King Environmental Groups

July 07, 2005 08:45 ET

MAJOR LAWSUIT LAUNCHED AGAINST YORK REGION RE: OAK RIDGES MORAINE

Attention: City Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 7, 2005) - An application for judicial review is being filed today in the Ontario Divisional Court alleging widespread failures by the Region of York to comply with Oak Ridges Moraine protection legislation regarding the authorization and construction of the York Durham Sewer System, also known as the "Big Pipe".

The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, 2001 and Plan are designed to protect this highly sensitive environment. "However, it appears the Region has largely ignored this legislation. It's shameful that the Province brings in special protection for this area, but when it's time to implement it the Region seems to believe most of it doesn't apply" said Harvey Tenenbaum, spokesperson for King City Preserve the Village, the organization formally filing the application.

"The Region and Ministry of the Environment have acknowledged the project must comply with the Act and Plan" said Eric Gillespie, legal counsel on the application. "However, they suggest only a small portion has to be met before construction proceeds. This case will almost certainly be precedent setting, because for the first time a court will be asked to indicate just how broad these protections actually are" he said.

"There are major requirements, such as a Watershed Plan that can affect thousands of people across the entire area, that do not appear to have been done" said Nancy Hopkinson, spokesperson for King Environmental Groups, an area wide coalition also supporting the application. "Municipal governments need to play by the rules too. This application is asking a court to determine if York Region has done so."

/For further information: Harvey Tenenbaum (Preserve the Village 416-691-4167)
Nancy Hopkinson (King Environmental Groups 905-859-0761)/ IN: ENVIRONMENT, JUSTICE, POLITICS, SOCIAL

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