Thank you for your commitment to cleaning up the Oshawa Harbour. My name is Mark Mattson and I am president of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. With me is Krystyn Tully, Waterkeeper?s executive director. As many of you know, Waterkeeper has been working with members of the community and your council for close to two years to help with the remediation of the Oshawa Harbour.
Waterkeeper has had the opportunity to review the most recent report prepared by Decommissioning Services for Transport Canada. We accept the facts as laid out by DCS. We do not agree with their recommended course of action, though.
DCS has recommended a management plan for the harbour that they say will be significantly less expensive than full remediation. Waterkeeper believes that this recommendation is premature. Any recommended course of action should be guided by the community's plans for the harbour.
There are three criteria which would help council proceed:
1. Will the site be accessible to the public?
2. Will the site be safe for humans AND wildlife?
3. Will the remediation provide choices for future land use?
If the answer to any of these questions is "NO", then the city is being asked to shell out millions of dollars to protect its liabilities without protecting its community or its future.
If you want people to live, work, and play in the Oshawa Harbour, you need to make it clear to the experts. If you want the Harbour to be a safe environment, with options for future uses, that needs to be clear now.
The city needs to articulate its vision before the consultants can put a price-tag on it. The community has unique opportunity to make a decision that will have a great impact on its future.
A focus on short-term savings will bring long-term losses to the City of Oshawa. This is a defining moment for the city. We applaud your courage.
Yours truly, Mark Mattson and Krystyn Tully