On Thursday evening, after three days of motion hearings in our Chemical Valley Charter Challenge, our Sarnia team emerged from courtroom no. 8 in Toronto’s Osgoode Hall exhausted but determined.
We were in court because we believe all Canadians have a right to breathe clean air and that the provincial government has a responsibility to protect Ontario families from unsafe amounts of industrial pollution. Ron Plain and Ada Lockridge, two members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, are suing the government over a decision to approve more pollution in Sarnia’s notorious industrial area, widely known as Chemical Valley. Suncor Energy, one of the oil companies responsible for Sarnia’s pollution and a party named in the lawsuit, wanted the case dismissed.
We talked more about the case on Tuesday, but the quick and dirty version of our court appearance is that we were fighting two separate motions filed by the government and Suncor that threatened to exclude most of the evidence we introduced in April 2011, and a separate motion by Suncor to dismiss the case.
We didn’t get a chance to argue our own motion, which sought to protect Ron and Ada from having to pay any costs to Suncor or Ontario if they lose this case. Our lawyers will consult with lawyers from the government and Suncor to determine a date for that motion hearing.
Ron and Ada made their way back to Sarnia on Thursday night, but before they left they had this to say about their experience over the last several days: