be responsible for the cleanup? Does it make sense to you to continue not facing this reality? What do you think will happen when this bag breaks down and the contents mix? What do you think would happen if this bag were burned? The contents become changed into even more dangerous substances and are discharged either into the air or are captured and then buried.


Who is going to clean all this up? How could we explain to our great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren that we knowingly polluted the environment? As decision-makers in this province, there is a tremendous responsibility on your shoulders, as well as a tremendous opportunity for doing something really important by showing leadership in the area of managing our resources. We know you have enough information; what is missing seems to be the political will.

The only realistic, practical solution to the contamination of the air, land and water is pollution prevention. We fully support the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which calls for zero discharge of toxic substances into the ecosystem. There is no other sensible way of acting. We have no other choice. It is obscene to think that we in Ontario have a problem of too much when so many in the world have too little.

The particular topic in Bill 143 we shall address is incineration. During the past two years in Orillia we have learned a lot about incineration and will share with you why, in 1990, we strongly opposed the building of an incinerator in Orillia, why we are still opposed to the incineration of waste and why we will continue to speak out against incineration.

We want you to be able to put faces on two citizens who refuse to be dumped on. We think you need to hear at first hand the story of the citizens of Orillia. Orillia is a wonderful, friendly city of 24,000, 130 kilometres north of Toronto. We are situated on two beautiful lakes, Simcoe and Couchiching. Tourism is a major factor in Orillia's economy.

Our city got caught up in the SWISC or Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee process -- at the wrong end, we might add. On April 9, 1990 it was announced by the corporation of the city of Orillia that it had signed a statement saying in part, "The city of Orillia expresses an interest in being a host municipality." The agreement went on to say that the city would deal exclusively with Ogden Martin Systems, a company whose head office was in New Jersey. This exclusive agreement with Ogden would expire on the happening of any one of the following events: "(a) if Ogden does not select the city of Orillia as a host municipality and (b) if Ogden's proposal is not selected by SWISC or any of its participants." In other words, we had to be the chosen ones. This project was presented as the prize we should be fighting to get.

Let us tell you about the deal. Ogden Martin would build a $500-million incinerator in Orillia. Toronto would send by truck or rail 3,000 tonnes of garbage daily. We would have a place to burn our garbage, $3 million in a new tax base, 250 new jobs and would receive 75 megawatts of electricity. We heard rumours about an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a new city hall.

At first glance it looked like a profitable deal, especially to our economic development committee and the city politicians. At this point, we citizens had no idea what SWISC was, who Ogden was, what incineration involved. We had heard that the GTA was trying to solve its waste crisis, but we had no idea or any interest in what it had in mind. After all, we were living our lives in Orillia.

Some Orillians began right away to wonder what the results would be of being the dumping ground for Toronto's garbage. What would that do to our image as a tourist area? Some wondered about real estate value. Others began to ask questions about where the incinerator would be sited, how much garbage we would be burning, how would it get to Orillia, where would the ash be dumped, how much water would be required to make steam, insurance, liability and on and on. We wondered about the fact that if the incinerator cost $500 million to build, then this must be a lucrative business for someone to want to invest that much. Where would all the money come for this business to make a profit?

Many of our questions have remained unanswered to this day. For example, who would be responsible for providing eight million litres of water daily? Who would be responsible for treating the contaminated water which is discharged from the plant? Who tested for emissions from the stack? Who determined the frequency and the kinds of testing to be done? We found out that one dioxin test cost $250,000. Who would be responsible for providing all support services, road maintenance, fire protection? Would the facility be insured? Where would the one tonne of toxic ash a day be placed? We knew that in 45 days the amount of garbage we had for a year would be the same as the amount of ash produced. Would the filters be cleaned, how often and on and on. The more questions we asked, the more we realized that we were the ones facing Toronto's waste crisis.

Some things we were told by our city politicians and employees of Ogden Martin were that the air coming from the incinerator would be purer than the air in Orillia at that time; the garbage would be sorted by a crane operator who would be perched many, many feet above the garbage; the ash would be dealt with later; it would be computerized; we should be good neighbours and help Toronto with its problem, and the favourite answer to our questions, "We'll get back to you."

We had to decide who should be believed. We ended up by believing the people who shared the same values as we did. Many people in Orillia began to network, talk with each other and ask more and more questions. We attended a symposium at the University of Toronto to get more facts, as our politicians encouraged us to do. I could not believe my ears when I heard Dr Curtis Travers of Oakridge National Laboratories in Tennessee tell us that the risk analysis showed that only two persons in 10,000 would get cancer from this operation. This man was admitting incineration causes cancer. Since I had undergone major surgery in 1981 for cancer, my husband and I did not take lightly the fact that someone living somewhere else had decided that it was all right for 2.4 persons in Orillia to get cancer. We wondered if that was a volunteer position or if we could nominate somebody. Does it not seem unethical and irresponsible to you that anyone would knowingly discharge any amount of cancer-causing substances into the ecosystem?

The physicians of Orillia submitted a report entitled Hazards of Incineration, which was prepared "out of concern for our patients and families as well as our soil, our water and our food." They searched three computer databases for the health effects of incineration technology. The physicians met with representatives of Ogden Martin and contacted others living with incineration. They then presented information to the city council as well as to the public. They were very concerned about the health effects to those under their care.

By using figures supplied to them by Ogden Martin, our physicians found out that in one year we could expect many emissions in Orillia, including the following: 4.9 tonnes of mercury, 558 pounds of cadmium, 25.7 tonnes of lead, 12 kilograms of arsenic and 0.022 kilograms of dioxin.


Mr Cousens: Can I ask you the source of that, just so I know where you got that from?

Mrs C. Cooney: This was in the physicians' report, Hazards of Incineration.

Mr Cousens: Thank you.

Mrs C. Cooney: Let us take a closer look at one, mercury. We all know about restrictions on consumption of fish because of mercury contamination. Mercury is present in batteries, fluorescent lights, plastics, dyes. In Metro Toronto, up to 15 tonnes would be thrown away each year.

Municipal waste incineration is considered the largest source of mercury entering the urban environment. We in Orillia could expect 4.9 metric tonnes of mercury each year of operation. Exposure to small amounts of mercury over extended periods of time results in chronic mercury poisoning, which affects the nervous system and may cause birth defects. Children are particularly susceptible. Symptoms of mercury exposure include tremors, irritability, kidney failure, loss of memory, speech disorders, neuromuscular disorders, personality changes, including depression and memory loss, and headache may result. In high levels, blindness, paralysis, coma and death may result.

Here is some information about mercury we have found out since that time as reported in Science News, volume 139, March 9, 1991: "Children exposed in utero to even low doses of mercury can develop a range of more serious problems, from psychomotor retardation, including delays in speech and walking, to birth defects involving severe brain damage."

We also found out that one third of a gram of mercury is enough to contaminate a 25-acre lake -- and we could expect almost five tonnes a year?

The doctors recommended that, for the sake of the health of the citizens of Orillia, the incinerator project be stopped.

Beyond belief, our city politicians sided with Ogden Martin, not with those who had elected them to represent them. Personally, I became very angry. How could our politicians not be concerned about the risks to our health? How could they not care what was happening to the people in Orillia? What had happened that those elected to represent us were taking the side of an outside company? We could not believe that our city politicians would start to ridicule those who had elected them. The most common question we heard from citizens was, "Who is being paid?" In fact, in speaking to people throughout North America, that is the most frequently asked question we hear.

We later heard one of our politicians say that they were "brainwashed." In fact, we now have a videotape of a training session by an incinerator company in which real politicians are role-playing how to fend off their citizens, even to the point of shooting the citizens. What a shock to feel all of a sudden that we were now seen as the enemy. We were shocked to see police with guns visible at our city council meeting in Orillia.

By the way, Ogden Martin threatened a lawsuit against the Orillia doctors who signed Hazards of Incineration. This threat is still pending, as far as I am aware. This is quite a common practice in the United States and is known as SLAPP, meaning strategic lawsuit against public participation. Its purpose is to intimidate people from speaking out against the siting of polluting facilities, for example incinerators. It was interesting that one of the doctors who had not signed the report initially added his name to the report when the lawsuit was threatened. In his opinion, a company which would sue physicians who expressed concern for the patients under their care was a company he did not want in Orillia.

A group of businessmen took out full-page ads in our local newspapers opposing this project. Citizens picketed city hall. Students held a rally at city hall and met with the mayor. Individuals wrote letters. Some children wrote letters to a local newspaper. I have a couple of samples I would like to read for you.

Rosanne says: "What about us kids? They should think about us. When we grow up...where will we put the ashes?"

Christopher said: "I think it's a bad thing because it sounds like some kind of con. People could get sick because of the bad air the machine gives off, and what about the leftover garbage? And what if this machine cuts out on us? I can't trust this machine."

This one is from a Metro councillor, Mr Howard Moscoe, in an open letter to the mayor of Orillia: "I chuckled when I read how you had swallowed hook, line and sinker the Ogden Martin system for waste disposal. Metro would be delighted to send you all its garbage to burn. Better that your residents should breathe it than our residents drink it. I understand you have not yet figured out what to do with the ash, which is significantly more toxic than the garbage. Don't send it to Metro -- we won't bury it here."

A petition of over 9,000 signatures opposed to the incinerator project was given to city council. A saturation telephone poll of over 2,000 people told us that 75% of the people said no to incineration. The Chippewas of Rama first nation, in a reserve located two miles downwind across Lake Couchiching, wrote to our city council reminding it that the first nation reserve was only a breeze away and that they no longer had the option to pack up and move away.

Citizens from all walks of life and all age groups began to ask questions. We spoke to mothers and fathers who told us about the health risks and we spoke to politicians who told us about the economic problems they were experiencing. We want you to understand that the strong, swift opposition to this incinerator project in Orillia was community opposition. It was not just a few radical environmentalists, as some might lead you to believe. The momentum built quickly and strongly from all over the community.

Finally our city council, on July 11, 1990, three months and two days after its initial announcement, unanimously decided that Orillia would not be a willing host for this incinerator project.

Briefly, let's look at some advantages and disadvantages of incineration.

Advantages: Incineration does not necessitate any change in the habits of consumers, waste haulers or manufacturers; it is a big boost to the construction and engineering industries; it generates steam and/or electricity, and it greatly reduces the volume of garbage.

Disadvantages: The products of incineration are air emissions and ash. Three classes of substances in stack emissions must be considered: acid gases, toxic metals, and newly synthesized organic compounds, which are persistent and build up in our bodies, in wildlife and in the food chain.


Mothers are passing on the toxic loads of their bodies to their children. One of the most striking statements I have heard was a statement by a doctor in Germany who said, "When we have to tell mothers to limit breast-feeding, we are looking at the beginning of the end of mankind."

It is now recognized in the scientific community that pollution in the Great Lakes comes in large part from the air. Legislation regulating and licensing pollution was made when this information was not recognized. Incinerators are present near 18 identified hotspots of mercury contamination in the Great Lakes.

It is important to remember that the better we get at capturing the contaminants in the air emissions, the more toxic the resulting ash will be. Let's look at the ash. There are two kinds of ash, bottom ash and fly ash. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that 100% of all fly ash samples and 38% of bottom ash samples failed the tests for either lead or cadmium or both. Samples of ash from Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, as well as samples from the Ogden Martin plant in Burnaby, British Columbia, have tested positive for toxicity.

Incineration wastes paper, wood, textiles, etc. The energy recovery from burning garbage is less than the energy saved when the material is recycled. Not many jobs are created. More jobs can be created in the arena of aggressive reuse and recycling. As Dr Connett has so eloquently told you, even if burning waste were perfected so that no environmental or health risks were involved, it just does not make any sense to burn our resources.

We would like to talk briefly about the environmental assessment hearing process. During the past week we have been watching the hearings and have heard many of those making presentations to this committee calling for a full environmental assessment hearing on all projects. We have heard Mr McClelland, the member for Brampton North, asking presenters if they do not agree that this is a good idea. We think that this is a trick question, and we wish to address the point.

Our experience in participating in the environmental assessment hearing on our dump in Orillia this past September helped us to understand the process and to see what was really going on under the guise of "receiving public input." This process is indeed flawed, because the wrong questions are being asked. The Environmental Assessment Board panel said our hearing on the dump had as its purpose the protection of the environment, but the hearing turned out to be about whether or not we should continue polluting and wasting resources.

We were quite surprised that lawyers for the city of Orillia, for the county of Simcoe and for the Ministry of the Environment, who were being paid by ourselves through our tax dollars, were all fighting to continue dumping unknown substances into a wetland on the shore of Lake Simcoe. We ended up fighting about the wrong topic, at great expense to the taxpayers.

The questions we should have been asking at a hearing to protect the environment are, how can we facilitate as quickly as possible the prevention of pollution and how can we facilitate as quickly as possible the conservation of resources? Common sense. There are some concepts which in and of themselves are wrong and unethical. To waste resources is wrong. To poison the land, the air and the water is wrong. All thinking persons will agree.

It is a waste of time, money and energy to hold a hearing about whether or not we should continue wasting and polluting, to hold a hearing about finding the place of least resistance to the dumping of poisons, or to hold a hearing about incineration, a process which wastes resources and creates dangerous compounds and then discharges them.

There would be a sound purpose in an environmental assessment hearing to find out how to effectively, efficiently and expeditiously save our resources and prevent pollution. But do you really need public input on how to do this? We know you have the information. We wonder whether the environmental assessment process is not a selling opportunity for those who see the managing of products in the "post-consumer marketplace."

