A rocky public meeting is expected in September on the controversial $200 million, 12-storey ethanol refinery to be constructed in Oshawa on the Lake Ontario waterfront next to a ‘provincially significant’ 123-hectare coastal wetland. The Oshawa Express reports, “A sweeping recommendation was endorsed (by Oshawa City Council), in which it was requested the Oshawa Port Authority (of which five of the seven members are Harper government appointees) hold a public meeting to explain why it approved the plant. Council also asked to see the copy of the lease and other documentation between FarmTech Energy Corporation, who will own and operate the facility, and the port authority…The same motion directed the City have an independent company address its environmental concerns, and to ensure the OPA monitors those same issues. …OPA Chair Gary Valcour (the former president of the Conservative riding association in federal finance minister Jim Flaherty’s riding of Oshawa-Whitby) says his group is pursuing a public meeting. He estimated the earliest it could be held was at some point in September.
…New Democrat MP Olivia Chow called the decision to hold a public information session after the ethanol plant was already approved ‘outrageous.’ …Valcour says he has no intention of showing the City the lease between the OPA and FarmTech. …City council also voted to request the federal ethics commissioner investigate the appointments to the Oshawa Port Authority. Valcour says there is no reason for such an investigation.” The federal finance minister’s riding association in Oshawa-Whitby includes Tim O’Connor – a director of FarmTech Energy Corporation. The article is at http://www.oshawaexpress.ca/viewposting.php?view=3424.
Download a petition to the House of Commons, calling for the halt of the ethanol plant’s construction, a complete environmental assessment, more public hearings to be held and for the Oshawa Port Authority to be divested to the City of Oshawa.