The City of Ottawa will be back in court this week to face sentencing after pleading guilty to charges that the capitol city dumped nearly 1-billion litres of raw sewage into the Ottawa River and failed to report it in 2006.
Under the law, the city could be charged a maximum of $6 million per day over the period the spill occurred, for total fines of between $300,000 and $72-million. The city has already agreed to award $50,000 to Ottawa Riverkeeper to help monitor the city's actions in the future.
The case highlights the serious and ongoing issue of sewage polluting local waterways all over Ontario. As the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown, points out, "I am hoping that this case will create an important precedent and send a clear message that municipalities can be held accountable for their pollution."
Both Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and Ottawa Riverkeeper will soon be releasing in-depth sewage reports that highlight the extent of the problem in Ontario.
This Week's Living at the Barricades Sewage: The Biggest Environmental Issue in Canada (Oct. 2, 2008)
On today's program, Mark and Krystyn discuss one of the most pressing but rarely discussed issues in Canada: raw sewage in our water. We'll also speak with Meredith Brown, Riverkeeper and Executive Director of the Ottawa Riverkeeper on the recent conviction against the City of Ottawa for dumping sewage into the local waterways. Now featuring new music, "The Birds" by Dawn Blythe and Dave Clark!