Toronto organizations resign from official committee for waterfront power plant

    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - Today community organizations resigned and
walked away from a committee mandated by Ontario's Ministry of Energy for
Toronto's waterfront power plant. Without the 'Community Liaison Committee',
the plant owners, Ontario Power Generation and TransCanada Energy Limited,
will not be in compliance with government approvals.
    A speaker for the departing organizations, Dennis Findlay of the Port
Lands Action Committee, said "although the people of this community have been
represented on the Liaison Committee, we have been frustrated by the lack of
willingness to respond to our requests and recommendations in a timely,
constructive and productive way. Owner-representatives have delayed and
rendered the Committee useless, using tactics, such as:

    -  refusing to open site plans in order to respond to landscape questions
       and recommendations;
    -  failing to develop a Terms of Reference process within Ministry of
       Environment timelines;
    -  failing to agree to a fair dispute-resolution mechanism. PEC's
       proposal that disputes would be decided by their Board of Directors is
       clearly not acceptable.
    -  walking out at the start of a meeting which broke quorum and thus
       terminated the meeting;

    The organizations involved are no longer willing to be a part of the
charade the Committee has become."
    Susan Butler, life time East End resident and East End Community Health
Centre Board member stated, "Studies show that the people of South Riverdale
and the Beach have the highest death and hospitalization rates from air
pollution in Toronto. For this reason Toronto's Medical Officer of Health
called for an environmental assessment to determine what effect the proposed
plant would have on residents' health.
    The Community Liaison Committee was set up to allow input into the
design, construction and operation of the plant. John Carley of Friends of the
Spit noted that "This Committee was intended as an opportunity-albeit a small
one-to help mitigate any negative affects of the power plant on community
health, land and the environment. A wonderful opportunity existed to integrate
the entire landscape of the Portlands Energy Centre with the Spit and with the
proposed Lake Ontario Park. This landscape integration would have met many of
the City's objectives and those of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization
Corporation (now WATERFRONToronto)."
    We will continue to work with our member organizations as citizens
concerned with health of community members and meet as a group to look at
positive ways to have an impact on smog control awareness, conservation of
electricity, land use and ecology planning issues and of course at
improvements to the water, soil and air quality in our city. We have lots of
work to do.

For further information:

For further information: Dennis Findlay, phone (416) 961-8046

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