Commentary

Council Should Do the Right Thing at 245 Catherine Street North

The time has come for Council to do what's right for the Beasley Community: engage in the immediate demolition and cleanup of this longstanding toxic waste site.

By Matt Jelly
Published August 11, 2011

On Monday afternoon, the City of Hamilton Planning Committee received a number of recommendations from staff in regards to the contaminated site at 245 Catherine Street North in Hamilton. Staff was recommending that the site be cleared of all remaining material, including a number of vats containing high-phosphorus rain water, and the commercial structures on the property be demolished. You can read the entire staff report.

I have been closely following the three toxic sites - 245 Catherine Street North, 249 Hess Street North and 350 Wentworth Street North - for the past year, seeking the cleanup of these sites by their owners.

Over the past year, I've found that this process is much slower than it should be. The Ministry of the Environment continues to investigate these three sites, but has given no clear indication as to how long these investigations will take place.

On Monday, staff presented the Planning Committee with a recommendation to intervene in the case of 245 Catherine Street North, as a result of the owner's unwillingness to do the work he has been ordered to do at this site as well as the Hess Street North property. This site contains a number of vats containing high-phosphorus rainwater, contained in a number of crumbling derelict buildings.

This site used to house 200,000-300,000 litres of toxic chemicals. Glyn Wide reported to the committee that it was very likely that these materials were simply moved to the owner's other property at 249 Hess Street North.

I can confirm that this is the case - the material that is housed at 249 Hess Street North corresponds with inventories completed on the 245 Catherine Street site in 1999, and again in 2003.

Staff's recommendation was to use $134,000 from the Brownfields Decommissioning Fund to demolish these structures and remove the vats. Unfortunately, the Planning Committee voted to amend this recommendation to allow this owner another 60 days to complete this work, when we have every indication that he will not do this work, especially not in a way that is responsible.

This owner owes back taxes on these properties, and has continually ignored every order issued to him by MOE and By-Law to date.

Last summer, the Ministry of the Environment found a man on this property, who was under Mr. Maden's employ, siphoning material out of several barrels into our sewers.

How can council consider giving this owner any more time than he has already been given? How can council expect that giving this owner an ultimatum and another deadline won't result in this material being improperly stored at another location or simply dumped into the sewers?

I hope Council will give this item more thought and discussion during this afternoon's meeting. I believe the $134,000 would be a sound investment in the Beasley Community, who have had to live with this nonsense for upwards of 15 years.

While we cannot be sure that this money would be recoverable in the short term by adding it to the tax bill, this would be a priority lien on the property which will eventually be recovered upon sale and redevelopment of this site in the long term.

I have spent the last year fighting to see these sites cleaned up. I have spent my own time, without pay, to make sure that these sites are cleaned up and their owners held accountable.

I urge Council to do the right thing: overturn the amendment to staff's recommendation and engage in this demolition and cleanup immediately. It would be the first time that any level of government has done anything to correct this situation, a situation the City of Hamilton created when they sold these properties off in 2005 and 2006.

I would find it incredibly disappointing if Council votes tomorrow to give this owner another 60 days, based on hollow promises that he will finally do something. The time has come to do what's right for the Beasley Community.

Background

In January 1999, the electroplating company Joyce & Smith Electo-Plating Ltd., filed for bankruptcy upon the death of it's owner. They had been operating at 245 Catherine Street North for 40 years.

Upon the death of the property's owner, the property then went into receivership. The Bank Of Montreal took ownership of the property between March 24th, 1999 until November 12, 2002, when the property was transferred to the City of Hamilton in exchange for $148,000 back taxes owing on the site.

The Ministry of the Environment was aware as far back as 1999 that these materials were present on the site, and aware that the material was highly caustic and improperly labelled and stored.

According to a 1999 inventory of the property at 245 Catherine Street North prepared at the request of the Ministry by HOTZ Environmental, the property contained 200,000-300,000 litres of corrosive chemicals, including; chromic acid, phosphoric acid, cyanide, sulpheric acid, nickel acid, nickel clhoride, zinc clhoride, and an assortment of "Caustic Solution", "Acid Solution" and "Nickel Solution", as well as many drums identified as "oily water."

The preliminary inventory is available here, recently made available through a Freedom of Information request. Hotz estimated that the removal of the more than 200,000 litres of chemicals contained in various sealed and unsealed tanks, barrels, vats and a pit would cost $60,000. The removal was not done.

