Cornwall Ontario – At least one city councilor is speaking loud and clearly about the Chemical Tanks that the Federal Government has green lit to be constructed on Cornwall’s Waterfront. Lands that clearly have been ear marked to be de industrialized and geared to fit into tourism and residential development. The land where the tank construction has started is next to the Legion Baseball Diamonds and across from the largest Condo development in the city.
City Councilor Andre Rivette shared an email on 12/07/2013 03:25 PM that he sent to a concerned voter which he said he will be repeating Monday night in Council.
Thanks for your e-mail, I would like to be straight up with my feeling on this issue.
I will only support a motion that states “That the Federal Government cancel the lease they signed and that they remediate the property to it’s original state before this project started.
I will not support any compromise !!
I hope this make my feeling clear on this MESS that has occurred in regards to the proposed tanks. This makes no sense at all with all the investments the City and the private sectors have put in to our waterfront over the years to have the Federal government pull a stunt like this.
Councilor Carr via telephone echoed Mr. Rivette’s statement.
All the effort and time that’s been put into the waterfront and the future of the waterfront; I don’t think these tanks should be a part of it.
Ironically Mayor Bob Kilger has yet to publicly state that he is against the tanks in spite of the clear resistance shown by the public. His first quote on the subject was that the tanks wouldn’t be that high and not that visible. That statement seemed odd as he said he wasn’t aware of the project which later turned out to be a lie as he officially knew in November 2013, a month before the story went public in December and nearly one year after Transport Canada stated that the City was made aware, in February and April of 2013.
The question now is who in Economic Development knew, Kevin Lajoie, Bob Peters, or Mark Boileau(or all of them) and who did they share it with? IE Norm Levac or Mayor Kilger? Or why it was never stated in their monthly reports to Council? Also, if there’s a connection between Councilor Thibault leaving the Waterfront Development committee during the last communication from Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. and the City?
Council was caught mostly unaware of the development until the construction of the tanks started as was the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
Chief Brian David spoke with CFN One on One about the tanks and about Land Claims in the region in General.
Chief David stated that the MCA found out about the tanks via the media. He then pointed out to CFN that the Federal Government, in their own documents, have an onus and duty to consult before starting such construction.
In particular it clearly states that “The duty cannot be delegated to third parties” which puts into play the whole process.
As a matter of fact these lands have been debated before with Akwesasne willing to partner with the city to develop a “free trade zone” and other purposes, but the city of Cornwall rejected the appeal of Mike Mitchell at the time.
When you look at Anti-frakking protests to the East and West, Big Ben, our City Dump possibly leaching waste through the bedrock into the area water system, and the fact that the MCA helped stave off nuclear waste being boated by us could this be a hot button topic? Is that possibly why construction has ceased?
CFN located a confidential document written by former CAO Paul Fitzpatrick, as well as a letter from Mr. Mitchell to Cornwall at the time appealing for Council to change its mind and work with the MCA. Mr. Mitchell’s appeal fell on deaf ears at the time.
Trillium Distribution Cornwall Inc. which was only registered as a Corporation in October 2013 may end up in a windfall. Rumors are that they originally tried to set up in Kaneb owned tanks in Morrisburg and were rebuffed and that with a NDP MP in nearby Valleyfield (where most of the road chemicals are rumored to be headed) “someone” thought it made sense to simply lease out the old tank farms which had been remediated years ago at tax payer expense. If as expected, the Feds kill the project, Trillium may have to be made whole depending on the language of the ten year lease the Federal government generously gave them.
Off the record even some Environment Canada officials were upset as no assessments were done for the project or consultation.
MP Guy Lauzon states that he knew nothing about the tanks, but also has not come out and condemned them or demanded that they be removed.
Chuck Charlebois will be speaking to Council Monday night and there’s a ridiculous meeting set up Tuesday between all parties that Mr. Charlebois has now been invited to attend.
At the end of the day most tax payers at all levels simply want straight up answers.
Who ok’d all of this? Who knew and why wasn’t it shared with the people of Cornwall long before construction started with no public consultations or any steps to protect residents and development of the struggling River City?
And with Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Elections all lining up within the next 18 months is this the type of issue that will weigh on voters decisions?
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