The Ontario Court of Appeal will not hear an appeal from Lafarge Canada Inc about its alternative fuels application, it said in a decision released on November 26th. The Court's decision likely means an end to the cement giant's lengthy legal campaign to halt an independent review of its proposal to burn "alternative fuels" in its cement kiln near Bath, Ontario.
"Our right to question this proposal has been upheld, again. This is a great day for Bath, for all communities, up and down the Lake and across the Province. We have a seat at the table when the discussion between Industry and Government turns to 'Acceptable Levels of Pollution'. Our knowledge and expertise, our perspective count,” says Gord Downie, co-applicant and Trustee for Lake Ontario.
The cement giant received approvals to burn tires, bone meal, plastics, and other waste from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in December 2006. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Clean Air Bath, and the Loyalist Environmental Coalition appealed the licences to the independent Environmental Review Tribunal. Our groups expressed concerns about impacts on air and water quality, fish populations and fish habitat, as well as human health. When the Environmental Review Tribunal agreed to hear the case, Lafarge and the Ministry of the Environment challenged the Tribunal's decision in Divisional Court. Lafarge and the Ministry lost the judicial review, and Lafarge filed the leave-to-appeal application.
"We can all breathe a little easier," says Waterkeeper and environmental lawyer Mark Mattson. "The courts have made it clear that the Ministry of the Environment must put more effort into reviewing licences to pollute. This means more respect for public input and better consideration for the ecosystem."
A look at the gains and losses this “victory” represents is the subject of this week’s Living at the Barricades.
Extinguished: Lafarge's alternative fuel project rejected (Dec. 9, 2008)
The Ontario Court of Appeal will not hear an appeal from Lafarge Canada Inc about its alternative fuels application. The project proposed to burn old tires and plastic products as an "alternative" fuel source for its Bath, Ontario kilns. On today's show Mark and Krystyn examine the outcome of the case, and consider why this "victory" includes both gains a losses. We also hear from Lake Ontario Waterkeeper's co-applicant Gord Downie, who tells us about why he felt the need to stand up as a citizen of the area.
Music on today's show:
Birds - Dawn Blythe and Dave Clark
Every Time we say Goodbye - Jimmy Scott
Courage - Sarah Polley
Listen to the show...
Listen to this week's show online (right-click to download).