After our city council decided to say no to the incinerator project for Orillia, Harry Olivier, vice-president of marketing for Ogden Martin, is quoted in the Orillia Daily Packet and Times of July 12, 1990 as saying: "It's a case where the process of an environmental review was not allowed to take its course. It's a pity the project was not given the chance to be assessed fairly."

It seems to us, as citizens, as though Harry Olivier thought that by holding a hearing we could be convinced that all that mercury would be good for our children or for our senior citizens or for the fish in our waters, or that all that ash would somehow be an advantage for Orillia. No amount of gibberish will ever lead us to believe that it is good for us to poison or to waste our finite resources. As Dr Connett recommended the other day, we citizens will not let go of our common sense.

Have you ever wondered why it is difficult to site an incinerator or a landfill? People are not fooled by changing the name to "resource recovery facility" or "energy-from-waste facility" or "sanitary landfill." Dr Barry Commoner calls this "linguistic detoxification." There is no such thing as a safe landfill if we are dumping poisons into the land. There is no such thing as a safe incinerator if it discharges any amount of poisons through the stack or in the ash.

Our recommendations, about which we are quite serious, are these:

First, all products that are being wasted, which some call garbage, must be looked after as close to the persons wasting them as possible. It just does not make sense that energy be used to transport waste. That means the management of our resources must be kept at the local level and that it must be kept small. We recommend local control.

Second, we recommend public ownership. We refer you to Mr John Calvert, CUPE. Remember Keele Valley?

Third, to handle these excess products, use people before machines, and use small machines before large ones. Think of the jobs that could be created.

Finally, a recommendation about those operations, for example, incinerators, which have your permission to discharge any amount of persistent toxic substances into the air, land or water. We recommend that the polluters, until they stop the discharge, at the very least must pay the total medical bill for the province, the total educational bill for special education classes, and the total bill for complete testing of all drinking water supplies and the supplying of safe water to the residents of Ontario.


It is imperative that citizens and corporate entities take responsibility for their actions. Critical times call for critical measures. It is time to end this massive human experiment, waiting to see what toxic load we can handle in our bodies. None of us devised this experiment, nor have we consented to it, and we must consider our children.

In closing, Jordan, a two-year-old who came with us today, gave me this when we met and asked me to bring it to you: his cloth diaper. My husband says, "And that's the bottom line."

I would like to read a few comments from people who could not take time off their work to be here with you today:

"Why is there such a push or drive for incineration? It would make one think there is more at stake than just waste management."

"We are concerned very much about the private sector pushing for control over waste management. The issue of private companies making a profit on the already overburdened taxpayers -- common cost, private profit -- isn't fair."

I have a letter written by Mr David Brister, a teacher and father in Orillia:

"Western society is slowly being buried by and suffocated with its own filth. The technology that has helped create our abundant lifestyle has also proven disastrous to the natural world. The further technology has advanced, the more remote our thinking has become from common sense.

"Now that we are in this `techno created mess' we seem to be able to think of nothing less than `techno created fixes,' forgetting that it is technology that has put us in this predicament in the first place.

"We do not need incineration, or plants to recycle drinking boxes or disposable diapers, or even plants to recycle one-use pop containers of any kind. What we need is a fundamental shift in our relationship with the planet that maintains all life, Earth.

"No matter what the techno-wizards from the incinerator or recycling companies tell you, theirs is not part of the solution, only more of the problem."

It is signed David Brister.

Mr W. Cooney: I am Bill Cooney, Madam Chair. I would just like to add a very brief footnote to Colleen's presentation. As she has outlined, during our efforts to halt the incinerator in Orillia we became very familiar with terms like "dioxin" and "furans," so last fall we were delighted to see a citizens' conference on dioxins slated for September 21 and 22 at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We both attended.

There were two whole days on dioxin. The outline is very brief. The opening address, "We need the whole truth about dioxin," was given by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr. It was followed by the presentations "Dioxin: A layman's guide," "Dioxin and human health," "Dioxin: Manipulation and fraud," "Shifting the focus to the front end," "Case studies of waste reduction," "Chlorine," and finally, "Banning incineration."

The presenters were an extraordinary group of doctors from the United States, obviously, and also from Germany, Holland and Sweden. The keynote speaker was Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr, not so well known in Canada but very well known in the United States. From 1968 to 1970 he was commander of the US naval forces in Vietnam, and from 1970 to 1974 was chief of naval operations and a member of the joint chiefs of staff. He is a man of extraordinary knowledge and presentation. He had ordered the use of dioxins during his time in Vietnam in the form of Agent Orange. Now he is spending the major portion of his time being a severe critic of dioxin. His own son fell victim to it.

At the end of the conference we were informed that tapes and transcripts would be available. You could contact Work On Waste USA -- you are familiar with that organization through Dr Connett -- or any of the information contained in our brief handout would be able to get you in touch with this particular conference. That is all I have.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I have several questions from members of the committee. Mrs Mathyssen.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for your presentation. It was very informative and helpful to hear about how your community approached the incinerator problem. I have a couple of quick questions. My first question has to do with the report from the Orillia doctors, Hazards of Incineration. Is that report still available or has the gag order they have been placed under --

Mrs C. Cooney: As far as I know, because of a threatened lawsuit which I believe is still pending, the doctors have been advised -- you will have to ask the doctors. I am not really familiar with what information has been given. As far as I know, the report is not available.

Mrs Mathyssen: I see. I was intrigued by your description of the videotape. It seems really excessive to me.

Mrs C. Cooney: The one on the training of politicians by the incinerator company.

Mrs Mathyssen: Yes.

Mrs C. Cooney: That is available from Work On Waste USA. Dr Paul Connett has that tape available.

Mrs Mathyssen: Who produced it? Who was sponsoring this?

Mrs C. Cooney: I can tell you where it came from. A group of politicians in the States somewhere were being trained by an incinerator company. One of the politicians went along with the videotape and the training but he was not really brainwashed, so he gave the tape to some citizens groups and they have given it to other people. I know Dr Paul Connett has that tape available. It is very interesting.

Mr McClelland: Madam Chair, how much time do we have? I know we are running a little tight.

The Chair: You have six minutes and Mr Cousens has five. He asked one question during the presentation.

Mr McClelland: Thank you for coming, Mr and Mrs Cooney. I appreciate your being here. The questions that were put to other people about environmental assessment were not trick questions. Let me tell you why, if I could, by way of preamble.

A lot of people share the same fundamental values you have -- people who have been active in the environmental community, organizations that would be well known to you, organizations that I believe share the same fundamental principles many people here, yourselves included, share. They have a belief and a sense that public participation and public knowledge are perhaps some of the best vehicles and tools to help us to begin to act as a society to change the way we think, to change our attitudes towards many things, as you have well put before the committee today. It is that kind of mentality that says people have a right to participate and a right to know about what is going on in their own backyard. People such as yourselves have a right to challenge the information being put forward. To use your terminology, if people are being brainwashed, that ought to be exposed. People in a free and democratic society -- there are some fundamental values in terms of fairness and principles about disclosure and accountability that are very important.

That is why there are people concerned, as you heard. You indicated you have heard people presenting before this committee, including representatives and some very able people learned in the law presenting some of the reasons they believe Bill 143, in its very essence, is contrary to many of those fundamental principles about the environment that have been hard fought for, notwithstanding your accurate assessment that the environmental assessment process needs to be fixed. I do not think anybody has ever argued that. Many people have been involved with it, myself included, together with a citizens' group and ratepayers' association in my community and also when I served at the Ministry of the Environment as the former minister's parliamentary assistant -- a minister who, I might add, was committed to the process in terms of giving everybody an opportunity to present, who was instrumental in introducing intervenor funding so that citizens' groups and individuals could participate fully.

In terms of response to your suggestion that there is a trick question, I do not think there is anything tricky about it. I do not know why you feel that, and that is up to you, whatever motives you want to ascribe, whatever. There is no trick question.


I have to ask people like Dr Connett, "Do you know about the environmental assessment process?" who would say, "No, I don't know anything about it, but I'm going to tell you, Bill 143 is good stuff" -- somebody who came in from the United States. I am not arguing the things he said in terms of his fundamental principles, some of the things you are talking about. We agree with those, but to say that because some of those principles are embodied in parts of Bill 143 it makes the other stuff okay, I think defies logic, quite frankly. Because something, to use your own words, "is a little bit good," I do not think it makes the poison part of it -- if ash has poison in it, is it not all bad?

That is the question we are talking about in Bill 143. If there are things fundamentally wrong in terms of public participation, then I want to know if people believe in that. I want to know if people believe in putting facts on the table. I want to know if people believe they should have disclosure. That is why I put to Mr O'Connor, the parliamentary assistant, and I am going to do it again tomorrow, whether he is prepared and if his government is prepared to release the list of sites that have been placed around this province. Mr O'Connor said the government does not have a list.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of organizations and groups, communities of citizens, people such as yourselves, who are very concerned about the poison in their water and air; about the poison that will come to their children and affect their lives; about the impact it will have on their health and on the ecosystem.

Because of those fundamental principles in which I and many other people happen to believe in terms of the environmental assessment process, I want to know when people come here and say how great Bill 143 is -- I am not talking about the principles you espouse. I would like to know from Mr O'Connor if he is today prepared to release the list he says he does not have, or if he has been able to pull it together, the list his government was apparently hiding, referred to in letters he has received today; the list, I might add, that his House leader on December 2 in a memo to our House leader, Mr Mancini, and the Conservative House leader, Mr Eves, said would be released on or around December 19 if we agreed to pass the bill.

It is because of our participation and belief in the environmental assessment process that I want to know, Mr O'Connor; so that the people in and around Toronto who are subject to having a solution imposed on them are going to have the right to know it might be coming. Mr and Mrs Cooney have come here today and had an opportunity to put their position forward. They have articulated it very well and I happen to share the principles they have articulated today.

How about the other people, Mr O'Connor? How about the other groups in and around Toronto that want to know if they are going to be subject to a waste management site, to use the euphemisms you talked about, put in their backyards or in their neighbourhood without full public participation and without the opportunity to make their views known? Do you have that for us today? If not, when are you going to have it for us?

Mr O'Connor: Thank you, Mr McClelland, for that wonderful speech and whatnot, and I want to thank our presenters for coming here today. As to the list you are referring to, to be perfectly honest and to make sure we get the record straight on this as it has come up many times, why do we not ask the chair of the Interim Waste Authority? She is the person who will be dealing with it. I will refer that to Jan Rush, please.

Mr McClelland: Madam Chair, I am not going to accept that referral and this is the reason; I will leave it in your hands. This decision has been made, apparently, by political personnel. It has been made, apparently, at the minister's office. It has been endorsed by the House leader of the New Democratic Party and there is correspondence that has been filed. I would refer Mr O'Connor to exhibit 107017 today, which is indicative of the fact that a list was put there.

You heard on Thursday from Mr Ferguson of Metro council that it had a list submitted to the ministry staff. What are you trying to hide? What are you trying to cover up at the political level at the Ministry of the Environment in giving direction? What kind of word games are you playing here? Is it that you have a number of lists, plural? Is it that you have a file of potential sites? Is it that you have a compendium of documentation? Why is it, Mr O'Connor, that the government of the day does not want to allow full public participation for the people who may be at some risk?

Mr Wiseman: On a point of order, Madam Chair: I hope the excess time the honourable member has used will be deducted. Thank you very much.

The Chair: Correct. Mr O'Connor.

Mr O'Connor: Thank you for allowing me to respond to this again. During our committee hearings last week York region presented and made mention of some list. You are right: Reading the correspondence we received from them today, they talk about some list. To clear the record right up I think we should hear from Jan Rush, the chair of the Interim Waste Authority. I think we should clear this up because it seems the presenters have sent some correspondence and you have raised some legitimate questions. Let's have some answers. I would like to refer that to Jan Rush to answer.

The Chair: With the wish of the committee, the time has expired for this caucus's discussion. We can move on to the next caucus and defer this following the next presentation when we will have some time, or we can deal with it now, whichever is the wish of the committee.

Mr Wiseman: Madam Chair, I believe our deputants have come all the way from Orillia. I would like to hear what they have to say and we can discuss the other issues later.

The Chair: Fine. Mr Cousens, you have the floor.

Mr Cousens: I was open. If this is the direction Mr McClelland wanted to take I was willing to allow him to get the answer. I do not think it will take that long.

The Chair: You have approximately five minutes. You can request the answer in discussion during your time now or you can request that this be dealt with following the deputations.

Mr Cousens: You are not going to extend the time for Mr McClelland, then?

The Chair: We are not extending time.

Mr Cousens: If it takes a couple of minutes he can have a couple of minutes of my time.

The Chair: Okay. Mr O'Connor.

Mr O'Connor: I appreciate that, Mr Cousens. I would like to introduce Jan Rush, the chair of the Interim Waste Authority.

Ms Rush: I would like to confirm to the committee that no list exists. Significant work in progress was under way. The timetable that the Interim Waste Authority was working towards was based on a schedule set in the spring and it was relying upon a legislative mandate for the authority to be passed early- to mid-session. The bill did not proceed as the minister had hoped and it is clear when you see this legislation that the IWA needs a legislative mandate to proceed. We need it both in terms of confirmation of Part II, which sets out the conditions by which we look at an undertaking, and in Part I, the powers of entry. It was absolutely essential that those powers be in place before we could proceed. When it became apparent to the authority that the legislative mandate would not be in place in time, we suspended work on the long list. So, yes, significant work has been done, but no, it did not get to the point of a list. I hope that clarifies things for the committee.

