Brief: Environmental Responsibility and City Accountability – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Hello Mayor Provenzano,

I appreciate you taking the time to address the media regarding the city’s concerns about the recent ASI spill on June 9, 2022. However, I feel that the City has taken a “NIMBY” attitude towards ASI’s environmental responsibility for past pollution of the river. She and the city have not acknowledged any of the previous 2019 spills (March 9 and October 18). The local media reports on the recent oil spill made no reference to how ASI was on trial the previous day (June 8) over an October 18, 2019 oil spill. The March 9 and October 18, 2019 oil spills were not directly reported by the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma Public Health (APH), Department of the Environment. Conservation and Parks (MECP), Algoma Steel Inc. (ASI) and local First Nation Chiefs. Local leadership has not shown a real commitment to the environment in our community. It has been ineffective to openly address the public’s concerns and has not participated in meaningful discussions in ASI’s Community Liaison Committee (ACLC) meetings. Our community is fortunate to have the Canadian and US Coast Guards involved in the containment and assessment of the spill. Your involvement also played a significant role in holding our current leadership accountable to recognize the importance of continuing to protect our freshwater bodies.

I have submitted several FOI requests for documentation and correspondence from the city regarding ASI pollution of the river in 2019. According to the city’s decision letters and published documents, there were no corresponding records of pollution of the river by ASI operations in 2019. I currently have an appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) to determine if there is any correspondence from MP Terry Sheehan and MPP Ross Romano to the City regarding spills of ASI into the river as the City claims there is no such correspondence records exist. I will be filing a fictitious denial with the IPC for a MECP FOI that has requested documents and correspondence provided by the MECP to the City, the Mayor’s Office and MPP Romano regarding 2019 river spills. I don’t think you and the city are about to do this, and these appeals may confirm my feelings. I believe any outcome of the appeals will not make the city appear very positive about its apparent commitment to protecting our freshwater bodies. If, according to the appeals, there are no relevant records, this shows that the city does not care about the pollution of the river. If any documents emerged from these appeals, it demonstrates how city officials and your office have deliberately withheld documents requested under the Freedom of Information Procedure.

Councilor Gardi expressed on his Twitter account how Canada must protect our fresh waters through a robust system. I’m sure Canada expects our local leadership to do their part and be responsible for their own problems. Ignoring ASI’s environmental concerns will not result in the protection Councilor Gardi expects. The city could see more pollution if our leadership continues to fail to address concerns brought to their attention.

The city has generally shown a lack of environmental responsibility and accountability for its contribution to our global climate crisis. Algoma Steel is ranked in the top 15 in Canada for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and in the top 5 in Ontario for GHG emissions. The city’s approach to combating the climate crisis was to add more greenhouse gases with a ferrochrome manufacturing plant (FPF). The FPF offer (Proposal) was a selling point and at the time did not consider the environmental and health impacts. The environment was not a priority or serious consideration in the FPF application as ASI’s EAF transition was not a reality at the time. Most of the letters of support that accompanied the city’s bid were from businesses and educational institutions promoting themselves and their benefits to Noront. Chief Dean Sayers’ letter was one of only two letters I have read that related to the importance of the safety of residents and the environment. Political will is the only way an FPF has a place in the Sault. It clearly does not belong on a property where the owner is not being held accountable to the environment and community residents by our local leadership.

I am not aware if anyone reads what I send as there have been no meaningful replies and discussions to most correspondence since 2019. Mr. John Naccarato (ASI) has claimed that some of the materials contain “misinformation and inaccuracies” but his company has still not specified what specifically they relate to. I would strongly encourage anyone who has received correspondence from me to take the time to review it and comment as appropriate. I will send some of the information to Governor Whitmer and the US EPA in the coming weeks. This could lead to more serious discussions between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, MECP, City of Sault Ste. Marie, APH and local First Nations to protect our fresh water and the health of our residents.

Many Thanks,

Selva Rasaja

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