The City of Hamilton is seeking provincial help in its work to clean up the polluted Chedoke Creek, saying it is concerned the Haudenosaunee Development Institute will impede access to the city’s clean-up work this summer.
Lawyers asked a court last week for the province to intervene in the clean-up order as the city and the HDI continue to be at odds over how work should proceed on the contentious project.
The creek was the site of a massive sewage spill that was kept secret over five years by the city, with the 24-billion-litre spill only coming to public attention after a Hamilton Spectator investigation.
The creek feeds an environmentally sensitive and significant wetland in Hamilton, Cootes Paradise, that connects to Lake Ontario.
The city hopes the province will grant them an access order to ensure unimpeded access to the creek.
The case is supposed to be heard by a judicial panel on June 13, a mere days before the $6 million dredging of the creek is expected to begin.
The city has to meet a fall deadline to ensure the clean-up is complete. A previous deadline of last December was pushed to this fall after the HDI stopped clean-up work last August.
HDI representative Aaron Detlor told The Hamilton Spectator that they were not notified of the provincial application.
“I’m tremendously disappointed, but not surprised,” said Detlor. “It seems to me contrary to the honour of the Crown to try to get an order to limit treaty rights and not tell the people who hold the rights.”
He told the Spectator he would be in contact with the city upon learning of the application.
“What the city wants is for (us) to just sit on the site and watch them undertake work … when we don’t know whether it is a real cleanup or not,” he told the Spectator.
The HDI is seeking $400,000 from the city to have environmental monitors involved in the clean up work.
Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly has suggested calling the police if anyone impedes clean-up work.
The clean-up deadline is Oct. 31.