Mr Cousens: It is a great concern because obviously the minister or someone is meddling in these affairs and we had assurances that it would be available before December 19. I am embarrassed for the ministry that it is happening the way it is. It is too bad. It was a good question, Mr McClelland.

Mrs Cooney, I thank you for being here. We have corresponded before and it is good to meet you. I want to ask a question to do with biomedical waste. You indicated in your presentation that you are opposed to incineration of biomedical waste. I would like to ask you simply why you are opposed to it and what alternative you have for disposing of biomedical waste.

Mrs C. Cooney: As you know, Mr Cousens, I am not a scientist but I believe the scientists such as Dr Paul Connett and Dr Joseph Cummins, who are telling me that there are other ways of treating biomedical waste than burning. Does that answer your question?

I would refer you for your further research to contact Dr Paul Connett. He can explain it very clearly to you. Also, I am sure there are a lot of other scientists who can answer your questions. I am opposed to incineration as a citizen of the planet, as you are. We do not have a choice any longer of putting more contaminants into the air, water or land.

What is happening right now with hospital medical waste incinerators is that all the plastic disposables, gowns and a lot of garbage, is incinerated, whereas if we apply the 3Rs and not use disposables but use sterilization techniques, then we reduce and reuse and then we recycle what we can. There are ways of treating the contaminants in the hospital. I have heard of autoclaving and microwaving and there are a lot of techniques, but you would have to ask a scientist more knowledgeable than myself.


Mr Cousens: I think it poses difficult questions for many with religious views, the method of disposing of amputated limbs and organs of the body. I do not know what dioxins would be created or what other problems would be attached to it. I bring that out as an illustration of the problem of being opposed to all incineration, inasmuch as it is difficult to come up with another way that could be cleaner to dispose of body parts.

It leads to the question of cremation. What do you have to say about cremation because of what is in various human bodies? There happens to be a lot of mercury; we are consuming it. Now you are coming along and are against it. What is your view on cremation?

Mrs C. Cooney: I really have not thought about that very much, Mr Cousens. I am here today talking about incineration of solid waste and that is my main topic.

Mr Cousens: I think it is a tough question.

Mrs C. Cooney: I am not here to discuss that in particular. It is solid waste we are talking about, Bill 143.

Mr Cousens: But you did bring up the whole question of biomedical waste and I just wanted to take it to the natural extension.

Mr Lessard: I want to thank you for an excellent presentation. It has almost left me with no unanswered questions, so I will make a couple of comments.

You mentioned the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and might be interested to know that the International Joint Commission office located in Windsor, which monitors the compliance with that agreement, is being threatened with closure. There are people working very hard to make sure it does remain open.

You also mentioned to a great extent your opposition to incineration. As you are aware, the minister opposes incineration as well, and is today in Detroit testifying at a court hearing against the incinerator that is located there that incinerates waste. The emissions from that plant come into my riding on occasion in Windsor, so I understand your concerns as well.

You also mentioned that you had some questions concerning the Ogden Martin proposal, about what was going to be done with the ash. You were told that they would get back to you later, and they did not have any answers about that. You also mentioned that you asked about mercury emissions. Did you ever get any answers to either of those questions?

Mrs C. Cooney: Yes. Not to the ash question, but with regard to mercury we heard that activated charcoal filters will take out some of the mercury emissions, not all. When this was discussed with Ogden Martin, we were told that could be negotiated, and these cost millions of dollars. Apparently, nowhere in North America is there a "state-of-the-art facility" if they are not using activated charcoal filters. They have put them on some in Holland, but it still does not capture 100% of the mercury, which is a particularly tricky problem, because mercury becomes a gas at a not very high temperature and it is hard to capture a gas.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee today. If there is additional information that you think will be helpful, please feel free to communicate with us in writing. We thank you for coming forward today.


The Chair: I would like to call the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Please come forward. Begin your presentation by introducing your delegation. You have one full hour for your presentation. We would ask that you leave as much time as possible for questions from committee members. I want to point out to members of the committee that our 4 o'clock presentation has been cancelled because the delegate is ill, and I also want to notify Mr McClelland that I am taking two minutes off the time from his caucus for the next round of questioning. Would you please begin your presentation now? Welcome to the standing committee on social development.

Mr Stokes: Thank you. It is our pleasure to be here.

My name is Michael Stokes. I am the provincial president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. With me are John Calvert, our senior research person in CUPE and the coordinator of our contracting-out privatization; Peter Leiss, president of Local 185 in Etobicoke and chairperson of our CUPE Ontario job security committee, and Brian O'Keefe, president of the Metropolitan Toronto CUPE council.

CUPE is pleased to be able to present our views to this committee. We know that the content of Bill 143 has important implications for the people of the province, and particularly for those who live within the greater Toronto area. Our union represents over 170,000 workers in Ontario. Approximately 42,000 of these work in the municipal sector, 3,000 of whom are employed in collection, transportation and disposal of garbage or in the planning, management and operation of municipal recycling and waste reduction programs.

Since 1963, when CUPE was founded, our union has been deeply involved in waste management issues. Our members are not only employees; they are citizens and taxpayers in the communities across this province. In this capacity, they have a very clear interest in doing what they can to ensure that the environmental policies and programs implemented by the government deal with the waste crisis in an environmentally sound and fiscally responsible manner.

CUPE has had a very long involvement in the waste management debate within Ontario. Over the past three decades we have submitted hundreds of briefs and studies to county, municipal, regional and provincial governments. We have gained a great deal of practical experience about the operational, environmental and economic aspects of the waste industry based on the day-to-day involvement of our membership. The comments we are about to make today reflect what we have learned from this experience.

CUPE's history in promoting financially responsible, publicly owned and publicly operated waste management programs: As we noted in our introduction, we have been active for many years in trying to promote fiscally and environmentally responsible waste management. We do not have the time at this hearing to go into the details of our many past campaigns. However, we would like to give you several brief illustrations of our involvement, which we believe highlight our long-standing concerns and our expertise about waste management policies.

In 1982, Metro purchased the Keele Valley landfill, known at that time as Maple Pits. The landfill is now, of course, the subject of one of the key proposals of this bill. Metro bought the landfill from Waste Management Inc, WMI, which was then and still is the world's largest garbage conglomerate. CUPE is very proud of its successful fight to persuade Metro council to make that decision. For your information we have distributed a copy of one of the many briefs we submitted to Metro council between 1980 and 1982 as part of our campaign.

We have also with us a copy of the book we commissioned at the time, by Harold Crooks. It is entitled Dirty Business and has an entire chapter on the Maple Pits issue. Originally, Metro had no intention of purchasing the Keele Valley landfill. In the 1980 master plan, drawn up by its consultants and supported by its works department, there was a recommendation to take out a five-year contract with WMI. Public ownership and operation of the site was not on the agenda -- not, that is, until we put it there. We believed at the time that it would be financially disastrous for the taxpayers of Metro if the world's largest waste conglomerate acquired a stranglehold over the region's future disposal capacity. We predicted that taxpayers could end up paying literally billions of dollars over the following three decades if the site were not brought into public sector control. This was the most controversial aspect of the research we did at the time.

As we are now aware, the decision to acquire Keele Valley will eventually result in the taxpayers of Metro receiving close to $2 billion in disposal revenues. That is $2 billion they would not have had, had this remained under private ownership. And it should be pointed out that this money would have been paid out by taxpayers under private ownership. So the total benefit to taxpayers is even greater than $2 billion. It is the example of Keele Valley which demonstrates so clearly why public ownership of the key components of the waste management industry is essential to protect the financial interests of taxpayers.

Our involvement with waste management did not stop with the Maple Pits issues. On 13 March 1989, CUPE released a comprehensive plan for an integrated public waste management enterprise for the GTA at a meeting with representatives of the chairs of the five regional municipalities and the newly appointed deputy minister for the GTA. A copy of that presentation was circulated to you as well.

At that meeting, we pointed to the failure of the private sector to deal with the waste crisis, the lack of the coordination among the regional governments, the absence of a coherent area-wide plan for waste reduction, the pitfalls of megaproject solutions then being proposed and the pressing need to deal with problems such as finding markets for recycled materials.


We stressed the need for a public authority with a very broad mandate to implement a new approach to waste management within the GTA, based on integrated public planning and the establishment of ambitious new public programs.

The need for an area-wide approach was recognized, albeit quite inadequately, by the previous Liberal government, which participated in the establishment of the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee to facilitate coordination among the GTA regional municipalities.

CUPE met with SWISC on 29 September 1989. At that meeting, we outlined further details of the economic factors which we felt should be taken into account in the GTA waste management planning. We urged SWISC to develop a coherent strategy for acquiring future waste management revenues for taxpayers. To underline this point, we made a series of financial projections which indicated that as much as $23.6 billion could be reaped from disposal revenues over the next 20 years if existing trends continued. A copy of that brief is also included in the material circulated to you.

Last year, we released a further study entitled CUPE's Waste Reduction Plan for Metropolitan Toronto -- we have circulated that to you as well -- in which we set out the organizational and operational details of a comprehensive publicly owned and operated waste management program. Although our purpose in releasing this study was to prod Metro council into abandoning its ongoing interest in incineration and rail-haul megaprojects and instead to get it to focus on building a sound waste reduction infrastructure, the plan that we have outlined would be even more effective if implemented at the GTA level, due to the economies of scale and the advantage of integrated region-wide planning.

We have a clear vision of what the future direction of our waste reduction and disposal should be. Our vision is incorporated in considerable detail in the different briefs and studies which we have passed out to you today. It is on the basis of this vision that we evaluate and comment on the proposals in Bill 143 today.

Principles which should guide waste management planning: We believe the waste management crisis can only be resolved through initiatives which incorporate the following principles:

1. Integrated public planning. By this we mean a number of interdependent functions:

a) Planning which encompasses the entire waste stream, including residential, industrial, commercial and institutional waste streams.

b) Planning which deals with every step of the waste cycle from initial production and packaging through to utilization, reuse, recycling or disposal.

c) Planning which is sufficiently broad-based geographically so that the full scope and dimensions of problems and their solutions can be properly recognized.

d) Planning which is public. This means full public consultation and participation in all aspects and all stages of policy development and operations.

2. Sound public economics. By this we mean understanding the underlying economic forces which shape the waste industry and using this knowledge to protect and advance the financial interests of taxpayers.

3. Public ownership, control, operation and staffing of future waste management systems. This is to ensure that taxpayers acquire the very large waste-stream revenues and that these revenues are used to put in place effective environmental programs.

4. Democratic control of waste management decision-making. Public participation must be a central component of all waste management planning.

5. Responsible environmental policy which gives a clear priority to reduction, followed by reuse, recycling and disposal. Minimizing disposal must be the long-term objective of our waste management planning.

The waste management problems facing Ontario, which are particularly acute within the GTA, stem from the failure of a largely unregulated private sector approach to waste management. The profit motive, rather than concern for the environment, has been the driving force of most waste management decision-making within the province.

This approach has deeply shaped public policy. Needed environmental initiatives were avoided or weakened by previous governments to ensure that public policy did not fundamentally interfere with the profit-making activities of the waste industry. Municipal and regional councils failed to put in place urgently needed public programs because they were reluctant to challenge the control of private waste industry over key areas of decision-making.

CUPE believes that as long as our future waste management programs are dominated by the primacy of the profit motive, Ontario's efforts to implement a truly effective 3Rs program will not succeed.

Mr Calvert: I am going to continue with the next section of our presentation. What I am going to talk about is the economics of waste management and specifically what CUPE has learned over the years about the importance of taking into account economic factors in developing waste management policy.

Our approach to waste management issues has been informed by a belief that sound public policy can only be developed if public policymakers have a clear understanding of the underlying economic forces which shape the waste industry.

We have included in the material which we have handed out a study entitled A Primer on the Economics of the Waste Industry. This study lays out clearly the underlying economic dynamic of the industry. As I said before, an understanding of this dynamic is fundamental in developing sound waste management policy. This is the orange-coloured study that we passed out to you. I shall summarize very briefly the key points which are contained within that study.

First, the waste industry is not a traditionally competitive industry in which the forces of supply and demand operate freely. Instead, it has strong economic tendencies towards oligopoly or outright monopoly. This is because the supply of one of its critical components, landfill, is highly restricted, giving landfill owners enormous leverage over all other aspects of the waste stream.

Second, it is not a traditionally competitive industry because, from an operational perspective, there are enormous economic benefits arising from being a single supplier or one of only a small number of suppliers of waste management services. The advantages of being a single supplier in a market are very great because of the nature of the activity being provided. We will give you one example of this that clarifies the point. In the residential sector, no one would seriously argue having half a dozen different garbage companies collecting waste on the same street would make any sense. We use the single supplier model because it is the most efficient approach. It minimizes duplication of staff and equipment and it also facilitates efficient route planning. It also, by the way, minimizes needless duplication of capital investment.

In this regard, and this is our key point, it is like a public utility, similar to a hydro-electric service, a water service, many other services which are provided by a single supplier as either crown corporations or public utilities. In the industrial and commercial sectors the same principles apply; our paper, A Primer on the Economics of Waste Management, explains this in much greater detail.