SALE OF PROPERTY TO 558154 B.C. limited/Dave Maden

In 2006, a numbered company, 558154 B.C. limited, bought the Catherine Street site from the City of Hamilton. That numbered company transferred ownership to the current owner, Dave Maden a.k.a. Dave Madden/Baldev Madan for $2. Maden is the President and sole director of the numbered company. Upon transfer, Maden then immediately took out a mortgage for $105 537, and approximately six months later took out a loan from a lender who put a $26,147 lien on the property. The same numbered company bought 249 Hess Street North from the City of Hamilton in October 2005 for $22 245.

For a number of years, a man was living in the house on this property, and was paid $10 a day by Mr. Maden to look after this site. Last summer, Ministry of the Environment officials found this individual siphoning materials from barrels into the sewer. This man no longer lives on this site - new tenants have been living in the house on the site for a number of months.

The other more severe toxic site at 249 Hess Street North, also owned by Maden, contains some of the same chemicals that used to be at the Catherine Street Site.

In 1999, Hotz environmental did an inventory of the Catherine Street building, and the drums of chemicals at the Hess Street site correspond with that inventory. It is suspected that Madan moved these materials without notifying the Ministry of the Environment, and it is still unclear when and how these materials were moved.

When the City owned the Catherine Street site, a cleanup was costed, but not completed. Instead, the City sold these sites to their current owner, who continues to evade responsibility for the materials on-site. Maden was given a $50,000 letter of credit when he purchased the property, as an incentive to clean the property up.

The City did not require Maden to prove he had initiated any cleanup, or require they retain the services of a qualified environmental consulting firm. Instead he appears to have simply moved this material to his other property, leaving behind vats of high-phosphorus rainwater.

DAVE MADEN: An Irresponsible Property Owner

Dave Maden/Baldev Madan has long refused to clean the site up. He has ignored the multiple orders issued to him by City By-Law and the Ministry of the Environment, and threatened to sue the Ministry and the City of Hamilton for "bad faith harassment tactics" and "abuse of authority".

The Ministry of the Environment continues to investigate these sites but the investigation could take as long as another year to complete. Mr. Maden is three years behind in paying taxes for these properties, owing $118,000 in taxes on 249 Hess Street North, and several years worth of tax arrears on 245 Catherine.

At the time of publishing this article, taxation staff are unwilling to disclose the amount owing on the property at 245 Catherine North, but it has been confirmed that the property is behind three years in taxes.

MONDAY AUGUST 8th STAFF RECOMMENDATION

City Staff brought forward a report on the property to the Planning Committee on Monday August 8th, recommending that due to the owner's failure to comply with multiple orders to clean this property up, that the City of Hamilton spend an estimated $134,000 to demolish the structures and remove and dispose of vats, charging the work to the owner's tax bill, possibly recoverable through a priority lien on the property.

This would have been the first major step taken by the City to do something about these sites, beyond issuing orders to the properties and waiting for Maden to comply.

That staff recommendation was amended however, as a result of a letter Maden sent to the members of the planning committee, via fax to Glyn Wide, Manager of Enforcement, Parking & By-Law Services. The letter can be viewed here.

Mr. Maden states in the letter that he submitted a request for demolition for the property back in March, which staff confirmed was not true- Maden has made no attempt to cleanup this property. Mr. Maden also asked, in all-caps, "WHAT'S THE URGENCY ... The subject building has been sitting like this over 15 years: a few more weeks is not going to make any difference."

During Monday's meeting, a representative of Mr. Maden showed up at City Hall and took an application form for a demolition request. Glyn Wide, who had spoken to Mr. Maden on Friday August 5th, and 'implored' Mr. Maden to attend Monday's meeting- which he did not.

COUNCILLOR FARR'S AMENDMENT TO THE STAFF RECOMMENDATION

At the request of Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr, an amendment was made to the staff recommendation to allow Maden another 60 days to complete a demolition and cleanup of the site.

Councillor Farr's rationale for the 60 day delay was to prevent the City from having to clean up the site at taxpayer's expense, because Maden was now saying he would do the work - as unlikely as that scenario might be, considering past behaviour.

"They're tough in this community, and they can be tough for a couple months more." said Jason Farr, in supporting the 60-day delay. Council is set to ratify this recommendation as amended at tomorrow's council meeting.

