On the Friday before the long weekend, I recieved a call from Tim O'Leary, the Community outreach assistant for M.P.P. Gerard Kennedy, from the Parkdale-High Park region. Tim informed me that Mr. Kennedy was going to address the media about the Wendigo Creek situation on behalf of David McAlpine. I had recently assisted David by investigating a leachate problem on the Creek infront of his home. After David and I sampled the leachate, we discovered that it contained toxins. A potentially contaminated site near David's home was under development, and was believed to be the source of the leachate.
At a press conference Thursday May 23, Mr. Kennedy personally requested that the Ontario Minister of Environment initiate an environmental assesment of the area. Lakekeeper Mark Mattson also addressed the media, pointing out that the lack of resources and personnel at the Ministry were partly responsible for its inaction at the site. After talking to the media, Mark, Mr. Kennedy, and I walked down to the creek to find the leachate still seeping into Wendigo Creek. Along with David's home video footage of fish dying in the creek, the story received a fair amount of media coverage (Toronto Star, CBC News). This is significant to LOK, as we have other serious pollution problems in the area that would benefit from more public scrutiny. Mr. Kennedy expressed an interest in these sites, particularly the King's Mill landfill which leaks into the Humber River. I promised to send him a copy of our investigative brief for that site.
On Friday May 24, I met with more media covering the Wendigo Creek story. Mr Kennedy also addressed the issues that Mark had raised the day before, and called them "unacceptable in the light of the recent Walkerton report."
Mr Stockwell's response was that he had not received a copy of the test results on the leachate but that he would look at it when he got a copy from Mr Kennedy.
-- Mark Mattson
Read Eric's notes from LOK's first visit to the Wendigo Creek - includes photos and sample results.