TORONTO—Ecojustice commends the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) Dianne Saxe’s calls for the provincial government to tackle issues of environmental justice in the spirit of reconciliation, in a report released today.
“It is at least the fifth time that the Commissioner has expressed serious concerns about the government’s failure to protect the health of the people of Aamjiwnaang First Nation,” said Ecojustice lawyer Kaitlyn Mitchell.
“People living in Chemical Valley are still poorly protected from unacceptable levels of pollution that contribute to serious health concerns for the community.”
Last week, Ecojustice filed an application on behalf of our client, Vanessa Gray, demanding the province fully investigate a February flaring incident at Imperial Oil that rattled windows, filled the air with a foul smell, and poured volatile chemicals into the atmosphere.
“The incident at Imperial Oil is but one example of the ongoing affronts to the health of people living in close quarters with industrial development. It is our hope that the Ontario government will finally take these concerns seriously, and commit to overhaul how it regulates cumulative emissions,” Mitchell said.
Ecojustice is currently involved in a separate lawsuit against the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for his eight-year delay in reviewing how the province regulates cumulative emissions.
Ecojustice lawyer Kaitlyn Mitchell, and Dr. Elaine MacDonald, Health Communities Program Director, are available for comment on the contents of the report, and our work to seek justice in Chemical Valley.