Tear The Damn Thing Down

Some questions need to be raised about this decision by the Planning Committee. Considering that this owner has been unresponsive to multiple orders by By-Law and the Ministry, and material has gone missing from this site and ended up at another property, as well as siphoned out of barrels and into the sewer by Maden's employee/tenant, why would the Planning committee expect that Mr. Maden a) would actually engage in any sort of action to clean this property up, or b) engage in a cleanup in a responsible fashion?

How do we know Maden will not just remove the vats from Catherine Street North and put them at the Hess Street property? How do we know the material will be disposed of properly by quaified environmental consultants? How do we know Maden will not simply dump this material into our sewers?

I believe Council would be irresponsible to set a deadline for cleanup rather than engaging in the cleanup right away. If Mr. Maden's past behaviour is any indication, this will be a hasty cleanup, and likely result in more problems for the neighbourhood. This cleanup needs direct oversight by the City, and I find it incredibly disappointing that councillors who have repeatedly voted in favour of much more expensive projects and initiatives would not see the sense in doing what is right in this case.

Please send your councillor a message and ask them to remove Councillor Farr's amendment from Staff's recommendation, and to tear down these buildings and remove these vats. The Beasley Community, as 'tough' as they are, do not deserve to live with this derelict contaminated property for another day, week or month.

As Brad Clark said at Monday's meeting, "Tear the damn thing down." For once, that's a statement I can agree with wholeheartedly. Should we list this property on Hamilton's list of properties of historical interest so council would have more enthusiasm for demolishing it?

Originally published in two parts on Matt's website here and here.

Jelly is a local artist, graphic designer and map maker living in Downtown Hamilton, Ontario in the Central Neighbourhood. Matt is an advocate for built heritage, toxic waste eradication and the revitalization of downtown Hamilton. www.mattjelly.com

45 Comments

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:43:42

Last summer, the Ministry of the Environment found a man on this property, who was under Mr. Maden's employ, siphoning material out of several barrels into our sewers.

The fact that nothing happened after this point is a sign that the correct place for these chemicals is the lobby of the Ministry of the Environment on (googles) 119 King W? Seriously, they're right downtown? How convenient!

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-08-11 12:43:57

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2011 at 13:04:08

How do these guys keep managing these sweetheart deals to purchase properties? If I changed my business card to read "Hamilton's foremost provider of ugly toxic brownfields" would they sell me some cut-rate industrial land and give me a low-interest loan?

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 13:32:38 in reply to Comment 67869

They buy them through tax sales.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2011 at 17:00:35 in reply to Comment 67870

So let me get this straight...

You can get a property dirt-cheap as the city dumps it because the previous owner didn't pay his taxes.

Then use that property for six figures in loans and grants.

Then, eventually, lose the property because you're not paying taxes on it and letting it rot.

And nobody stops you?

...

I'm in the wrong business. No wonder Hamilton has so many derelict properties. They're a free way to get massive loan-collateral and even free money.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2011-08-11 17:02:59

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2011 at 16:05:57 in reply to Comment 67870

In this case, I really feel that if tax sales giveth, tax sales should taketh away.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted August 11, 2011 at 16:11:37

To quickly update, Council went ahead with the 60-day delay- for some reason hoping that this owner is finally going to do something, after having a year to get his act together. It's very unlikely he will do this work, and at the end of the 60 days, the City will be demolishing the buildings and removing the vats. I'm confused and disappointed as to why councillors would not simply vote to do this work right away. But they are our duly elected council, and they are free to be wrong about this.

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By SarahMatthews (anonymous) | Posted August 23, 2011 at 14:24:30 in reply to Comment 67882

I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise, as disappointing as it is. The City seems to give the benefit of the doubt to those who clearly don't deserve it (Vranich, Maden)and seldom hear the cries of others who love their communities and city dearly. "Should we list this property on Hamilton's list of properties of historical interest so council would have more enthusiasm for demolishing it?" Now that's an awesome question!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 16:17:23 in reply to Comment 67882

Well, at least if they're wrong, we can say "I told you so."

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By Mister Senor Love Daddy (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 20:29:20

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CwunBF47kg

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By Junny (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 21:11:01

Yeah, "I told you so", that should fix the problem. You know this weasel is going to try and dispose of the chemicals down our sewers or pour them on the ground somewhere. Anything to avoid the clean-up costs. This council should be ashamed of themselves for any extensions. We need to put a security guard on this property to make sure no funny business takes place in the next 60 days. Matt Jelly should be nominated for Greatest Hamiltonian as far I'm concerned. He's not even being paid to do this. They should rename the ministry of environment the ministry of Dr. Dolittle

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By Junny (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 21:16:46

Oops, I almost forgot, how does this guy get away with all the aliases? Just in case I need to start ripping off the system.

