Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Winter Rain Does A Number On The Ottawa River

- February 24th, 2014

I stopped writing about every combined sewer overflow some time ago because it happens rather frequently, as you can see.

But since it’s a new year and the topic has been in the news, I thought I would highlight the most recent entry in that list. Rain last Friday caused more than 13 cubic metres of sewage to spill from the sewers into the Ottawa River (1 m3 = 1,000 litres).

Winter rain can test the combined sewers since they’re swallowing rainfall and snowmelt, and we have had plenty of snow this season.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Rod Bryden The Comic (?) Answers Question On History

- August 22nd, 2013

I put the question mark in the title because I think Bryden is joking here, but he delivers the answer with a completely straight face.

During the press conference after today’s environment committee meeting on Plasco, the Citizen’s David Reevely asked Bryden about the businessman’s ventures of the past, like World Heart, and how they inform people’s views of the Plasco project.

The video:

You might have heard Reevely’s off-microphone “Is that the best that you have?” before Bryden continued.

Bryden went on and gave a more fulsome and honest answer. He talked a bit about how people once doubted that Ottawa could have an NHL team again and build a new arena. (He owned the Sens from 1992-2003). He acknowledged the Plasco project has taken much longer and cost much more than first anticipated, but the prospect of the technology making a massive difference in global waste management keeps the company chugging along.

However, I will forever remember his first response and the line, “Yes, the Plasco system is not implantable.”

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Live Blog: Environment Committee Considers Plasco Extension

- August 22nd, 2013

Watson’s Letter To Environment Minister On Carp Rd. Dump

- March 27th, 2013

Watson Letter to Bradly Waste Mgmt EA by jon_willing1074

Alleged Paint Discharge At Lansdowne Could Cost City

- March 7th, 2013

From the city’s top lawyer…

Sent: March 07, 2013 4:07 PM
To: Watson, Jim (Mayor/Maire); =City Council
Cc: + Management – Executives; Young, George; Arpin, Serge; Box, Steve; White, David; Huxley, Stuart; Allaire, Lisa
Subject: Environment Canada – Charge – Fisheries Act

Sent on behalf of M. Rick O’Connor, City Clerk and Solicitor
De la part de M. Rick O’Connor, Greffier et Chef du contentieux

French version to follow/La version française suivra

Mayor Watson and Members of Council:

The purpose of this e-mail is to advise Members of Council that yesterday afternoon, Environment Canada advised my Office that it has commenced a prosecution against the City of Ottawa under the federal Fisheries Act. I understand that this matter relates to an incident that occurred on October 22nd, 2011, at Lansdowne Park. In short, the allegation is that during staff’s cleaning/washing of a line-painting machine (the machine used to mark lines on the then exiting sports-field at Frank Clair Stadium), some paint/wash was allegedly discharged into a storm sewer which ultimately flows into the Rideau Canal.

Lansdowne staff cooperated with the federal Department’s investigation into this matter in late 2011 and early 2012. Although the City has not yet been served with the charging document, we are advised that the charge is under Subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. This provision provides that no person shall deposit a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish. The range of possible fines for such offences is determined by a number of factors, including the extent of any discharge. The legislation provides for varying maximum fines and there is no statutory minimum fines. Generally speaking, the maximum fine would be up to $300,000. However, based on my understanding of the circumstances of this case, I do not anticipate that a fine, if imposed, would be at the maximum range.

My Office will be contacting Environment Canada to coordinate the service of the charging document and to confirm the first court appearance date which I currently understand to be March 27th, 2013. Finally, I will undertake to advise Members of Council of significant developments relating to this matter.

I trust that the above is satisfactory.

M. Rick O’Connor, CMO
Certified Specialist (Municipal Law: Local Government) | Spécialiste agréé (Loi sur les municipalités: gouvernement local)
City Clerk and Solicitor | Greffier de la Ville et chef du contentieux
City of Ottawa | ville d’Ottawa