Gordon McGuinty, representing a consortium that seeks to landfill Toronto’s waste residue in the worked-out Adams Mine near Kirkland Lake, Ontario, is suing the Ontario government for $301-million, claiming the provincial government failed to complete a sale of land that the former Progressive Conservative government signed last February. The land adjacent to the abandoned mine is owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and is key to the proposal to use the pit as a waste-disposal site.
According to the claim (dated October 9), the Ministry of Natural Resources offered to sell land essential to the project to Adams Mine Rail Haul on February 17. Mr. McGuinty’s claim seeks $250-million to cover expenses incurred to date in the attempt to turn the abandoned mine into a waste-disposal site as well as the loss of future profits. The claim seeks another $50-million in damages (the estimated commercial value of biogas produced from the proposed dump) and punitive damages of $1-million. On April 11, Adams Mine Rail Haul accepted the offer and paid for the land with a certified cheque of $51,360.
The statement adds, “The defendant [the Ontario government] confirmed on May 6, 2003, that all documents required to transfer good title in the lands to the plaintiff [Adams Mine Rail Haul] had been received and were satisfactory.” The government promised it “would register the necessary documentation to complete the transaction.”
That transfer has not been made, according to the claim.
In further news, the mine owners are on the verge of obtaining a permit to pump millions of litres of water out of the site. The company has applied for a permit to remove 26 million litres per day from the mine for about a year to be followed by the removal of 8.6 million litres per day for another full year. The water would be discharged into a nearby stream.
McGuinty has promoted the project for 14 years and says, “We’ve done everything absolutely the way every statute and piece of legislation indicates. We’re going to move ahead, subject to all of our little roadblocks, and build that landfill.
“We’ve got three million tonnes [of garbage] going to Michigan annually,” he says. “We can only take about a million tonnes a year [at Adams Mine]. We’re doing this government and everybody a favor by putting our money up and building a landfill,” he said.