The emergence of three giant private waste firms across North America is explained by the underlying economics of the industry, by what makes sense economically. Given the industry's natural economic tendencies towards oligopoly and outright monopoly in certain geographic areas, the public policy question is quite clear. We can organize it as a public utility or allow it to be run as a private, unregulated cartel. These are the basic choices. Ignoring the inherent economic character of the industry by pretending it is driven by conventional market forces is no answer because the underlying economics of the industry make it most rationally organized on the basis of being a single supplier, that is, as a public utility or private monopoly or cartel.

This analysis explains why the industry has evolved towards dominance by these three large companies. It explains the phenomenal level of mergers and acquisitions. In this document I passed out there is a table showing the number of acquisitions, on page 13, annually by one of the three large waste companies. You see that they are actually acquiring more than 100 companies a year. The basic underlying economic character of the industry also explains the many examples of cartel-like behaviour which have been exhibited by the waste firms.

CUPE believes that a public utility model is the only appropriate choice to protect the public interest. It is only by public ownership and operation of the central components of the system that the public can ensure that its interests, both financial and environmental, can be protected.


Our analysis also rejects the other model, regulation, frequently used with respect to natural monopolies such as the telephone system. Regulation is not in the financial interests of taxpayers because it leaves waste revenues in the hands of the private waste industry. Regulation cannot address properly the problem of the enormous windfall revenues from disposal, and historically the track record of attempts to regulate the private waste industry is nothing short of dismal across North America.

Recognition of the underlying economic character of the waste industry is essential for the development of sound waste management policy. This is a lesson which CUPE has learned over the last 20 years in dealing with this industry.

I would like now to turn to some comments on the bill itself. The first set of comments deal with parts I and II of the bill. Part I of the proposed legislation, as you know, continues the Interim Waste Authority, defines the powers of the authority and gives it the right to expropriate in the public interest and carry out inspections of facilities and sites. Part II deals with the establishment of the three public landfills to accept future waste from Metro, Durham, Peel and York. Because these two sections of the bill complement each other and form an integrated plan for dealing with the GTA waste crisis, we think it appropriate to comment on them together.

First, the Interim Waste Authority: CUPE welcomes the continuation of a public authority to be responsible for waste management planning which will operate across the boundaries of Metro, Durham, Peel and York. We have long advocated the view that an integrated, public, GTA-wide approach was essential to resolve the waste crisis in this part of the province.

The reason a GTA-wide approach is important is that the entire area is one economic region. Historically, lack of coordination among municipal and regional governments within the area has been a major impediment to the development of effective solutions to the area's environmental problems.

A GTA-wide approach also provides the basis for long-term integrated public planning of the waste stream. It provides the opportunity to take advantage of the economies of scale in terms of planning, research and development, public education, marketing and a wide variety of other operational matters. These economies of scale are particularly relevant with respect to managing the industrial and commercial sectors of the waste stream.

Second, the bill deals with the question of public ownership of future GTA landfills, and this is a part of the bill which we strongly endorse. We believe this is the lesson of Keele Valley. It is the lesson which we learned over a decade ago and which we are pleased to see incorporated into the draft legislation.

In our view, there is no justification for private landfills in future GTA waste management planning. The windfall revenues are simply too large even to think about giving them away to private interests. Equally important, the revenues are critical to our ability to finance ambitious waste reduction programs in the coming years.

Third, the ban on incineration: We endorse and support the government's policies with respect to the ban on incineration in Ontario. This clearly impacts on options selected in the GTA as well. Our objections to incineration are both environmental and economic. Environmentally, we have serious concerns which many other groups have also voiced about the impact of incineration on air quality, the residual fly ash, and in particular in contaminating our landfills. More important, we believe incineration involves a commitment to burning materials which can be reused, recycled or composted. To feed an incinerator there must be a steady stream of combustible material, yet it is precisely this material that we should be source-separating from our garbage.

From an economic perspective, we feel that incineration is a very bad investment. If we spent the same amount of money investing in waste reduction, we would be far better off as a society. Instead of spending tens or hundreds of millions on destroying our garbage through incineration, we should be focusing similar levels of investment on waste reduction programs which will result in our society not generating the garbage in the first place. The latter option will also create far more employment per dollar spent because it does not involve enormous capital expenditures. We should be doing it anyway because it is the right thing to do.

From the taxpayer's perspective, incineration is also a very bad option. While the costs of acquiring landfills have gone up substantially because of the environmental assessment process, they are also the source of very large revenues. Incineration, in contrast, is very expensive and many municipalities across North America have been badly burned financially, if you will excuse the pun, by decisions to invest in this technology. We refer you, in this regard, to the study Rush to Burn published by Newsday for a long listing of the financial problems experienced by municipal and state governments in the United States.

The commitment to find sites within the GTA, ie, no rail-haul megaprojects: A second type of option, rail haul to Northern Ontario, has also been rightly precluded by this legislation. CUPE has very serious concerns about such a megaproject because it involves an enormous investment in the wrong kind of waste management. Metro's original proposal for the Kirkland Lake scheme was to have cost $382 million. Subsequently we have heard much higher estimates as well. In any event, it is a very large investment, and what do we have at the end of it? We have a system for institutionalizing the disposal of garbage for a very long time into the future.

Again, the issue of alternatives arises, as with incineration. If we were to invest the $382 million in a new public waste reduction program within Metro, to stick to this one specific example, then we believe that this would be a much better long-term way to invest our environmental dollars. Far more jobs would be created because a sound waste reduction program would be much more labour-intensive. We would have the resources to do the kinds of auditing, collection of used materials, investment in research and development and so forth that would bring long-term benefits from an environmental and economic perspective.

It has been a source of enormous frustration to CUPE that very large sums of public money have been allocated by Metro and other regional governments to explore costly high-tech options such as incineration and rail haul yet no significant funding has been forthcoming to investigate the enormous potential benefits to taxpayers and waste generators of a new comprehensive public waste reduction program along the lines we have outlined.

In sum, we endorse the government's commitments to maintaining a GTA-wide authority to ensure that future landfills will be public landfills. We also endorse this commitment to banning incineration and to stopping the export of waste outside the GTA. These sections of the bill incorporate major advances.

Mr O'Keefe: I am going to deal with the next part.

Having noted the positive side of the legislation, we also feel obligated to comment on some of the weaknesses which we believe need to be addressed before the bill is passed in the Legislature.

The mandate of the Interim Waste Authority: CUPE has never believed that the purpose of a GTA-wide authority should be restricted to looking for landfill sites. While public control over the disposal end of the waste cycle is essential, it is not enough.

We are concerned that these sections of the bill do not incorporate proposals to put in place the kind of public infrastructure which we believe is now so desperately needed to deal with the waste crisis. Having taken on the enormous responsibility of dealing with the disposal shortage, it seems to us perfectly reasonable that the bill would go on to set out how the government intends to use the authority to build a sound waste reduction infrastructure in the GTA, particularly in the ICI sector. By ICI we mean industrial, commercial and institutional waste.

Consequently, we believe the authority should not be a temporary body restricted to landfill site search. Rather, it should be a vehicle to put in place major new public investments in waste reduction. The kind of program we see as essential is set out in great detail in the document Coping With Our Garbage: CUPE's Waste Reduction Program for Metro Toronto, which has been passed out to you. As noted earlier, this program was developed to prod Metro into taking action. However, for reasons of economy of scale, it would be even more appropriate at the level of the GTA.

There is an urgent need for a new GTA-wide public program in the ICI sector for the following reasons:

1. The ICI sector currently accounts for 60% of the waste stream. Despite the inherent economies of scale with respect to containerized collection, transportation and marketing and despite the fact that enormous revenues are being collected from tens of thousands of businesses in the GTA, this sector has done the least to promote effective waste reduction. In our view, this is because waste reduction initiatives are being severely impeded by the profit-driven activities of the private waste industry.

2. Tens of thousands of businesses in the GTA who need comprehensive waste reduction programs, and who are quite willing to cooperate in implementing any sensible waste reduction initiative, currently have no access to a public alternative because none currently exist. These businesses have every right to a high-quality public service which would assist them in auditing their waste; provide education to their employees about sound environmental practices; implement specialized collection services for used materials; see that those materials are properly handled and marketed, and at the other end of the cycle provide them with helpful information about materials being collected, which they could utilize in the manufacture of environmentally responsible products. This program would accelerate our waste reduction goals and be of enormous assistance to businesses across the GTA.


3. The fact that we do not have a comprehensive public waste reduction program means that taxpayers are forgoing tens of millions of dollars in potential revenue annually from the collection and sale of valuable used materials which in our view should be plowed back into waste reduction services. These revenues should also be used to cross-subsidize the collection of other, non-profitable materials which should not be going into our landfills. It is not accidental that the waste conglomerates have begun including restrictive clauses in their contracts with customers requiring them to give recycled materials to them as a condition of collection services for mixed waste.

4. Attempts to regulate the behaviour of the private waste companies both environmentally and economically by municipal, regional and provincial governments are woefully inadequate. Aside from the fact that staffing levels are not remotely sufficient to ensure that there is full compliance with the environmental regulations, the government does not have the ability to regulate the economic side of the waste industry.

Governments at all levels do not have the relevant information needed to put in place effective waste reduction programs, because they are reluctant to challenge the dominance of the private waste haulers in this sector of the economy. For example, they have no database on disposal charges paid by the tens of thousands of customers of the waste haulers, they have no data on the number, size and frequency of collection of containers and they have no independent data on the amount of used materials and their value which are now being collected by the private waste industry.

There is no system in place to monitor, publicize and, where appropriate, regulate the prices charged to customers. In the absence of a legal framework which permits class action suits, such as is the case in the US, customers are dependent on government to look out for their interests. We believe that the government does not have the tools to do this properly.

5. In not making a commitment to invest in a new public waste reduction infrastructure, the government is missing the opportunity to create thousands of new environmentally responsible jobs. These jobs would be in a wide variety of areas including planning, providing extensive auditing services for business, collection, transportation, handling, sorting and marketing of used materials, operating facilities, research and development and public education on waste reduction. And new public investment would be a boon to the construction industry.

Given the depth of the recession and the pressing need for a wide range of employment-generating initiatives, the implementation of a comprehensive public program would have enormous economic benefits to the area. If I might add, this seems a great opportunity to kickstart our economy in a period of recession. It is also, I think, a great opportunity to launch a whole new industry processing waste materials, and this could set the trend for North America here in Ontario.

6. The absence of public control over the used materials stream will impede the government's ability to guarantee a secure feedstock of used materials for local industry, a feedstock which ought to be one of the key components of a green industry strategy.

7. The lack of an integrated, GTA-wide public system is also making it much more difficult for municipal governments and regional municipalities within the area to gain the full economic advantages from their residential recycling programs, particularly with respect to marketing. Where for economic regions there are major economies of scale in the planning and operation of waste management and recycling systems, public policy should be shaped to ensure that these advantages are fully utilized.

8. The lack of such an authority is hamstringing the province's efforts to assist other regional municipal governments across the province. The authority should be a model and a source of expertise that all municipal governments can draw on.

Perhaps a bit more clarification about the broadened mandate of the authority which we are advocating would be helpful. We do not see any pressing need for the authority to get involved in taking over the current residential waste management operations of area municipalities. It can work with their current works departments to see that our residential collection systems, blue box programs, home composting initiatives and so forth are properly coordinated throughout the GTA.

It will have to take over the disposal functions of the regions, but it is already doing this in respect of future landfills. However, it should leave the operations of the current municipal waste management facilities in regional hands in the short and medium term while it focuses on the establishment of the public infrastructure program in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector which we have set out above. The emphasis here is on getting control of the ICI sector, because that constitutes 60% of the waste drain.

The residential sector is not where the major problem currently lies; it is in the ICI sector. This is where new GTA-wide public programs would make sense. This is where the authority should focus its initial activities. It should be remembered that the private waste companies are not restricted, in their planning and operations, to municipal or regional boundaries. Ontario is only a small, local region in the wider North American operations.

As we have seen with the rapid increase in the export of waste, the companies are not seriously impeded in their planning, even by national boundaries. Indeed, it is one of the great ironies of the concern which people legitimately raise about reinforcing the ability of local communities to have more control over waste management decisions that the private waste industry has become more international in its operations. Restricting public waste management decision-making to the level of individual municipalities or regions while allowing the private sector to plan on a province-wide or North America-wide basis is not sound public policy. It ignores the lessons which we think are clear from the economic character of the industry.

Thus, we would recommend that the current mandate of the Interim Waste Authority be amended to allow it to put in place a new public waste infrastructure along the lines suggested above. We would be pleased to be involved in consultation about the many organizational and operational issues which would arise in the process of expanding the role of the authority.

Mr Leiss: Comments on the bill: This section deals with the lifts at Keele Valley and Britannia. It requires certain actions by the regional governments affected, and it overrides certain sections of existing legislation and certain agreements between the regional governments.

CUPE realizes that it is essential to handle the disposal gap which faces the regional municipalities in the GTA. This problem has been a source of enormous controversy over the last five years and beyond that.

The lifts are at this time the best alternative. There have been many approaches suggested to deal with the current problem, but our view is that the decision to implement lifts is the best of the alternatives available.

The question of the initial location of a landfill or expansion of an existing landfill is one which will always give rise to concerns, particularly among residents in the adjacent areas. We are sympathetic to the concerns of local residents. However, we also believe there is a difficult problem -- where to put the garbage -- which has to be resolved. This problem is one which, no matter where we locate the site, will cause some degree of hardship for local residents.

CUPE has always felt that the most important issue with respect to landfill policy was ownership, not location. The key priority is to ensure that landfills are public and that revenues are returned to the taxpayers. While this decision will cause hardship, on balance we think it is the right decision.

