BURKE WRONG ON GERMAN MILLS MEADOW

Over the past several months residents may have heard information about testing being done at the former Sabisont Landfill in the Don Mills and John area.  A great deal of incorrect information was posted on the ratepayer website and I was denied the opportunity to post a response as the local Councillor and Chair of the German Mills Liaison Group.

Former Sabiston Landfill.  Mayor Scarpitti and I disagreed strongly over whether to implement a pilot aerobic remediation project to speed up the settlement of this former operating landfill in the Don Mills and John area.  In the end, working closely with residents very committed to what is now an incredible green space, my Motion to put an end to the project and re-designate this area as the German Mills Meadow and Natural Habitat was successful.  I’m very proud of that and the things we are now doing to further protect and enhance the Meadow.

Recent controversy – As a municipality we have an on-going responsibility to monitor landfills for both the methane emitted into the air as well as leachate (essentially liquid waste) which seeps into the ground.  Expert consultants recommended the installation of 11 small wells at 8 locations around the perimeter of the former landfill, particularly to determine whether the flow was heading in a direction towards the German Mills Creek.  While the residents I had appointed to a Liaison Group as well as my opponent in this election were opposed to these new wells, it was the absolutely correct thing to do and I stand by the decision.  We now have preliminary test results which confirm that this was the appropriate course of action and frankly to do otherwise would have been irresponsible and put the German Mills Creek at risk of contamination. 

Serious issues and important decisions are made which affect you every day.  I take that responsibility seriously and I’ve had the best interests of our community in mind with every decision I’ve made.  They may not have always been the popular ones but I tried to ensure they were the correct ones.  In this case, the evidence is now clear – to do as Ms. Burke suggested in supporting a delay in the well installation and testing would have been irresponsible and the preliminary data support the correct decision was made.

This is indeed a beautiful green space and I pledge to do everything I can, working with you, to continue to protect this natural habitat.