Today ArcelorMittal Dofasco was fined a mere $390,000 for environmental charges that were laid over a year ago. Of the 13 original charges, Dofasco plead guilty to six, and seven others were entirely dropped. Many residents are incredibly disappointed in the results and feel let down by the Ministry of the Environment. Considering the time it took for them to receive a penalty and that violations in the form of dark smoke plumes appear on average every day and a half, resident Barbara LaFleshe says that the punishment is just a “slap on the wrist”. Many community members would like to see the money put towards community projects and specifically efforts to improve air quality, however everyone is skeptical as to how things will actually play out.
The McAnulty residents won’t just give up though. Today Jay and I went out canvassing with Barbara, who has lived in the area for many many years. We met at her house, beautifully tucked behind two large trees on her front lawn (to which she’s hoping to add a third). Barbara took charge in knocking on neighbours’ doors, introducing herself and us, and encouraging everyone to request trees and create a screen between their homes on McAnulty and Dofasco’s pollution. Thanks to her efforts we received many requests, and also got a chance to speak to many of McAnulty’s residents. We’re looking forward to going back and continuing to build relationships with people living in the area and caring for their community.
|Photo courtesy of Environment Hamilton|
For more information regarding the ArcelorMittal Dofasco trial see the Spectator article or CBC article below: