[You can also view the original submission in pdf format.]
1. In response to the request for information from the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper offers the following submission.
2. The original citizen submission, dated August 13, 2003, continues to offer the most comprehensive arguments to counter the submissions by the Government of Canada.
3. The most important observation that Waterkeeper has to add to the original citizen submission is the note that, as of May 24, 2005, the City of Montreal?s property on the east bank of the Technoparc continues to discharge toxic pollution into the St. Lawrence River.
4. The very fact that PCBs continue to discharge into the St. Lawrence River is proof that Environment Canada has not taken all legal steps to stop a toxic discharge from entering the environment.
5. While the Government of Canada has referred to the administrative actions it has undertaken in order to address the contamination leaking from the Technoparc site, these actions have clearly not stopped the PCB discharges. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper respectfully submits that government actions should be considered appropriate or comprehensive when they fail to stem the source of pollution and when other, more powerful, enforcement tools are available.
6. Regarding Environment Canada?s 2002-2003 investigation, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper submits that the Government of Canada has improperly emphasized the deposit of the toxins into the ground, rather than the deposit of the toxins into the St. Lawrence River. It is the deposit of PCBs into the St. Lawrence River which is the relevant factor for proving an offence under the Fisheries Act.
7. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper refers to the original citizen submission, which contains the legal evidence establishing reasonable and probable grounds to believe a Fisheries Act offence is being committed. The submission includes witness notes, legal sample results, pictures, photos and a biologist?s report.
8. Regarding ownership of the Technoparc site and its relevance to enforcement matters, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper reiterates that the permit of the deposit of a deleterious substance into the St. Lawrence River is the central issue. In that respect, the City of Montreal assumed liability for the releases into the River when it took control of the property from the federal government in the early 1990?s.
9. The issue of where the PCBs are coming from on the property is not relevant to the Fisheries Act. The City of Montreal may have a civil action against neighbouring property owners, but that is not a defence to a Fisheries Act offence.
10. In conclusion, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper would like to thank the Commission for Environmental Cooperation for its interest in protecting Canadian waterways and upholding our environmental laws.