More details on Council's back-room dealings...
 
  ●  Dump Support unearthed - Ottawa Sun - March 16, 2006
  Trash deal sickens Carp Rd. opponents - Ottawa Sun - March 16, 2006
  Political smell to landfill vote - Ottawa Citizen EDITORIAL - March 17, 2006
●  Digging into the real deal - Ottawa Sun - March 17, 2006

(BELOW)


From the...
  
March 16, 2006

Dump support unearthed

Papers show majority of councillors OK'd expansion behind closed doors

By DEREK PUDDICOMBE, OTTAWA SUN



Commuters travel west on Highway 417, towards the Carp Rd. landfill site, yesterday. Opponents of the site are stunned to learn council in 2001 supported the landfill’s expansion. (Sean Kilpatrick, SUN)

CITY COUNCIL voted almost unanimously in favour of expanding the Carp Rd. landfill facility at an in-camera session five years ago, minutes from the meeting reveal.

The June 27, 2001 council meeting minutes include the decision from the in-camera session where the settlement agreement was discussed, show that, with the exception of Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Jacques Legendre, all councillors and the mayor voted to expedite expansion of the landfill site if it passed a provincial environmental assessment.

Also voting in favour was then Coun. Alex Munter, who is now a candidate for mayor. The minutes also show all members of council were present for the vote.

However, almost five years later, Mayor Bob Chiarelli seems to be thinking differently.

PROVINCIAL DECISION

Chiarelli said yesterday that even if the the province puts its stamp of approval on the expansion plans, the city could still decide the site is not environmentally sound.

However, he also said the city may have no choice but to go along with the provincial decision.

"It would be difficult for the city to oppose it," said Chiarelli.

Goulbourn Coun. Janet Stavinga, who was a councillor in 2001, and who along with several members of the community living near the dump have been leading the fight against the expansion, is out of the country and not available for comment.

Yesterday, the Sun revealed the city signed an agreement with landfill operators six months after amalgamation that stated the city would agree and expedite any landfill expansion if an environmentally sound proposal was made.

Chiarelli said the city could force the issue to the Ontario Municipal Board, but admitted it would be unlikely it would overrule the province's proposal.

Waste Management, the company that operates the Carp Rd. site, said it expects the city's support if the environmental assessment favoured an expansion.

"City support would be contingent on a provincially approved EA (environmental assessment)," said Wayne French, WM's market area manager for community and municipal affairs. "That's where the city support would come in."

French said the recent controversy around expansion of the landfill is all part of the environmental assessment debate that could last two to three years before it's settled.

"Hopefully, through the process we can address their concerns and at the end of the day have the majority of people on side," said French.

A two-page motion to be introduced at a special council meeting called by the mayor for March 23 will ask for a more comprehensive assessment.

West Carleton Coun. Eli El-Chantiry said the height of the landfill, leachate management and annual intake, should be included in the provincial environmental assessment.

"I want guarantees we will not accept Toronto garbage," he said.

derek.puddicombe@ott.sunpub.com

 


From The Ottawa Sun...
  
March 16, 2006

Trash deal sickens Carp Rd. opponents

By JORGE BARRERA, OTTAWA SUN

Carp Rd. dump opponents were stunned by news yesterday that the city cut a closed-door deal with landfill operators to expand the dump and are now considering legal action to stop the project.

"I am sick to my stomach. We feel betrayed," said Gilles Chasles, chairman of the No Dump committee. "We have been lied to."

The Sun uncovered a 2001 agreement with Canadian Waste Services, now Waste Management, committing the city to supporting the dump's expansion

WON'T RELY ON CITY

Chasles, a Stittsville resident, said the grassroots opposition movement won't rely on the city to help stall the project and will take on WM, the dump's owner, head-on to stop the expansion.

"We can play ball with Waste Management. No problem," said Chasles.

Stittsville lawyer Peter Mantas said there are several lawyers involved with the opposition and court action is being seriously considered.

