Tuesday, May 29, 2012


"The Brownfield Remediation Program was started in 2006 in Kitchener by Boutilier (Terry). It was later adopted by the Region of Waterloo.". This is a quote from today's Waterloo Region Record story titled "City gives developer nearly $600,000 for cleanup around Breithaupt Street". This story is singing the praises of Terry Boutilier a longtime retiring employee of the City of Kitchener. Without intending in any way to comment on his entire tenure with the City I must however advise that boy I wish I had a job that entailed handing out money to people and businesses. Sort of seems like a breeze on the surface.

This program obviously has its' admirers. What I wonder is who is asking the difficult questions? This is taxpayers money. Why are taxpayers forking out big bucks to clean up old contaminated sites? Are our environmental laws so profoundly rotten that owners of contaminated sites can simply walk away? Is the enforcement of the laws so shoddy that owners can simply walk away? Who are the current owners and what ever happened to buyer beware? What was the name of these old industrial businesses. I find that very strange that the addresses are given out on Breithaupt and Moore St. in Kitchener but not the name of the business.

Is this whole program an obvious symptom of our hypocrisy? Do we talk sustainability and practice the opposite? Do we continue to allow if not reward environmental pigs in our industrial and manufacturing sectors? Is this not a huge disincentive to companies who are making environmental decisions? Why on earth would a company decide to clean up their own mess if they know they can walk away from it and the taxpayers will bail them out? Is this also a conflict of interest? Are any of these city or regional councillors recipients of developers political contributions? That is most likely a yes response. Money unfortunately is what has long shaped decision making by politicians. It's not supposed to but it's basic human nature. You pat my back and I pat yours. You are a political supporter; what can I do for you.

Last but not least. How clean is clean? If the incompetent and grotesque Ontario Ministry of the Environment (M.O.E.) are supervising and approving the cleanup without outside oversight then it's most likely inadequate. Who besides the developer, the City and the M.O.E. have access to the technical reports describing the contamination and remediation? If they are not available to the public who are footing the bill, then this whole program is highly suspect. It is probably one more big taxpayer ripoff, thank you very much.

No comments:

Post a Comment