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By Junny (anonymous) | Posted August 11, 2011 at 21:21:25

Question: Why is the city allowed to sell off these properties when they are environmental disaster areas?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted August 12, 2011 at 01:21:45

I'll bet I still couldn't put a hostel on the site;(

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By Gary Santucci (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2011 at 08:31:54

Yes, in Hamilton you can invest thousands of dollars in the restoration and adaptive reuse of a former industrial/commercial building and be charged for illegal use.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2011 at 09:48:18 in reply to Comment 67912

Gary, that's different. Art shows and musical performances clearly endanger the lives and homes of neighbours. What possible impact could a decaying fire-trap full of toxic waste have? Plus, I suspect you've paid some taxes - that's just letting them know you're a pushover.

Seriously though, what's the point of having any bylaws at all if we're going to allow this in a residential neighbourhood? Has the city been so busy ticketing people for jaywalking and having "unkempt lawns" that it has no time for derelict chrome-plating plants?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2011 at 16:33:43 in reply to Comment 67917

Well, you know...if you start enforcing against one derelict chrome-plating plant pretty soon people are going to expect you to start enforcing by-laws against all sorts of derelict plants and brownfields, and that's going to be quite a bit of papwerwork and money for city hall. It's just easier for city hall to turn a blind eye to them and let them "blend into the neighbourhood" so the city doesn't have to go through the three ring circus it is now with this property.

It's easier to hand out parking tickets and noise citations than it is to fix the real problems.

I mean, anyone know how much time city staff have spent dealing with this property? It's probably more than you'd expect!

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted August 12, 2011 at 10:25:14

I'm with Junny. Matt Jelly is great citizen. People like Matt and Brian McHattie don't get enough credit for fighting the good fight. I hope you like Beer, Matt, because if we meet, I'm buying you a big, cold one.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2011 at 11:25:29 in reply to Comment 67924

I actually really, really, really hate beer. But thanks all the same. :) I have about one drink every two weeks, and even that gives me a headache. Pushing 30 is weird!

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By TnT (registered) | Posted August 12, 2011 at 15:36:38

Pushing 30? Wow, you make me feel like I've wasted my life. If you ever get around to visiting the Hamilton Guest House there is a cold, frosty Ensure waiting for you.

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted August 12, 2011 at 16:10:24 in reply to Comment 67936

My digestive tract thanks you.

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By JasonFan (anonymous) | Posted August 12, 2011 at 19:07:33

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 15, 2011 at 07:54:37 in reply to Comment 67955

It isn't about the 60 days, it's about the five years and $50k that he was given to clean it up!

Comment edited by Brandon on 2011-08-15 07:55:23

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2011 at 02:13:49 in reply to Comment 67955

I think the word "developer" is a little generous, no?

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 13, 2011 at 10:35:48 in reply to Comment 67955

I wonder, if Matt Jelly had won the election, would Jason Farr be out campaigning to clean up toxic brownfields?

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By Farraholic (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2011 at 16:56:50 in reply to Comment 67974

Farr would not be conpaigning to clean up toxic brownfields, just like 500,000 other people in this city are not doing. Farr did a very good job at Cable 14 shinning a light on the issues of the day with On The Record. That was a very good current events program. It gets derailed lately due to loud mouths like Laura Babcock and Larry DiIanni is about is exciting as watching toxic waste dumps contaminate.

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By BeasleyFan (anonymous) | Posted August 13, 2011 at 06:56:59

Having watched the Committee video, I can only say that we are being played by Maden as Brad Clark clearly states. Picking up a demolition permit after 12 years of bad behaviour and contaminating Beasley is not nearly good enough. Fifty vulnerable people live across the street from this place. The owner got $50K from the City to clean up this property. Chumps, what chumps.

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By JasonFan (anonymous) | Posted August 14, 2011 at 12:34:28

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-14 21:13:49

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2011 at 18:39:09 in reply to Comment 67998

Ooh, snap!

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted August 14, 2011 at 19:25:29

Let's not forget that the Government of Ontario is forcing the City of Hamilton to give Dave Maden a tax break on that property as long as it stays vacant.

http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/10...

Election issue, anyone?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2011 at 06:54:28 in reply to Comment 68005

Election issue, anyone?