We should point out that one of the consequences of the decision to implement the lifts will be to bring a very large chunk of revenue to municipal governments concerned. It is our understanding that the volume of extra garbage will amount to approximately 4.5 million tonnes. At current disposal fees of $150 per tonne, this amounts to $675 million in revenue for the taxpayers. While a small portion of this will have to be used to expand certain facilities, including new transfer stations, most of it will be revenue gain for municipal governments which can also be used to reinvest in environmental initiatives.

Consequently, we think the government has made the right decision regarding the lifts at Britannia and Keele Valley.


Waste export: Having made these points about the positive components of this bill, we must voice our concern that action has not been taken to stop the export of industrial, commercial and institutional waste from the GTA to sites in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and other US states, as well as to sites in other parts of the province.

The application of the principle that communities should be responsible for their waste must be fairly and comprehensively applied. It is inconsistent to make it a principle that we should be responsible for disposal within our regions or within the GTA and then allow private interests to profit from the export of massive amounts of waste. It is also inconsistent to say it should only apply to residential waste.

We do not have the latest figures concerning the loss of ICI waste revenues to our public landfills in the whole of the GTA. We know that in April 1991 the total volume of waste in Metro was down by 31%. Almost all of this fall was due to the decline in profitable ICI garbage. By September, the volume of ICI waste going to Metro's sites was down by 73% compared to the same month in the previous year. This is a very large decline and signifies an enormous loss of public revenue.

Why is this occurring? First, it is happening because the collection of industrial and commercial waste is entirely in the hands of private waste companies. Unlike Vancouver, Calgary and Burnaby, to cite relevant examples, there is no significant public ICI collection system in place. We supplied the documentation for Burnaby and Vancouver in your kit.

The absence of a public collection system precludes this alternative. The absence of a public collection system is now costing GTA taxpayers an enormous amount in forgone disposal fees alone. We have included the material in the kits. These reports show how a publicly owned and operated ICI collection system is perfectly feasible.

Second, a growing volume of ICI waste is going to private sites because there is no effective flow control legislation in force either provincially or at the local or regional municipal level. If governments had the power to direct waste to public sites, at least it would be possible to protect the financial interests of the taxpayers by ensuring they receive the disposal revenues. In the absence of flow control legislation, the private waste companies are free to transport waste to sites they own or to private sites owned by other private disposal interests. In both cases the taxpayers lose.

Third, it is happening because we believe the taxpayers of our communities do not fully understand the magnitude of the losses they are incurring as a result of the export of waste.

Local businesses are paying $150 per tonne for the collection of regular garbage, a fee which is folded into the regular container collection charge they pay to private waste haulers who pick up their garbage. A conservative estimate would indicate that within the GTA there are somewhere between 2.2 and 2.5 million tonnes of ICI waste to which these charges apply. In other words, there is between $330 million and $375 million annually in disposal fees.

This is not the total paid by the customers; it is only the disposal component. There are no figures available to show how much money is collected from the thousands of businesses that operate within the GTA that have private waste collection. A reasonable estimate would put it somewhere between $0.5 billion and $0.75 billion annually.

Recent estimates of financial losses to taxpayers in the GTA have been based in part on the actual fall in disposal revenues between 1990 and 1991. However, the loss in disposal revenues is actually greater, because tipping fees rose from $97.50 to $150 per tonne last year.

If we project Metro's experience of a 73% decline across the GTA and take into account the increase in disposal fees which occurred in 1991, the forgone revenues to taxpayers could be between $240 million and $274 million this year. A small portion of this could be discounted, because some ICI waste from Halton and Peel has been going to sites outside the GTA. However, Metro's landfills themselves were receiving about 2.1 million tonnes of ICI waste during the years 1989 and 1990, so the numbers are only marginally greater than Metro's own figures. To put this another way, taxpayers could lose considerably more than $1 billion by the time the new GTA sites are on stream in 1997.

Even if we assume this estimate is high, due to the success of waste reduction initiatives and the impact of the recession, we are still looking at a very large amount of money which the taxpayers should be receiving. This money, which will be lost to the taxpayers if action is not taken immediately, would more than pay for all the public infrastructures that we are asking to be put in place.

In summary, what we are currently seeing is a financial bonanza for a handful of major private waste companies -- a bonanza paid for by the tens of thousands of businesses that use container collection services and a bonanza which is occurring at the expense of taxpayers in the GTA.

At a time when both the provincial and municipal governments within the GTA are reeling from the recession and are squeezed financially, it is self-evident that action is urgently required to stop the massive haemorrhaging of money from the GTA resulting from the export of waste. The bill must be amended to stop this practice and to implement a policy which the minister has articulated, namely that communities will be responsible for their waste, including ICI waste, and that waste will not be exported outside the GTA.

Disposal gap remedies: The minister must also make it clear that if there is a need to find a place for GTA garbage in the event of a disposal gap, the garbage will go to a public site so that taxpayers will receive the revenues. There has been a hectic scramble by private waste conglomerates to try to obtain new landfills outside the GTA which might be suitable for GTA waste. Waste Management Inc has been looking at Nottawasaga township; Philip Environmental bought several sites, including one in Petrolia; a private firm is trying to get approval for a site in Acton. Laidlaw, which already has a number of sites, was caught just over a year ago shipping garbage from Toronto to its site near Ottawa.

It would be extremely constructive if the minister would amend the legislation to make it very clear that there will be no private sector windfall profits arising from any temporary need to export waste outside the GTA until new public sites are in operation.

Mr Calvert: I am just going to move on to the final part of the bill, part IV. The final part of the proposed legislation deals with a series of amendments to the Environmental Protection Act. This set of amendments is designed to expand the authority of the minister to control various aspects of waste management and recycling and waste reduction. We strongly support all these measures which would enhance the authority of the minister to control and regulate waste management activities within the province. We think this is long overdue.

We are going to comment just on a few of the specific aspects of the proposed amendments in the bill. One deals with waste export and we strongly support the change which is proposed to enable the minister to take into account the environment outside Ontario. Hopefully, this amendment will prove effective in preventing the export of garbage to the United States. Assuming this is so, we ask the minister to move on this issue as soon as the legislation is enacted.

Second, there is a section dealing with expanding the definition of waste to include used materials, and we think that is a very important amendment, again to gain more control over the entire waste stream. We think the section dealing with providing the minister with a right to give grants and loans for particular environmental activities makes a lot of sense and we endorse it.

We have some questions about the permit-by-rule arrangements which are being put into place. We are concerned that the application of this approach will facilitate the proliferation of private recycling centres which, because they are normally given permission to dispose of a certain amount of residual waste, are able to operate more like a private transfer station for regular garbage.

As we noted earlier, we believe there should be a major public program initiated to collect and market recycled materials. The thrust of this amendment will be to further entrench private control over the waste stream because the major private waste companies are the key firms that stand to take advantage of the streamlined processes entailed in this change. While this may not be the intention of the government, it is a matter which does concern us and we think the bill should be redrafted to take this concern into account.


Now I am going to turn to the whole question of landfill ownership and disposal fees which we touched upon a little bit earlier. We believe that one of the major limitations in the current form of the bill is that it does not include provisions to address the serious problem associated with landfill policy, particularly outside the GTA.

About $650 million is collected in disposal fees from the tens of thousands of businesses across the province that pay for containerized collection of their garbage. Within the GTA alone, this figure is estimated to be between $330 million and $375 million. That is just the disposal fee. The basic public policy question is very simple, then: Who is going to get the money from disposal revenues? Will it be the taxpayers or will it be the large private waste firms?

The $650 million is more than the total expenditure of the county and municipal governments, as well as the province's, on waste management and reduction activities. It is enough to pay for the future environmental programs we need across the province, but only if it is secured by the taxpayers.

The first sections of Bill 143 ensure that the three new landfills within the GTA will be public. As a result, the public will be in a position to secure future disposal revenues in the GTA, which will amount down the road to billions of dollars. This money will not be given away to private waste companies. However, outside the GTA there is a very serious problem associated with the ability of private waste haulers to transport waste to various privately owned sites around the province as well as sites in the United States. While there are limitations on the catchment area for which many sites have approval, the reality is that there is a very large amount of waste hauling from one town or city to another.

The fact that private waste firms are permitted to do this, when combined with their stranglehold on virtually all the industrial, commercial and institutional waste picked up within the province, means that individual counties and municipalities have no effective means for planning their waste stream or tapping into the very substantial disposal revenues generated from ICI collection within their boundaries.

The practical result of this situation is that the overwhelming volume of ICI garbage outside the GTA is going to private sites. This represents an enormous loss of potential revenues to the taxpayers of the province. It also represents the loss of an enormous opportunity to use the billions of dollars which will be collected over the coming decade to fund our environmental programs.

We believe there is simply too much money at stake to allow this to continue, especially in the context of conscious public policies designed to use high disposal fees as a deterrent to needless waste generation. Every time the average per tonne disposal fee has increased by $10 a tonne for the 6 million tonnes of ICI waste for which disposal fees are charged, the owners of landfills, whether public or private, get another $60 million dollars in revenue.

As tipping fees outside the GTA gradually increase in line with the 700 per cent increase which has occurred within the GTA over the past five years, the private landfill operators will reap very large windfall profits. This explains the scramble for new private sites across the province. It also underlines why it is absolutely essential that this bill provide new powers to control the flow of waste around the province.

It is our view that the flow control of powers must be provincial in scope. Under clearly stipulated conditions the province may choose to delegate the exercise of these powers to regional or municipal governments. However, provincial control will be necessary because the transportation of waste is a provincial issue and because it is not an issue which the smaller counties and municipalities can be expected to deal with on their own.

Indeed, there has been a very worrisome development in which private waste companies have approached small, fiscally strapped counties and townships and offered them substantial revenues if they sell their public site and allow it to accept provincial ICI waste. For a small municipality, the offer of $10 million or $20 million from a private company may seem like a godsend, but from a broader provincial standpoint, the policy is insupportable. This is because revenues are being collected in other jurisdictions where the waste is generated, yet the local governments in those jurisdictions, which are responsible for waste reduction and waste planning, currently have no access to this money and must go to the province or to their own tax base for waste reduction and recycling funding.

What the absence of flow control does is allow the private waste firms to promote a kind of beggar-my-neighbour approach among municipal governments. Moreover, from a provincial standpoint, as we noted earlier, it involves an enormous loss of revenue to the public sector. This underlines the need for provincial control, at least outside the GTA. We urge the government to move quickly to put new flow control powers into the bill.

Landfill approvals: The province, in our view, should immediately cease giving approvals for new private landfill sites or approvals for extensions to private landfill sites. To paraphrase Michael De Groote, former owner of Laidlaw, a landfill is like an oil well in reverse: The more garbage you put in, the more money you get out.

There is no longer a place for new private landfill ownership in the province. Disposal revenues are based on public policy decisions which have deliberately created a shortage of landfill capacity for sound environmental reasons. Disposal fees are now only a small fraction of the cost of purchasing and operating a landfill. We did an analysis of the Keele Valley site a couple of years ago and I have included in the orange-coloured document which I referred to earlier a little pie chart on page 4 which shows the extent of the profitability of a landfill. I think the fact that the vast majority of the revenue now going to disposal fees is actually profit for the landfill operators underlines the fact that this is an area that really urgently needs attention.

If we are going to use pricing mechanisms to encourage waste reduction, then we must also ensure that the resulting disposal fees are used to invest in new environmental programs and not simply given over to the shareholders of private waste firms. The lessons of Keele Valley of 1982 and the fight about the Maple Pits must be recognized. Taxpayers of Ontario have too much at stake financially simply to give away hundreds of millions of dollars annually in disposal revenues for no good reason.

However, a ban on approvals for new private landfills will not resolve one of the major problems currently facing a number of municipal governments. A number of municipal governments currently do not have public landfill sites even for their own residential garbage. They are therefore forced to pay private waste firms for residential disposal. We think this is a problem which also needs to be addressed urgently through providing these local governments with more effective assistance in their search for landfill sites.

Mr Stokes: In conclusion, we would like to thank the committee for giving us an opportunity to appear before you today. We know you are facing some tough decisions in the coming weeks. We hope the information and the opinions we have given you today will help you in your efforts and I urge you very strongly to read the documentation we have provided for you today. We would be pleased to elaborate further on any of the points we have made in the future. Thank you for your time.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. The researcher would like to know which section of the bill you were referring to when on page 31 of your brief you referred to "permit by rule." You do not have to answer that now. The first questioner is Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: Thank you for your presentation. I would like to know the reason behind your opposition to exporting waste outside Ontario.

Mr Calvert: We think this is costing the taxpayers far too much money. For every tonne of garbage that is exported we are looking at minimally $150 a tonne in the GTA. When we start talking about thousands and thousands of tonnes, you are looking at millions and millions of dollars leaving the province, money we think should come back into the province to invest in a new waste reduction and recycling program. We think it is a serious public policy error to hand over what may be hundreds of millions of dollars down the road if we do not stop the export. This is money that should stay in the province and should be used for environmentally responsible programs.

Mr O'Keefe: Also, if I might add to that, Metro Toronto is in a serious fiscal crisis right now. If the estimates we have been given are true, we are told that in the month of September there was a 70% drop in the amount of waste going to the Metro landfill sites. That represents a loss of approximately $250 million. That is a phenomenal amount of money.

Mr Cousens: I wanted to hear if it was an economic argument, because we are so short of time. What is left?

The Chair: We are short of time.

