With its illogical decision to approve the landfill creatively branded by the proponents as the Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre, the provincial Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has once again shown its true colours. The project offers very few benefits – and very real environmental and other risks – to those who live nearby. Indeed, the only real benefit is to the proponents’ bottom line.
Despite my suspicion that this project was a done deal from the get-go, I dared to hope otherwise, only to have those hopes dashed along with those of all the other people who figured out that this project is both foolish and unnecessary. Minister Glen R. Murray and his staff appear to have taken the proponents’ assertions at face value, and there is no reason to think that proper independent scrutiny has taken place. The Ministry has seemingly failed to give due consideration to the evidence showing that the site is unsuitable, as attested by the knowledgeable lay people and scientific experts who presented a differing point of view.
From a cynical perspective, there is little political cost to throwing the little people in rural communities under the bus, as appears to have happened here. But decisions such as this can only serve to further tarnish the Ministry’s and the Ontario government’s reputation and to further erode public trust in our institutions. As we have seen lately around the world, there are very real consequences when the authorities that have been put in place to protect us choose to disregard the common good.