Why would this be an 'election issue'?

This frames it as being something that some candidates would be against doing something about (Begging the question 'Why?'), and that the public is interested. Which they're not. Not to the extent that you'd see people clamouring in protest because of it.

No, this is something that needs to be addressed in-term, needs to be discussed in Council...

...something that would be best dealt with at the 'public discourse' level at town halls.

That's where these issues should be dealt with.

Currently, we have no genuine mechanism, other than the strident efforts of the likes of Matt and coverage here. Which are great spearhead notions, but not the forum or means that are appropriate.

The sad thing is that there are more than likely many other issues like this that Council needs to be pressed on.

http://mystoneycreek.blogspot.com/2011/0...

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-15 07:05:35

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By mattjelly (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2011 at 19:35:56 in reply to Comment 68005

Well, Maden is in tax arrears on both properties, and will likely never pay a dime of taxes on either, vacant property tax rebate or not. Both properties will end up being seized again by the city and resold in tax sales, the back taxes will likely be waived when a new owner buys these sites. And the cycle continues. If there's an election issue to be found here, it's that.

If government can play a role in this, it's in breaking the cycle, truly holding folks like Maden personally accountable, and ensuring these sites get cleaned up rather than just transfered on to the next negligent owner. Some folks believe taxes shouldn't be used to that end, but they're usually the kind of folks who don't believe government should play any role in our lives other than building highways and football stadiums.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted August 14, 2011 at 21:33:18 in reply to Comment 68006

Well, Maden is in tax arrears on both properties, and will likely never pay a dime of taxes on either, vacant property tax rebate or not. Both properties will end up being seized again by the city and resold in tax sales, the back taxes will likely be waived when a new owner buys these sites. And the cycle continues. If there's an election issue to be found here, it's that.

I stand corrected!

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2011 at 16:05:53 in reply to Comment 68011

Actually, I should point out, should Maden decide to pay his back taxes, I believe he'd still be eligible for the vacant tax rebate retroactively- when the owners of the Connaught were found to be owing $500,000 in back taxes, upon paying them, they applied for and received the vacant property tax rebate. Maybe an incremental step would be to ask that the rebate only be available if taxes are paid on time. But again, I don't think anyone expects Maden to pay up.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 14, 2011 at 20:33:03 in reply to Comment 68006

Everyone's a libertarian once they've got what they want from the government. Why should Maden have to pay taxes or abide by laws when it comes to HIS property? It's not like he got it through laws and taxes....

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By JP (registered) | Posted August 15, 2011 at 13:49:36

I would hold council and the bureaucracy they are responsible for over-seeing just as responsible as Mr. Maden for the mess on Catherine Street. If the property owner hasn't paid taxes in 3 years and hasn't made any effort to improve/clean up the property, then its pretty safe to assume that no improvements or clean up is going to take place. The city should have stepped in as soon as the owner was caught illegally dumping materials and seized the property. Yes, the taxpayer is going to have to foot the bill, but at least we know that the site is being cleaned properly.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted August 15, 2011 at 15:58:08

Unemployment in Ontario is 7.5% and in Hamilton it's 6.4%. That means there are people that want to work, but can't find a job, or more accurately, someone willing to pay them $10.25 for work.

On the other hand, we have jobs we want done (like cleaning up toxic sites) and the ability to "print" as many Canadian dollars as we want.

Maybe, just maybe, we could get the government to print up some cash and then give it to people who are willing to clean up these sites.

If we know these sites will have to be cleaned by people eventually, why not do it now while we have people looking for work?

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2011 at 21:38:29 in reply to Comment 68031

I'm pretty dead-set against make work projects in general, but this is one case where the work in question is definitely needed, and not easily obtained.

Serious remediation is expensive and highly-skilled work. Heavy metals are very toxic, and don't just break down over time. It isn't just about carting away barrels or digging out all the work. Tests need to be run to see what's there, a strategy for dealing with it needs to be developed, and then a host of tests must be run again to ensure that it worked. There's enormous safety issues for workers, and permanent problems if it isn't done right. This is not a task which can be half-assed by some slumlord's "contractors".

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 16, 2011 at 07:17:39 in reply to Comment 68037

Well put, Undustrial.

Matt may be the person to ask about this (and I'm sorry if the answer is obvious), but I'm curious if there's any sort of umbrella scheme that addresses these situations.

You know, an actual policy/effort that looks at a goal of getting all these sites cleaned up under one 'master plan'.