"We are definitely considering our legal options," said Mantas. "This is sort of a last resort. We don't want to go down that road."

 
 
"I am sick to my stomach. We feel betrayed," said Gilles Chasles, chairman of the No Dump committee. "We have been lied to."

 
 

John MacMillan, who runs ottawalandfillwatch.org, said the city should stall the environmental approval process for the expansion and do its own investigation.

Olivia Nixon, a founding member of the Richardson Corridor Community Association, said other city residents need to pick up the fight.

"People need to understand this is not good for the city in the long term," said Nixon, whose group began with a dozen families on Wilber Cox Dr.

jorge.barrera@ott.sunpub.com 

 

From the...


EDITORIAL:

Political smell to landfill vote

The Ottawa Citizen

Friday, March 17, 2006


A document shows that council, when no one was looking, thought expanding the Carp Road landfill was the answer to the city's waste problems -- which suggests that council's current opposition is political pandering.

Goulbourn Councillor Janet Stavinga, Mayor Bob Chiarelli and mayoral candidate and former councillor Alex Munter were in attendance at a council meeting when elected representatives got behind a plan to expand the Carp Road facility.

In fact, the settlement agreement between the municipality and three waste companies sounds mildly enthusiastic.

"(The city) will expedite the consideration of any necessary municipal zoning, official plan amendment, site plan or building permit applications as applicable ... provided an environmentally sound proposal is made ...," the document said. The agreement goes on to say that the city will support landfill diversion activities and "any applications for provincial approval, including Certificate(s) of Approval or amendments thereto ..."

 
 
Goulbourn Councillor Janet Stavinga, Mayor Bob Chiarelli and mayoral candidate and former councillor Alex Munter were in attendance at a council meeting when elected representatives got behind a plan to expand the Carp Road facility.

...Five years later as municipal elections approach, Ms. Stavinga is on the barricades, defending her constituents' quality of life against the tripling of the Carp Road landfill's capacity.

...Where was she in 2001 in a secret meeting when her constituents would have demanded representation?

 
 

That decision was just about as buried as one can be. It was made at a closed meeting, just a few months after the new city's first council was elected. Voters (if they had found out about the deal at all, which was unlikely) would have had three years to forget the decision before the next election -- one of the oldest political tricks in the book. All very hush-hush, on the QT.

Five years later as municipal elections approach, Ms. Stavinga is on the barricades, defending her constituents' quality of life against the tripling of the Carp Road landfill's capacity.

Obviously, the secret deal has been revealed at an inopportune time for Ms. Stavinga. Could she have not read the paragraph on the deal or misunderstood its significance? That's possible, but it does not absolve her of responsibility for it. Where was she in 2001 in a secret meeting when her constituents would have demanded representation?

Both Mr. Munter and Mr. Chiarelli signed on to the deal in 2001. Thus it will be difficult for them to champion the landfill interests of west Ottawa residents. Blame, if any is to be apportioned, falls equally on their shoulders.

And we can only hope that the next time these three politicians agree to such a plan, the deliberations are conducted publicly.

Fortunately, given the actions of council on this issue, final approval authority for the landfill resides with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. However, the city, as a stakeholder to the decision, will have influence on that final decision so its opinion is significant.

Ms. Stavinga, seconded by West Carleton Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, has produced a monstrous five-page motion on the issue, to be discussed on Thursday. It is so complicated that council refused to discuss it at its last meeting.

The document calling for an exploration of other landfill sites and new technologies is so onerous that any resolution will likely occur after the November election. That should suit the politicians associated with the 2001 deal just fine.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2006
 

  
March 17, 2006

Digging into the real deal

Jorge Barrera examines how money binds city to controversial dump

By JORGE BARRERA, OTTAWA SUN

The city is poised to begin talks with Waste Management of Canada to extend a contract that sets out how much garbage Ottawa must send to the Carp Rd. dump and how much it pays for the service.

