The release of contaminants into Chedoke Creek over a four year span is completely unacceptable. This information has left me disgusted and angry.
There is clarity needed though on the suggestion of a coverup by Council. Although this is the impression some believe from the media coverage, it is not the case.
The leak of contaminants into Chedoke Creek was first made public by Council in the summer of 2018, where investigations were started by external legal counsel. There was no attempt by Council not let the public know about the leak itself.
There were media articles and coverage in local newspapers. Next steps were for staff to research the data on the volume of contaminants and further details on the failure to be brought to Council as soon as possible after the 2018 election.
This week at the General Issues Committee Special Budget meeting on Monday November 25, waste water staff and Councillors discussed implementing a change to the monitoring of approximately 130 CSO locations, which are currently monitored by computer, to now be manually checked monthly by staff as directed by Council.
Another important piece of information which staff provided is that Hamilton Conservation Authority also collects water samples on a regular basis across the city, including water samples from Chedoke Creek.
The water sample data is then provided to the Province / Ministry of the Environment. During the span of the leak, staff confirmed the city did not hear from the Ministry on any elevated contaminant counts from Chedoke Creek.
I am very pleased to support the motions by Councillor Clark to create new protocols and policies to share consultants’ reports with Council and the public when there are risks to health and safety. This motion will hopefully be ratified at Council this coming Wednesday November 27 night.
We cannot take back our actions. It is through these new protocols and commitments that Council can hopefully start to gain back some trust from our residents. There is much work to be done, which on behalf of all taxpayers, I am committed to do.
Councillor Judi Partridge