We need to genuinely recognize that Hamilton's industrial past has to be dealt with honestly and openly, with transparency so that the public knows what's been happening going back a century, why it happened, what the benefits and drawbacks have been, what's got to be done to remedy the situation, and what the best and worst possible outcomes will be if we're successful...or that we just leave things as they are.

All of these instances of 'bad stuff sitting' are directly tied to our 'legacy malaise', because right or wrong, it's all part of our dirty-technology industrial heritage, and we can't hope to just slough it all off and reinvent ourselves.

Once again, visionary leadership is called for.

Kudos to Matt for generating some momentum.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-16 07:18:10

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By TnT (registered) | Posted August 16, 2011 at 00:58:28

Or a man who gets paid $10 a day to siphon the waste into a sewer. Is there a bigger issue that the man is personally protected because he is a corporation?

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By Sky (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2011 at 01:14:12

Great comments to all (voted down or not)! Thanks to Matt for really trying to get this ball on the right track! So I ask all of you at RTH, You, (rightfully so) do not accept the City for watching this scenario slide (once again)...

As a tax payer outside of the core...How do you think I feel, when ANYONE within the Urban area can disrespect not only Council but also the neighbors who have to live with this DISGUSTING MESS disguised as "brownfields" AKA contaminated waste sites, while I own property in the rural are of Hamilton (aka Flamborough) and have been told that the "New Official PLan for Rural Areas within our City" ( I have a stream and pond if there is enough rain) will be classified as HAZARD LANDS?
The above comments are AMAZING and we need to push the City to OPEN THEIR EYES!!! While we are at it in the Core (which is so evident) we need to express that our VIRGIN GREENSPACE outside of the 'City', is not HAZARDOUS...

This is soooo backa$$wards it leaves me dumbfounded...Yes, TOXIC WASTE = BROWNFIELDS
NATURAL WETLANDS = HAZARD LANDS

My propety will decline in value due to this designation while the true offenders and don't care a lots will get away with continuing the toxic waste and not have to pay the taxes to boot!

City Hall should consider taxing ANYONE/ANYWHERE with known contaminents left to go un addressed or cleaned up DOUBLE THE TAXES...not a "TAX BREAK" for being unoccupied.

Have an awesome day everyone!

Sky (aka Danya Scime)

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 16, 2011 at 10:23:18 in reply to Comment 68041

The Hazard Land designation refers to natural hazards that pose flooding and erosion risks. The Conservation Authority's Planning and Regulation Policies Guidelines (section 2 Natural Hazards), explains the risks associated with these types of lands, and the regulations and guidelines you'll need to follow if you want to make any changes to your property.

"River and stream systems, shorelines, and hazardous sites are of public interest and can pose a risk to property and human safety by causing flooding, slope failure, and unexpected collapsing of the land."

"Flooding and erosion hazards put people at risk, can cause extensive damages to property and infrastructure, and cause social and economic disruption to the communities that are affected. River and stream systems can be affected by severe flooding events or valley slope failures along shorelines."

"Erosion hazards mean the loss of land, due to human or natural process, that pose a threat to life and property."

A site doesn't have to contain toxic chemicals to pose a threat to people and the environment.

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By RichardDenOtter (registered) - website | Posted August 16, 2011 at 08:35:37

So his employee was found dumping toxic chemicals into the environment and poisoning other people. Is this perfectly legal? Can any other company dump toxic waste and not be held accountable?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 23, 2011 at 15:43:34

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted August 25, 2011 at 10:32:08 in reply to Comment 68394

O_o.

Why do we even bother to have laws and cops when nothing this guy seems to do actually gets him fined or arrested or anything? Maden is obviously a flagrant scofflaw, but what's actually happening to him?

The property also has a house, where several men appear to live. Neighbours have described it as a flophouse.

Sitting outside the house, one man, who refused to give his name, said he’d lived there a couple months, but only met Maden Monday night when he asked for his and the help of others tearing down the building.

The man said he’d been referred to the home by a housing support agency and did not know about the waste on the site.

from earlier in the article

The men weren’t wearing hard hats or any other protective gear, Ashley said.

Are you freaking kidding me?

But heaven help you if you want to make a backpacker's hostel in this town.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 24, 2011 at 13:01:03 in reply to Comment 68394

Which is pretty much what this thread expected would happen. He tries to get away with something sneaky again, city has to demolish the property themselves, and we (Matt mostly) get to say "I told you so."

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