The city is nearing the end of its current contract, which was hatched in secret. It's legally bound to begin negotiations before the current deal expires on Sept. 30 of this year according to a copy of a 2001 settlement agreement the city signed with dump owner Waste Management (WM).

The agreement, which was given to councillors as a reminder by WM during recent meetings, spells out the details of the current arrangement.

 
 
The city saved millions of dollars with the 2001 agreement, but sold its waste management soul to WM in the process.

 
 

WM says the city has yet to initiate talks. The company is ready for negotiations "whenever we get the call," said Wayne French, a senior official with the Houston-based, multinational firm.

City staff did not return phone calls, despite repeated attempts.

The 2001 document exposes a large gap between what municipal politicians and staff have said about the current Carp Rd. dump expansion controversy and the reality of the city's relationship with the dump owner. The relationship was sealed behind closed doors.

The city saved millions of dollars with the 2001 agreement, but sold its waste management soul to WM in the process.

GOT A DEAL

The city got a deal paying only $38 a tonne for garbage going to the Carp Rd. site. The city shaved $9 off the previous $47 a tonne price but committed to send over 30% of its yearly residential garbage to Carp Rd. If the portion dropped, the city would be on the hook for the difference, undercutting waste diversion projects over the past five years.

"Unless the city has delivered the amounts required ... to the landfill in any one contract year, the city shall pay, and (WM) will be given credit for ... any amount equal to the shortfall in any such waste multiplied by the disposal rates," states the agreement.

The 30% commitment is up for negotiation.

WM has made much of the 90% it says is set aside for city garbage. But that percentage hinges on getting the 30% of city waste. The less residential garbage goes to the dump, the less room WM saves for the city. The city is bound by this sliding arrangement for the life of the dump. If it agrees to send less trash this time around, WM will have more room to bring in outside garbage.

"If, however, during any year, this percentage disposed of were to drop below 30%, the percentage allocated would also drop as indicated above, and so on from time to time until closure of the ... landfill," states the agreement.

Much to the dismay of dump opponents, French said the site could still make money if the city drastically cut its garbage shipments to Carp Rd. The dump has a certificate allowing it to take in trash from anywhere in Ontario.

NOTHING CHEAPER

"I guess it could (make money)," said French. "But it affects your position."

It is highly unlikely the city could find a cheaper garbage solution and with finances tight, the Carp Rd. dump is still the cheapest and easiest. It could also be legally perilous to cut off ties.

Under the 2001 agreement, which settled a long-running battle over a controversial bylaw, the city is bound to begin current contract negotiations with the intention of extending their relationship with WM.

"The city shall, in good faith enter into negotiations with (WM) to discuss the reasonable terms of an extension to such delivery of waste by the city to the (Carp) landfill," states the agreement.

While greener garbage solutions sound attractive, they could end up creating a financial and legal burden few taxpayers would be willing to carry.

The agreement also put the city in the loop on WM's expansion plans. WM said it would spend $7.5 million on its plans and report yearly to the city on how it spent the money.

Opponents of the Carp Rd. site may be beginning to realize their fight is five years too late. It is now up the Ministry of Environment to approve the environmental assessment for the expansion.

With a U.S. backlash growing against Toronto trash, grassroots concerns may get crushed under the grinding weight of necessity.

jorge.barrera@ott.sunpub.com 
 


Ottawa Sun - March 18/05 - Letter to the Editor ...How nice to read about one councillor who chose to dissent on the expansion request in 2001. Read More

Mar. 18 - 2006    City hauled into court - The Ottawa Sun


 
Previous Stories:

Mar. 15 - 2006    City inked landfill agreement in '01 -The Ottawa Sun

Mar. 07 - 2006   Incineration debate stuck in past era, air quality expert says

Mar. 04  - 2006   Letters to Editor: "Incineration experts" and "Councillors' failure"

Feb  25 - 2006   RCOC believes 'sound planning' means waste treatment at source:


 

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