Mr Cousens: I will not ask any more, because we are so tight.

Mr Stokes: If I could respond, it goes far beyond the economics as well. If a community is allowed to generate waste and not be responsible for putting that waste somewhere, there is no incentive to reduce the amount of waste that is generated.

Mrs Mathyssen: Thank you for your extensive brief and for providing us with the benefits of your research. As you know, one of the initiatives of the government is economic renewal. Can you elaborate on how you think waste reduction programs can assist in the kind of job creation we will need for that economic renewal?

Mr O'Keefe: If I might address that, there is terrific potential here to start a whole new industry for the processing of waste products. I think this is an area where Metro Toronto could show some real leadership, more particularly in the GTA. We feel there is real potential there that is being neglected, but for this to happen it would have to have public sector leadership. It is not going to happen unless the public sector is there to provide the leadership.


Mrs Mathyssen: Does part IV of the Waste Management Act help to create those jobs, those employment opportunities?

Mr O'Keefe: The mandate of the authority would have to be considerably extended. An infrastructure would have to be put in place in the GTA to cover the whole range of different areas that need to be looked at. Marketing is one important area. There is a model down in New Hampshire where they very effectively market waste products. Economies of scale are really important here, so having a GTA-wide marketing corporation would be extremely useful.

Mr Calvert: I think we have here a really important opportunity to put together what I would describe as a win-win-win approach. We think it is win for the environment because there are important programs that need to be put in place, particularly in the industrial and commercial sector. It is win for the taxpayers because if you handle it properly using both disposal revenues and the revenues from the sale of profitable used materials -- and there are some profitable used materials out there -- a program would not cost the taxpayers a penny and in fact down the road the taxpayers should be gaining money from this program. It is win for the taxpayers, win for the environment and win for jobs.

We need desperately in Metro and the GTA thousands of new jobs. What better form of job creation than to put in place a new and very ambitious and effective environmental program that will create jobs. Many of the areas which need to be addressed are areas such as auditing for businesses. That is an important service to be provided out there and it would provide hundreds, perhaps 400 or 500 jobs. I do not know the exact number, but there would be a very large number of jobs for people to provide practical assistance to those tens of thousands of businesses across the GTA which need assistance, which want to do the right thing and which care about the environment but are not sure quite what they should do. They need a proper public program to help them out. There are jobs there.

Mr McClelland: I am interested in knowing how it is that it is costing money to run, being subsidized by the tax base, as you say, but we are losing money. I do not quite understand that. I would be interested in knowing about that. In fairness I just think you should know that nobody was caught shipping garbage anywhere; it was done with an order and approval by the ministry.

This terrible word "profit" appears about 16 or 17 times throughout your brief: It is an awful thing that companies actually make a profit and pay taxes. I want to know how it is that if we are losing money, on page 36, in the operation of it -- disposal fees are a small fraction of the cost of purchasing and operating a landfill. On the other hand you are saying that you need the ICI to make money. One of the reasons they are sending it to the States is because they are in fact recycling and making product in the US; they are doing that down there and that is why in fact they are demanding. That is part of it. How do you reconcile that? How do you reconcile on one hand we are losing money, but we are going to make money on the other? It just does not seem to mix. I just do not understand it.

Mr Calvert: As I said before, every tonne of garbage that leaves the GTA or leaves Metro is a tonne for which businesses within the GTA are charged. That money just leaves the country. It does not create any jobs here. There is no economic development; there is no environmental development. There is an enormous cost to this part of the province with the export of waste. If the garbage were disposed of in public sites within the GTA, the taxpayers would get $150 for every tonne that is deposited in those sites. That would be, in terms of the estimates we put out there, $230 million or $240 million minimally of extra revenue for the taxpayers, revenue that is now going to private waste centres, many of which are taking this money out of the country. I think it is very clear.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate your appearing before the committee today. If over the course of our hearings there is additional information you think would be helpful, we would appreciate you communicating with us in writing.

I have a request from Mr Wiseman with a question for the record.

Mr Wiseman: No, I will have a point of order after the hearing is finished.

The Chair: Question for the record, Mr McClelland.

Mr McClelland: I have a question. I guess it flows in part from this public-private issue. Just out of interest I would like to know, given an evaluation of this, in terms of number of ministry staff and political staff, and that would include the minister and both parliamentary assistants, how many more staff have been added to direct political ministry staff since October 1990; the increase in budget and the increase in raw numbers of political ministry staff, both parliamentary assistants and the minister.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation. As I said, if there is additional information that you have for the committee, please feel free to communicate with us in writing.

We have some time, because our next delegation and witnesses have cancelled. If there are any questions, now would be an opportunity for committee members to ask those questions of the parliamentary assistant.

Mr Wiseman: My question has to do with rescheduling the Recycling Council of Ontario. Since that was one of our chosen selections for an hour, I would like to see if we can reschedule that -- recycle them.

The Chair: I will ask the clerk if there is any time slot available. If there is, I am sure she would be happy to reschedule.

Clerk of the Committee: The difficulty with the one-hour appointment is that I do not have one-hour time slots available. Later on, I have 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there, where people have cancelled. Do you have a suggestion for me?

Mr Wiseman: I would suggest we try to find a time slot between five and six on one of the days to hear from this group, because one of the things that we are being presented with, one of the decisions we have to make, has to do with the fact that there is some question about the market available for recycled material. I would like to have the opportunity to hear what they have to say about that.

Clerk of the Committee: I will offer them a time slot then between five and six at their convenience and see what we can do.

The Chair: It might be possible to find a 20-minute time slot that you can then add 20 minutes to if there is something at the end or that --

Clerk of the Committee: If there is something that cancels at 4:40 or something like that.

The Chair: We will leave it with the clerk.

Mr Wiseman: Whatever accommodation is possible would be acceptable to us.

The Chair: We will attempt to do that, Mr Wiseman.

Mrs Fawcett: I have a question for the ministry people. When leachate is filtered through the sewage plants, is the effluent discharging into the lakes, etc, free of the toxic substances that are injurious to the water systems? Information given to me would suggest that many sewage plants are maybe not equipped to filter out all of the substances. I am just wondering about that.

Mr O'Connor: To properly answer the question, I think Alex Giffen may have some material on that. I do not know whether he can answer that directly now or perhaps prepare something for the committee later on in time.

Mrs Fawcett: That is fine.

The Chair: We have time. Normally we would have been here till five o'clock. If there are any questions, ministry officials can take the position here and answer questions for members now or can choose to provide the information in writing, whichever they prefer.

Mr Giffen: I would prefer to answer in writing.

Mr O'Connor: Perhaps we would get a fuller answer if it was prepared in writing. It seems that our official here from the ministry agrees with that. It might be a little more fully answered and give all your concerns full merit.

Mr McClelland: I have just checked with my Conservative colleague and we are happy to try to accommodate in any way, for the record, but it seems there is a resolution, so I guess that is moot at this point.

The Chair: Thank you. We are pleased to hear that.

Mr McClelland: There are a couple of questions I wanted to put, one following from the presentation today. I wonder if the parliamentary assistant would know what analysis has been done of the cost impact and relative efficiencies of the private sector's involvement in industrial, commercial and institutional waste and a publicly run system for ICI waste. Do you have that information available at the present time, Mr O'Connor?

Mr O'Connor: If I could refer that to our assistant deputy here from central region.


Mr Merritt: Jim Merritt, central region. We have not gone into detailed economic analysis on that point. It was not the intention that Bill 143 would remove the private sector from waste management. On that basis, we did not endeavour to look at what costs or losses would be affected. We have seen that they would be continuing under this bill.

Mr McClelland: Mr Merritt, has there been any analysis done previously? I do not recall from a number of years ago, but I am just wondering if there has been any recent update in a more general sense, not necessarily specifically tied to Bill 143 -- anything that you are aware of with the ministry that would have done a brief cost-benefit analysis or at least a preliminary look at that?

Mr Merritt: I could not say there would be detailed cost benefit, but I will undertake to look at what economic work had gone on. As you know, we do have a group of economists who support us and we will take a look and see what they have available.

Mr McClelland: That would be very much appreciated.

Mr O'Connor, again to pursue a point we picked up a little bit earlier, I just want to make it very clear for the record that we heard from the Interim Waste Authority that it does not have any particular lists. Do you have any lists, as parliamentary assistant for the greater Toronto area? Are you aware of any that you would have in your possession?

Mr O'Connor: I appreciate the question. It seems that is something you and some of our colleagues have brought up on several occasions. Clearly there is no list. It has been suggested many times that there is a list, but there is no list. Really the whole purpose of this hearing process that we are going through right now is to deal with Bill 143, and the Interim Waste Authority does not have a list. I suppose what we have here is some disagreement on whether or not there is a list, but there is none.

Mr McClelland: Are you aware of whether you as parliamentary assistant or the minister have seen -- if you want to use the word -- a preliminary list, a run-down or a summary of the initial analysis that was done by IWA with respect to locating those sites?

Mr O'Connor: No. That material is not available. There is none to be made available. I think you are still looking for something that does not exist at this point in time. If you want to take a look perhaps at some of the criteria that IWA -- I believe that is even in our briefing book.

Mr McClelland: Yes, it is.

Mr O'Connor: If you want to take a look at that, you may be able to suggest some possible sites. I do not know, but there are no sites right now. What we are dealing with are the principles espoused in Bill 143, which is taking a look at waste management within the greater Toronto area.

Mr O'Connor: As somebody who is here as the spokesperson for the ministry in the political realm, do you have any explanation of why it is that counsel for the region of York, Mr Blue, has put on the record an indication that there was a list that was to be forthcoming?

Mr O'Connor: I suppose he must be following the same suggestions that you believe, that there could be a list. Perhaps he feels the same way. Perhaps we should address that to the Interim Waste Authority chair while she is here; it is something that has been brought up and perhaps she can answer it more fully than I can. Could I ask Jan to please answer that?

Ms Rush: I cannot comment on what someone said to someone else. I can tell you that, as I mentioned before, as we were working towards the completion of the second phase of the process that is indicated in the draft approach and criteria document, we were hoping to time that coincidentally with the legislative mandate.

What was happening through late November, when I believe those contacts were being made, and through December, as you know, was a rather uncertain future of the bill: whether the bill would come to this committee or whether the bill was going to go through in parts. During that time we in the authority had a decision to make about whether to complete the work and indeed lock up a list, or to cease work. We ceased work. We thought at one point that we might have a legislative mandate. We did not recommence work. We waited to see if that came about. I only skimmed that letter, but I assume the ready-to-go was that had we had a legislative mandate some time in late November and early December, we still could have gone forward. Without that mandate, and as the debates took place in the House and the decision was made to bring the bill here, we did not recommence work. So it was a very clear decision.

I should say -- I mentioned this before -- that one of the reasons we needed the legislative mandate was to make sure that all the work we had done to date was on the appropriate basis, which is part II of the bill.

The other part that is extremely important is that if you look at the timetable we put out last summer in the DAC, the draft approach and criteria document, we are looking for an extremely rapid process from the release of the long list to the short list to the preferred site. It is only nine months of time. In order to do that, which we think is not only efficient but humane to all the people who will be involved, whose land will be involved or whose communities will be involved, we needed to have the power of entry so we could complete negotiations and discussions with any property owners, so as soon as that list was released we could proceed that rapidly to a preferred site, so all the time would be spent on technical matters and public consultation and communications and not on the issues of property access. I think that is another key part to what we were trying to do.

The other thing I am trying to put forward is that the process is not looking at lists of property and selecting. The process is one of the criteria, of evaluating those criteria, having public consultation on the criteria and then, after that, applying those criteria to properties to find the list. What has been going on is that evaluation of the criteria from the public consultations that took place in August and September. At one point we had wondered if we could continue that process, which would allow us to catch up some time, because we knew we could not meet the November date for the long list. In terms of what people may have said to other people, at some times we were ready to go in three or four weeks or five weeks and at other times we were not. We were following the progress of the bill in the House and I hope we have taken a responsible position.

Mr McClelland: I appreciate that explanation. Just for my clarification, I take it that you are suggesting that in all the work that was done to date, prior to your decision to "suspend work on the list," as I quote from a letter from IWA, there was no application of any of the criteria to any particular sites in and around the greater Toronto area.

Ms Rush: No, I cannot comment on that. That is part of the work that was to be done. That is part of the work that is in progress. It is simply not complete.

Mr McClelland: So there is at least the basis of information for what one could call a partial list.

Ms Rush: Most of it, yes; not all of it.

Mr McClelland: I am right, then, in suggesting that most of the work has been done to narrow down most of the sites for at least most of the list? A substantial part of that has been done?

Ms Rush: Not sites, but we have got a lot of analysis of a lot of the parcels of land that may indeed turn out to be a list, but that last phase was not done.

Mr McClelland: Okay, so parcels of land or sites. You do not like the word "sites," so I will use "parcels of land."

Ms Rush: It is all the difference in the world, in this business.

Mr McClelland: So parcels of land, to which criteria have been applied, at least on a preliminary basis. If not a formal list, there is at least documentation that refers to parcels of land to which Interim Waste Authority criteria have been applied.

Mr O'Connor: Could I try to help this process along a little bit? It seems you are trying to turn things around just enough to suggest that --

Mr McClelland: Excuse me, Madam Chair, I was pursuing a line of questioning, I think reasonably, in trying to get some clarification.

The Chair: I think, Mr McClelland, that the parliamentary assistant at least should be able to make his statement, and then you can continue.

Mr McClelland: It is just that I do not want to lose that point with Ms Rush.

