YOU ASKED: What's happening on the Manson Site?

Well, the latest report from the City of Toronto Building Division, East District, dated November 8, 2002, states that the Ministry of Environment's audit of the site will soon be finalized and that the Ministry of Labour continues to monitor the site.

Until October 2001, the CCRA, the West Rouge Community Association and Port Union Village Homeowners Association met regularly with representatives from the City, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Labour, Department of Health and the Peer Reviewer, at Public Review Committee Meetings. The demolition consultant was occasionally there, as were representatives of MPP Steve Gilchrist and City Councillor Ron Moeser. However, since the last meeting on October 30, 2001, the community associations have, in effect, been shut out of the process. The CCRA is receiving no news about this site, other than very brief, updates from the City of Toronto every two-weeks.

Despite CCRA requests, the City has refused to hold Public Review Committee meetings since October 2001. The City claims that there is no money for such meetings. (Yes, this is the same City that wants to spend $6m on an unnecessary and unwanted Port Union road-widening project.) Having no meetings has resulted in a complete lack of opportunity to get together with the other stakeholders to learn about, or to question the step-by-step details of the project since October of last year. This includes the huge concrete removal process and the details of the health and safety procedures (asbestos protection for the community) that were in place at that time. The only information that the community associations has received, and continues to receive is the regular, brief, two-weekly bulletins from the City's Buildings staff.

The Provincial Ministries of Environment and Labour have been involved throughout the process but on several occasions it was the community who alerted the Ministry staff to site activity, when the Ministries would otherwise have been unaware of it. More than once throughout the whole process it was members of the community who alerted the Ministry staff to work being conducted without the legislated asbestos removal procedures in place. On those occasions Ministry representatives visited the site, but unless that representative personally witnessed a violation of the regulations, no action was taken. (We should be truly thankful that our police service doesn't work in the same manner. If it did, nobody would be convicted of murder, theft, assault, fraud or any other crime, unless that crime was actually witnessed by a police officer!!!)

The factory is down and the resulting mountains of concrete have been removed from the site.

Yellow Moon, the owner of the site wants to build a housing development and 2 schools on the land.

The second phase of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing will probably take place very soon and the financial cost to the CCRA for legal representation will be huge.

As and when more information becomes available it will be passed on through the CCRA newsletter and website.

Gay Cowbourne
CCRA Representative
Public Review Committee
Manson Demolition and Site Remediation Project