Wilson Concerned Over Dumping Activities in Tottenham
(October 28, 2014) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson is echoing concerns raised by Toronto Star staff reporter Moira Welsh concerning toxic soil from downtown Toronto construction sites being dumped on prime agricultural land. Wilson and his colleagues have been fighting this issue for years with very little acknowledgement from the Liberal government.
"I find it absolutely hypocritical that a government who has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars to boast a green energy agenda is allowing massive amounts of what could be contaminated soil to be dumped in our rural backyards with very few safeguards in place," said Wilson. "My colleagues, MPP Ted Arnott and former MPP John O'Toole have been raising this issue since at least 2010 and for the most part the Liberals have done nothing."
The Toronto Star article notes that the province could not identify where the soil from big projects like the Pan Am Games Athletes Village and condominium sites were being dumped. In fact, the article warns that according to Rob Cook, Executive Director of the Ontario Waste Management Association, excavation projects in the city have increased while the number of trucks taking dirt to special fill sites that can safely manage toxins has dramatically decreased.
Wilson is specifically concerned with dumping activities taking place in his riding at the Tottenham Airfield.
"My constituents and I have long been concerned with the environmental impact of materials that are being dumped in Tottenham dating back to at least 2011," said Wilson. "They have been dumping as much as 200 trucks per day on the site where residents use wells for drinking water. It's a scary situation that we won't see the impact of until twenty years from now and I worry about the safety of our wells and drinking water."
Earlier this year the government agreed to MPP Ted Arnott's request for a review to establish a province-wide policy to address the problem of compromised soil and to ensure that the fill being dumped is safe. The review commenced in January and was expected to take 12-18 months. Wilson and his colleagues have heard nothing since. Wilson remains concerned that fill continues to be dumped while the review is taking place.
"It's time for this government to stop talking and start acting," said Wilson. "Bad fill will have irreconcilable consequences on the future of our province, so we need to be certain what is being dumped is safe."
Click Here to read the Toronto Star column referred to in this release.