Mr O'Connor: I think what has been explained to us quite ably is how they have got to the criteria, and that is what they are working on right now, going through the public process and looking at the criteria. As far as land acquisitions, sites and everything else you seem to be looking for are concerned, it has not happened. They are working on site selection criteria. Perhaps if you would just listen to the way she is explaining it, and maybe take a look at some of the documentation you have before you in your binder, you will get a little better grasp of it.

The Chair: Thanks for your explanation, Mr O'Connor.

Mr McClelland: Mr O'Connor, maybe I will get a little better grasp of it, and forgive me for not being as sharp as you to pick up on it. But I have some difficulty, Mr O'Connor, because, not being as astute as you, I cannot understand, quite frankly, the important distinction between "parcels of land" and "sites" as far as the public is concerned. I can understand in terms of technical jargon and operating within a legislative framework where that may be significant, but certainly from the public's point of view, which is ultimately my responsibility as critic and as representing the people in my community, a parcel of land is a site is a parcel of land as far as the public is concerned. Whether the list is not complete, I think at least a partial list is, so I am having difficulty with that.

Mr O'Connor: You are right. The parcel of land we are talking about is the GTA.


The Chair: Mr O'Connor, Mr McClelland has the floor and is entitled to conclude his remarks.

Mr McClelland: All I am saying, Mr O'Connor, is that you may find it difficult to understand why I do not understand the distinction. For that I apologize. I am just a simple guy who is trying to understand what is happening here: Why it is that all this work has been done and all this work has been applied to parcels of land that have been at least narrowed down and given some consideration or very well may end up being sites, but a list of that is not, as you said, a list available for the people who will be affected. I am having some difficulty making that distinction.

Let me put it another way so maybe I can help you understand me, since I am not doing a very good job of it, apparently, for you. If I happened to be a land owner of a particular area or a citizen of an area and I was told, "Don't worry, there's not a site, it is just a parcel of land that is being considered and it is not on any formal list yet," that would not give me a great deal of assurance. As I said, I am just a simple guy trying to understand why I should take some assurance out of that. I mean, it is a parcel of land right now and it is not a site. I find it very difficult to understand that distinction.

I also find it difficult to understand why, if there is a letter from IWA that says, "We've suspended work on a long list," how could it be that you could suspend work on a list that does not exist? I find that really difficult to understand. Maybe you can help me with that.

Mr O'Connor: Perhaps we can get some of the information on the criteria then.

Mr McClelland: I have seen the information on the criteria and you have been very good in providing me with the criteria, but my difficulty is understanding this distinction between parcels of land, and partial lists and long lists of parcels of lands, but they are not lists of sites where we might go. I am also having difficulty understanding why it would have been ready on December 19, had the legislation passed, or even as early as November, but because there was some political controversy about it, suddenly the list work was suspended. I just have difficulty understanding it.

Mr O'Connor: We have the chair here for the Interim Waste Authority, and she has explained it quite well, but perhaps she will take another stab at it.

Ms Rush: The process of applying the criteria is not one of applying all the criteria to a parcel of land or area of the GTA and then moving on. It is a simultaneous process of looking, depending on the nature of the criteria, and it is a funnelling process. So everything is available until you start screening out, screening out and screening out until you get to the full application of the criteria that are in the document we have been holding public consultations about to get you to the point of a long list. It is not something where there is sort of a mark and you tick yes, no, yes, no, moving across a map. It is a funnelling process and a screening process.

So there is not a partial list of parcels of land. That is not the way the process works. If you look at the criteria, some of them are more obvious than others about the urban structures and urban shadows.

I do not know what more I can add for you, other than to say that we had not finished that process, that we stopped because we did not have a legislative mandate and that we have I think around five to seven weeks worth of work once we recommence, and we cannot recommence until we have the legislation, because we need the permission and instruction of the House to know what we are doing at this point in terms of the undertakings. To go public with a list which is based on the undertakings as defined in part II when the House is not finished its consideration of that presents some difficulty.

I have presented as well that I think on a humanitarian basis and on a good management basis it would have been difficult for us to have completed that exercise and, first of all, not have been able to go out with a second round of consultation, and not having the power to enter, we would have had an extremely long period of time to move from the long list to the short list to the preferred site, and I do not think that is in anyone's interest, particularly the property owners, whom we are all concerned about.

Mr Wiseman: On a point of order, Madam Chair: This is a very fascinating discussion. I would like you to rule on whether it is relevant or not. The presence or absence of a list -- a long list, short list, any list -- is not contained in the legislation in Bill 143, and therefore it does not seem to me that this line of questioning is really pertinent to our task at hand, and that is to have deputations and hearings about the direction we should take about Bill 143. While this is all very nice for the member to debate with the staff, I do not think it gets us very far down the road to understanding this bill. Therefore, I think this line of questioning is out of order.

Mr Turnbull: I have a point of order as well, on the same point of order.

The Chair: I will consider the point of order, and on that point of order, first Mr Turnbull and then Mr McClelland.

Mr Turnbull: I have to say I think it is very relevant to our discussion of the bill, because I remember in very clear terms that the minister responsible was full of regrets that they would not have the list ready, but it was never suggested that it was because they did not have the administrative framework because this bill was not passed. We were very clearly told that it was going to be, presto, or ready almost immediately upon the bill being passed. I reject completely the suggestion by Mr Wiseman that this is not a relevant line of discussion.

Mr McClelland: Specifically on the point of order, it seems to me that part and parcel of Bill 143 is the mandate and the implementation of that mandate, should it ultimately be obtained through Bill 143, of IWA. Inasmuch as the implementation of that mandate will affect a great number of people in and around the Toronto area or, I think it fair to say, potentially affect a great number of people, those people, specifically those people who are, to use the words of IWA, currently in the funnel, I think it is entirely relevant to Bill 143, particularly parts I, II and III of 143. It has bearing on the issue at hand, which is the implementation of IWA's mandate. That is part and parcel of Bill 143.

Mr Wiseman: That is a very interesting leap of logic. Whether there is a list or not only becomes an issue after the bill is passed. If the bill is not passed, then there is no issue because the list is irrelevant.

But what I would suggest is that there is no reference in the legislation itself -- and if there is, I would like to know what section they are referring to -- that refers to lists being pertinent to the passage or the alterations and amendments of this bill. Therefore, I still suggest that perhaps the debate over lists and long lists and site selection and site locations would be better served after the bill in its amended form is passed through the House and then we can discuss it from that point of view. At this time it becomes a political red herring to discuss whether or not there are lists when I believe the discussion at hand is on the bill itself and the proposed amendments. If they can say where the lists are in terms of references in this bill, I would be very interested.

The Chair: Mr McClelland, did you want to make a further comment?

Mr McClelland: A brief response to that, Madam Chair, to help in your deliberation with respect to the appropriateness of the line of questioning. It just seems to me that to the people of Whitevale or site 6 in Brampton or the potential five sites in the Rouge Valley and the people across this province who are keenly interested in the integrity of the Rouge Valley from an environmental point of view -- I find it passing strange that Mr Wiseman, someone who has been so actively involved, particularly with Whitevale, would consider that to be politically trivial. Certainly the people of Whitevale would be concerned to know whether their parcel of land was in the funnel. Whether that is a list or not I suppose is an interesting matter of semantics, but I see that it is entirely relevant -- again I come back to it -- because part of public participation, I would say to my friend opposite, is to know about the potential impact of legislation on your life and on your property. If that is a political red herring, then things have certainly changed considerably in the province over the past two years.


Mr Wiseman: What you have just said is almost totally irrelevant. Whether or not there is a site selected in the north end of my riding and whether it is on this list is not at issue here. What is at issue is this bill and whether this bill will be amended, whether it will be passed as it is and what it will look like.

Further to that, to suggest that there are sites in the Rouge Valley, in the area designated as a provincial park, again betrays the fact that you have not read the Interim Waste Authority's draft document for the Metro-Peel site selection process or the York-Metro site selection process. In the document, it clearly states that there will be no sites selected within the designated area of the Rouge Valley Park.

Again, I would say, with reference to that, that these become important political issues, important issues, only after the bill is passed. They are not relevant to the discussion at hand in terms of us getting on with listening to deputations and evaluating the information and material at hand about Bill 143.

Mr Turnbull: I would suggest that the people of Durham West are probably quite interested in whether it is a parcel of land or a site. I think we would still be as interested in whether they are going to get a dump site in their backyard. It is somewhat disingenuous for the member for Durham West to be suggesting that this is a red herring. We are asking about a list that we were told was unfortunately not ready at the time the legislation was before the House, and it is not ready again now that the bill has been delayed -- and not for the reason that has been suggested, that you needed a legislative framework to have this list brought forward. The list could be prepared without the legislative framework. That was quite apparent from the answers given by the minister in the fall.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Turnbull. I have listened very carefully --

Mr McClelland: Not on the point of order; I just want to be on the list.

The Chair: I am prepared to rule on the point of order. I have discussed the matter with the clerk. I am aware that there were discussions in the House on this legislation where there was discussion of the criteria as well as the potential for a site selection, which is what this bill is about. Further, the issue has been raised by witnesses before this committee, and I am aware from my discussions with the clerk that during committee hearings greater latitude is often the parliamentary procedure in allowing discussion and debate on pieces of legislation and the impact they may have. I will therefore rule that questions both of the ministry and of witnesses, as well as discussion during the public hearing process on parcels of land or potential sites or the criteria for the selection, are in order.

You still have the floor, Mr McClelland. I will point out to you that Mr Turnbull is also on the list.

Mr McClelland: I just wanted to pursue that matter. Thank you, Ms Rush, for your response to the questions I placed to you about parcels of land being in a funnel which are not yet ready to be made into a list. What I wanted to ask, and I would like to pursue that one point further -- Madam Chair, I will put you on notice, if I could, to pick that up for perhaps some information that the parliamentary assistant may add.

With respect, Ms Rush, to the Interim Waste Authority, you talk about its ability to proceed and the mandate that is apparently absent without Bill 143. You are constituted under the Business Corporations Act of the province of Ontario, is that correct?

Ms Rush: Yes.

Mr McClelland: You are able to proceed under what mandate? The purposes and objectives of the corporation as incorporated?

Ms Rush: Yes.

Mr McClelland: The purposes and objectives of the corporation were partly to carry out the wishes and the policy of the shareholder of the corporation, that shareholder being the Minister of the Environment?

Ms Rush: No, the objects -- it will take me a moment, but I can find the objects.

Mr McClelland: "No" is fine. If I am wrong in that fact, the objects, then, do not by implication allow you to proceed with the task at hand pursuant to the policy of the minister. Am I correct in that?

Ms Rush: I am not sure of your terminology. I thought you were saying that the objects were saying we would execute the will of the shareholder, and the objects talk about the nature of the business that you are in.

Mr McClelland: Would IWA take direction from the shareholder in terms of fulfilling its mandate?

Ms Rush: The memorandum of understanding which you have asked for and which will be given to you will specify very clearly the role of the minister as the shareholder, of myself, the general manager and of the deputy minister. Those roles are available to you, and if they were not provided today, they are close to being provided to you.

Mr McClelland: Can you give me a handle on that? Is it a yes, maybe or in part? Does the policy and the direction of the minister, the shareholder, have bearing with respect to the management, the carrying out of the mandate of the IWA?

Ms Rush: Certainly not the management. That is with the board of directors and the general manager; that is the responsibility of those parties. But in terms of all rights, the same rights that any shareholder would have under the Business Corporations Act, the minister has those.

The Chair: We have approximately 10 minutes available for each of the caucuses for questions.

Mr Turnbull: My colleague Mr McClelland has very adequately covered it.

Mr Wiseman: Also through the parliamentary assistant to Jan Rush, I would like you to take some time at this time to describe the process that created the IWA, the process the IWA used to draft the criteria and the process of public involvement in this. How is this different from the process as it existed before?

Ms Rush: The IWA was, I think, officially incorporated in early May, but certainly we were working as a team before then. We began by a technical review. We asked for all materials and work that had been done previously in the area. We asked if that would be provided to us so that we would not waste taxpayers' money investigating things that had already been investigated.

We started assembling the team and hiring consultants to form a consulting team for each of the three site search areas. The bulk of the time, then, through the spring and early summer was spent preparing the criteria and the document that I have here that has been provided to all the committee members. It is a draft approach and criteria. There is one for each of the three site search areas. There is much in common with each of these documents and only a few particularities are different one from the other.

Why this is a remarkably different document is that, first of all, in this document it says: "This is the entire approach we will use throughout the process. This is how many times we intend to consult with the public; this is how we intend to proceed; these are the matters around which we will consult." That, to my knowledge, has not been done before, where the entire process was laid out so people knew how to intervene, not just now, but would know how to intervene with us, anticipate and help us in this exercise through to its finality.

The second part is that the criteria were put forward first. They are in major categories. The criteria were developed by these consulting teams and were put out for public consultation. Instead of starting with a document that gave the criteria and the answer, which usually is a long list, this document went out first and said, "These are the criteria." It then asked the public: "Are they adequate criteria? Are they too strict? Are they not strict enough? Are all the appropriate considerations here?" It also put out the criteria through to the next stage as well so they could start thinking about -- this funnel continues until a preferred site. So the criteria get stricter and stricter; they get comparative rather than exclusionary through this process, until the preferred site is arrived at by the authority.

