A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 September 13, 1990
MARCH 6, 1990: Orillia City Council begins to participate in three secret meetings on the proposal to build a 3,000 ton-per-day incinerator to burn Torontos municipal solid waste in Orillia. With hopes of an increased tax base and the promise of enhanced economic development, Orillias city council reacts enthusiastically to Ogden Martins proposal. Orillias Mayor, John Palmer, noted on the day of the vote that Ogden Martin has asked council not to reveal any details until tonight, -Orillia Packet & Times, 4-9-90. According to Terry Brady, manager of Orillias Economic Development Commission: They (Ogden) want to stay close to the rail lines. We have the [Canadian Pacific] line to the west and the CNR line in the city, he said. Ogden plans to use rail cars to transport waste for incineration. It would [be] transported by tractor trailers to the plant... Packet & Times, 4-10-90. Ogden plans to build 3 incinerators in Ontario to burn Torontos waste.
APRIL 9, 1990: The City Council of Orillia sign an expression of interest agreement with Ogden Martin for a $500 million, 3,000 tpd mass-burn incinerator in Orillia. Orillia is a resort town with a population of approx. 24,000 located in Simcoe County. Tourists are attracted to the two lakes in Orillia, Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Two miles across Lake Couchiching is the Chippewas of Rama Indian reservation. The land surrounding Orillia is primarily agricultural.
MAY 8, 1990: Residents of Orillia hear Mike deGruchy of Toronto-based Citizens for a Safe Environment at an informational meeting on incineration which leads to the formation of Orillias Stop Incineration Now citizen group.
JUNE 26, 1990: 52 out of 54 doctors in Orillia endorse a report rejecting Ogden Martins proposal. The doctors release a 20-page report titled Hazards of Incineration that recommends Orillia City Council to reject Ogden Martins proposal. According to Dr. Don Philpott, a member of the doctors committee, People can be bamboozled into thinking that acceptable risk means no additional risk, but that is just not true... The Globe and Mail, 7-5-90, page A-11. The doctors report is available from Waste Not for $2.50.
JULY 6, 1990: A letter from Chief George St. Germain of the Chippewas of Rama opposing Ogden Martins proposal was read to the Orillia City Council. The letter read: Rama Council has been approached over the past few years by companies that want to bring garbage to the Reserve...We have turned all offers down although the financial gain would have been beneficial to our development. We have turned them down in consideration of the health of not only our future generations but for the health of the land...However, should we have decided on money over the health of the environment, we would have had the courtesy to communicate with you on our decision. We are disappointed that our council was not notified of your intention when our village is just a breeze away from yours...On behalf of the people of Rama I am voicing the opinion of the majority of the Rama residents in our opposition to the incinerator being in our area.
JULY 1990: Orillia residents poll over 2,000 residents on Ogden Martins proposal. The results were 75% against incineration, 10% for incineration and 15% undecided. A petition was circulated against the incinerator which was signed by approx. 9,000 residents. Two days after the petition was presented, the Orillia City Council announced that they had cancelled the agreement with Ogden Martin, but noted that they may approach Ogden Martin in the future for a smaller incinerator.
JULY 25, 1990: Upset over the loss of a $500 million project, Ogden Martins general counsel, Scott Mackin, sends an intimidating letter to all doctors in Orillia threatening litigation against the doctors unless they withdraw their support of the June 26th report. Mackin warned that any physician who fails to immediately retract all false statements or to notify Ogden Martin of their non-participation or non-endorsement of the report may result in the filing of such lawsuits as Ogden Martin deems appropriate to clear the name and reputation of our company...either intentionally or assuming the best possible motives, the physicians of Orillia recklessly published baseless, libelous statements. Either way one can only infer that (they) intended to defame Ogden Martin. In defense of the report, Dr. Philpott, a member of the Orillia doctors group, said that despite what Ogden Martin said in the letter, the figures were all taken from Ogden Martin - they supplied us with the figures...Obviously the company is trying to suppress our right to speak out on such a matter...But we feel that it is important for physicians to take a stand on public health issues that affect their patients. I think what we did was correct, and what we said was correct, and the fact that we took a stand was correct. And if thats the case, I also dont think that we have a lot to fear. Ontario Medicine, 9-3-90. For a copy of Ogden Martins letter to the doctors, please send a SASE to Waste Not.
JULY 1990: Responding to Ogden Martins intimidation tactics another Orillia doctor endorses the June 26th report, making that 53 out of Orillias 54 doctors recommending Orillia to reject Ogden Martins proposal.
AUGUST 1990: The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) passes a resolution in support of the physicians of Orillia. The OMA has come out in defence of physicians who stick their necks out for the good of public health - and, in particular, 14 Orillia MDs who may be facing legal action. According to a resolution passed recently by the OMAs executive committee, the association strongly defends the right of physicians to present, in public, information on any subject that relates to public health. Further, the resolution said that the OMA supports the physicians of Orillia for having presented a report, entitled the Hazards of Incineration to the city of Orillia in late June... Ontario Medicine, 9-3-90.
AUGUST 1990: Simcoe Countys hires former incinerator operator as County Manager of solid waste management. Orillia city council has decided to participate in a county-wide solid waste management program. Simcoe County appoints Steen Klint as the County Waste Manger in August. According to Coleen Cooney of Orillia, Klint used to operate the solid waste incinerator at Prince Edward Island in Canada and had previously worked for the waste disposal firms of Laidlaw and Tricel. For more information contact Coleen Cooney, Stop Incineration Now, 204 Laclie Street, Orillia, Ontario L3V 4N6, Canada. Telephone: 705-326-0347.