We had over 40 workshops and open houses through that time, we invited people, and I think it was a very open and useful process. The first part of the homework after that consultation process was to review all the comments on the criteria, to take into consideration any changes or suggestions that we as the proponent thought were relevant and important, and to document those so that anyone who made a suggestion would know what happened to it. The latter part would then be to apply those now revised criteria to the beginning of the process of narrowing down from the entire region of the GTA through to what ultimately will become a long list of sites.


Mr Wiseman: Could you also describe who is on the IWA in each of the municipalities, and how it was determined who would make up the IWA in each of the municipalities?

Ms Rush: We have a very small staff. We only have about 20 people, so the bulk of the work that is being done in each of the areas is being done through consulting projects. It is necessary for us to find the expertise that way, and it also reflects the interim nature of our agency.

In the Peel area, the lead consultant is Senes, which is a consulting engineering firm. In York-Metro, the lead engineering consultant is MacLaren, and in Durham, the lead engineering consultant was Dillon. We used a selection process for these consultants that we borrowed from the Ministry of the Environment. They were very familiar with how to go through that process, so we used their process of recruitment and analysis and selection to find those consultants. They as well have hired a number of subconsultants in the areas of communications, public consultation, law firms. Each team makes a package and has a coordinator and a group, inside the 20 staff of the IWA, that work. These groups also meet regularly among themselves to make sure that if there are areas of interpretation, they are sharing their expertise.

Mr Wiseman: Could you also describe the process of consultation and how it was physically carried out in the various municipalities?

Ms Rush: There were a number of advertisements in the major newspapers, and also all of the local papers that we were aware of, announcing open houses and workshops where IWA staff and the consulting teams were available. Some of them were open houses with questions and answers. Other relevant players in waste management issues were also asked to attend so that if a question was asked that was outside of our mandate but was obviously important to the participants, someone would be there to answer it. My colleague from the waste reduction office very kindly sent some of his people to them. It became a broad conversation, but we certainly narrowed on to what our particular business was.

The workshops were a bit more detailed. In some of the workshops there were discussion groups formed and people got to participate at the actual event, in terms of helping with the criteria, and started posing some of the questions we would be addressing further down the line.

Mr Wiseman: I have one last question, through the parliamentary assistant, of course. What role is the waste reduction office playing in the IWA, and how is that working itself through this process as well?

Mr Blackwell: To date, our role has been very much one that has been quite limited to the functions described in Bill 143 of preparing to provide an estimate of the waste diversion that will take place, to the best of our ability to estimate it, over the period of time for which the disposal facilities are being sought. That is the formal relationship and that is the primary relationship.

Beyond that, as Ms Rush mentioned, we have done our best to be available whenever public meetings are held, to provide information about waste reduction activities being undertaken either by local municipalites, regional municipalities or the province, activities that are under way within the GTA and in which interested participants play a role. As you may be aware, there are many people who come to meetings around landfill site searches who in fact attend primarily to find a vehicle through which they can try to influence government to become more active in the waste reduction area. We are quite interested in being available to such people and in taking their concerns and their advice about how we can do a better job in our area of mandate.

Mr Turnbull: How many parcels of land are in the funnel at the moment?

Ms Rush: I have no idea.

Mr Turnbull: Hundreds? Dozens? An approximation, please.

Ms Rush: That was an expression to try to explain to you the process of applying criteria over a vast geographic area, which are the four regions in the GTA that we are looking at divided into three site search areas. I cannot tell you any of that.

Mr Turnbull: You must have some approximate idea.

Ms Rush: No, I cannot. I simply am unable to do that.

Mr Turnbull: I find it absolutely inconceivable that after the length of time the authority has been working away at this -- we know it was put on hold, according to you, but there is a wealth of material and we were told we could have it by December 19 if the legislation were passed. Yet you are telling me you do not have any idea as to how many.

Ms Rush: I am telling you I do not have any idea. I have not attended any of the technical meetings where the discussions have taken place. Again, this is not something that happens in a sequence, as I think you are perhaps presuming. I simply do not have that information. It is not my role as the chair to participate in that until the technical people have completed their work. At that point, it would be put together. It would be reviewed by them in concert, which has not taken place, and would be brought forward to the board. That has simply not happened.

Mr Turnbull: Is there anybody in this room who can answer how many parcels of land went into the funnel?

Ms Rush: No.

Mr Wiseman: I could take a little bit of a shot at it.

The Chair: You do not have the floor. Mr Turnbull has. Mr Turnbull, have you completed your questioning?

Mr Turnbull: Yes, thank you.

Mrs Mathyssen: I understand the recommendations of the report on environmental assessment improvement have shaped the process for the IWA landfill sites. Can you describe how this has improved the public consultation process?

Ms Rush: Yes. A number of recommendations that came out of the original environmental assessment program involvement project document, which I believe was in December 1990, talked about the administration. In fact, the process we have used came out of that material in terms of going forth first with the public with the process you intended to use, and first with the criteria you intended to use, and also some other ways of trying to streamline the operation. But I think the key thing was to go and tell people what you intended to do and how you intended to do it before you did it, and second to allow input to the criteria before any application of those criteria to the area actually took place. Those are the major features that we used from the thinking that went into the original EAPIP document.

Mr McClelland: I want to ask the parliamentary assistant if he might make some comments that relate to the last brief we heard from CUPE. It might help, Mr O'Connor, if you had it present. I will try to move through this relatively quickly. It was stated in the brief, on page 24, that private waste management companies were taking ICI waste to sites in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and other United States destinations. Are you as parliamentary assistant aware of the types of sites that waste is going to?

Mr O'Connor: That is something I am not aware of right now.

Mr McClelland: Would you be prepared to ask somebody in the ministry to perhaps give you some information that may or may not indicate that the majority of those sites are in fact doing things like recycling and reusing the product, and to try to determine, to the extent possible, how many of those sites are in fact taking waste, using it as a resource and turning it into reusable product? I would be interested in knowing if you could pursue that.

The other thing I wanted to pursue with you, Mr O'Connor, is with respect to this brief. Throughout the brief, on numerous occasions -- I began to count them up -- it says things like the private sector should not have profit, that they are making exorbitant profits, that there is a profit motive here that is running counter to the 3R program and policies, that the private sector is spending money on infrastructure so they can get profit, they are having windfall revenues. What is your government's view of that? I do not want to offend you in any way, in terms of the private sector actually doing something as terrible as making a profit, a return on their investment in infrastructure in Ontario. Does your ministry have a policy with respect to private sector organizations making a profit?


Mr O'Connor: I appreciate that you have concerns about the private sector today. In today's economy we all have to be somewhat concerned about the private sector, and the minister stated in her opening remarks that it was not the intention of the legislation at all to discount the private sector from it. But if you are really concerned about what CUPE actually meant, perhaps you should write them a letter. We did have an opportunity to hear from them, although our time was quite limited. If you did not have enough time for them to answer the question, then perhaps you should put it in writing.

Mr McClelland: Mr O'Connor, I will do that. In fact, I look forward to talking with CUPE in the future about this.

My question to you, sir, was what your position is as parliamentary assistant representing your minister, what your minister's position is, your government's position; not CUPE's, but your position in terms of companies making profit in Ontario. Is that such a terrible thing? Is that a bad thing?

Mr O'Connor: Who would suggest such a thing?

Mr McClelland: I take it your answer is, "No, that is not a bad thing." Madam Chair, I would appreciate a clear answer about that.

Mr O'Connor: Of course in today's economy we would like to see everybody in the private sector being profitable. I am sure you would agree with that.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr McClelland. Ms Haeck.

Ms Haeck: I have a question for the parliamentary assistant which he may wish to refer.

I know that public consultation occurred over the past summer on the criteria sought for the IWA, and there was obviously a lot of public comment. How has that public comment been used to improve and fine-tune the criteria?

Mr O'Connor: Ms Rush, perhaps you would respond to that, seeing how you have been a little more closely involved in the IWA process.

Ms Rush: I am afraid I cannot give you any specifics because that is all wrapped up in the work that will be released as the second phase of the process, as we indicated early on. So I am sorry, I cannot give you any specifics other than I know that all the comments were recorded and analysed by the team and they will be coming forward with their recommendations as to which ones are good additions to the criteria, or deletions, and which ones they cannot accommodate and why. I am sorry I do not have any of that detail.

Ms Haeck: There has been a sense given from members of the opposition that in fact this is all sort of happening in a vacuum. I would be curious to understand if, in the kind of consultation that took place last summer, the communities with which you did consult responded in a wholehearted manner.

Ms Rush: As I said, we held over 40 open houses and workshops and I think over 15,000 documents were distributed, either through that process or through another process.

Ms Haeck: Fifteen thousand?

Ms Rush: Fifteen thousand documents have been distributed. In terms of direct input, I know we had a lot from the organized groups, and mainly in the workshops we got the community at large involved.

Ms Haeck: Again in the comments that have been made, particularly from members like Mr McClelland, there has been a sense given that the municipalities may not have been included in these consultations and have not really had a chance to respond. With having distributed 15,000 documents and with 40 consultations having taken place, have the municipalities themselves, officials within those municipalities, responded to those consultations?

Ms Rush: It varies. They certainly all are well aware of what we are doing and were made aware of the documents, and I could provide you with a list of who attended, but I know that --

Ms Haeck: I would personally appreciate that, in light of some of the comments that have been made, particularly during last Thursday's hearings where various municipal officials indicated they had no idea of what was happening here. I really feel that would be important for all of us to see.

Ms Rush: Certainly I will provide that to you.

Ms Haeck: Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Haeck, for the question. Mr McClelland.

Mr McClelland: Further to Ms Haeck's question, I would be interested in having from the parliamentary assistant a list of all correspondence and/or memoranda sent to any municipality, any organization, AMO or any branch of AMO with respect to the pre-Bill 143 consultation process, with specific reference to the drafting of the bill.

I have a question to Mr O'Connor. Again, I will bring you back to the CUPE brief, page 18. Item 1 says that 3Rs initiatives are "severely impeded by the profit-driven activities." Does your government believe that profit-driven activities do in fact impede the 3Rs waste reduction initiatives?

Mr O'Connor: To properly weigh this, perhaps we should have someone from the office of waste reduction address this.

Mr McClelland: No, not the office of waste reduction. Does your government philosophically or as a point of departure believe that profit-driven activities impede reduction initiatives in waste management and the waste industry? I am just wondering whether you agree or disagree. Does your government agree or disagree?

Mr O'Connor: If we take a look at waste reduction, I think that is something we all have to be part of. Long before it starts involving any of the other Rs, the first priority has to be reduction. That is something we all have to recognize. If we cannot possibly monitor it accurately, then I think we could have problems. I would like to have Drew Blackwell address that because I think it is very important.

Mr Blackwell: I am just reading the paragraph in question. First of all, I would like to make a comment on what I understand is CUPE's point. I think the suggestion is that companies which have been primarily engaged in collection of waste for disposal have not been very quick to move their clients over towards the maximum possible recycling. I would not say this is a case in which profit-driven activities of the private waste industry have impeded waste reduction initiatives. I would not agree with that as a collection of words.

I do think it is the case, however, that as a society as a whole, both private and public sectors, we have not moved as quickly as we could from a waste disposal orientation to a waste reduction orientation. I think it is important to recognize that all of our institutions, including a number of private sector institutions, have oriented their way of proceeding towards the collection of mixed materials.

If we look at an area that has not traditionally been considered garbage, as you yourself, I believe, pointed out earlier in the week when we were talking about commodities, and we look in the area that is traditionally dealt with by those companies affiliated with the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries, I think we will see that the attitude with which people approach their clients is that they are going after materials which have value. They want those materials, and they want those materials in the most completely source-separated form possible. That is, a company will go to a metal processor and say: "If you've got these pieces of metal coming off the lathe and they are two inches wide, I want those in one box. If beside that you have another lathe producing metal turnings that are three inches long, I want those in a separate box. If you mix the two boxes together, the value goes down."

Mr McClelland: I take it you are saying that the waste management office does not see them as necessarily being incompatible.

The Chair: I am sorry. We have run out of time. I will allow you to place your question on the record as notice. Mr Wiseman, you will also be able to place your question. Mrs Marland, if you have any questions, you can place them at this time. Mr McClelland, do you want to place your question?

Mr McClelland: I appreciate Mr Blackwell's answer. Further to my question, I take it to mean that he does not see the profit motive being necessarily contrary --

The Chair: Is your question, does he see? If it is not an interrogative, but is a statement, you will have to save it for another time.

Mr McClelland: Okay, does he see that? That is a yes or no. I do not want to put words into his mouth, Madam Chair.

The Chair: All right.

Mr McClelland: I understood his answer to mean that he does not see it as necessarily in conflict. I am not sure what the parliamentary assistant's position is. I would like to know what his and his government's position is. I think we know what the waste management office's position is. I think I understand that.

The Chair: So your question is of the parliamentary assistant to the minister. Thank you. Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: My question to the parliamentary assistant and to Jan Rush is simply to allow her to explain the criteria in the interim waste draft document for the other members, who obviously have not read it. That is the basis of my question, but I do have one question. Is the Interim Waste Authority considering amendments and additions to the draft criteria at this time?

The Chair: Thank you, that is on notice. Did you have a question, Mrs Marland, that you wanted to place on the record?

Mr McClelland: No, thank you, Madam Chairman.

The Chair: Thank you very much. I would like to point out to all members that when we have a cancellation of presentations we can use that time to question the ministry or to place questions on the record. The hour now being 5 o'clock, the standing committee on social development is adjourned until 10 am tomorrow. Thank you all very much.

The committee adjourned at 1702.