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Citizens Speak Out at March 1st Pointe-Claire City Council Meeting

At the March 1st Pointe-Claire Council meeting, several citizens spoke up about the lack of signage and large hole in the fence at 86 Hymus

Pointe-Claire resident Hue asked about the timeline for the decontamination of the site. The replacement mayor indicated that there is still no clear timeline for the decontamination operations.

" Does the city of Pointe claire have a detailed schedule for the reliance sit cleanup?"  - Hue Pek Pointe-Claire resident

Pointe-Claire resident Genvieve Lussier pressures replacement mayor Paul Bissonnette to be more proactive on both the decontamination effort and points out that the site is not properly secured or identified.

"I was happy to hear you start with a declaration about the PCBs. That's great, however I am disappointed that you supported the good work of the government given that it took a year to get the soil test results, and that they are only now testing the residential sites. It seams that the government is dragging it's feet.


I am disappointed that you continue t support the government in that regard. I really think the government has not done a good job and I wish you would support the residents and be little more proactive.


The reliance site currently had big gap in the gate on the east site of the property. It is very easy for an adult to access the site.


I also think there should be a sign on the gate. I think that should be a priority. There should be a toxic symbol on the building saying that anyone who enters the yard can gave contamination on their feet, cars and hands. Everyone should be aware The snow is going to melt soon and the site will be more accessible. The gate is completely open and it is easy for an adult or teenager to get through to the back yard of that property". -Pointe-Claire resident Genvieve Lussie​r

Green Party of Quebec leader Alex Tyrrell criticized the city's lack of action in the file and their unwillingness to secure the site, apply pressure to the provincial government or take residents concerns. Replacement mayor Paul Bissonnette could not answer his questions.

"I am very disappointed that you started this meeting by politically supporting the government's actions in further delaying the cleanup operation.


What happened in 2013 was very serions, there was over 1000 l of PCB contaminated oil that spilled out of an ilegal storage site that was tolerated for over 15 years. During this time the citizens of Pointe-Claire's health was put at risk. If there was a fire that took place it would have been catastrophic.


Given the fact that the city manager is saying that you need to keep pressuring the government and that tonight started the council meeting by showing support for further administrative delays is a complete contradiction.


On august 30, 2013 the mayor said you would not tolerate any administrative delays. I wonder when this policy changed? Because this is an administrative delay. It is going to be the third year since this site was supposedly discovered and the contaminated soil is still there. According to the technical report there 520 truck loads of PCB contaminated soil on that site alone and the ministry of the environment has not even bothered to test the neighbouring sites, which are also contaminated according to the Jounrnal de Montreal test results.


I think a simple statement saying that you want the government to act quickly and do more would go a long way at this point. You have refused to do that for the last two years.


Why is there no signage on the site? The fence is open and people can get thought. ​It is unfortunate that you said in ministry of the environment has never faltered in your opening statement and that you are putting the health of the residents of Pointe-Claire at risk.


The fact that for three years rain and snow has fallen on this site and has allowed the contamination to seep into the neighbouring lots. This spill is getting worse."


- Alex Tyrrell, leader of the Green Party of Quebec

Ross Stitt of Sauvons l'Anse-à-l'orme shows his support for citizens asking questions about the contaminated site.

Pointe-Claire resident Diane Doonan asked why city officials were unaware of the lack of security at the contaminated site. 

"People stood up here this evening asking for the PCB site to be closed off. How come this is coming as news now? How come that was known by the residents but not the municipality?" -Diane Doonan, Pointe-Claire Resident 

City manager M. Weemaes explained that this city does not have the authority to intervene with respect to the decontaminatior or even the signage and security of the site.

" We have no power to intervene the only one who can do is the ministry, and the ministry, for reasons that are their own, intervene at their speed and on their level. " Robert Weemaes, Pointe-Claire City Manager  

Pointe-Claire resident Susan Weaver asked how long the city knew about the PCB related activities of Reliance at 86 Hymus. 

"How long have the PCBs been there?I have been here for 31 years. When did it all start? I know there was something in the year 2000, but was it before? I saw reports (of PCBs) in 2000. Was it not from before, in 1985? Because there was a little bit of brouhaha around the year 2000 because when it came out in 2013 I said oh I thought they were gone! I guess they are still there. " -Susan Weaver, Pointe-Claire Resident

"It was reported three years ago. I dont know how long it existed or could have exited before that. It was not known to the city that PCBs were stored there before three years ago. It was at that time that the city learnt about it. As a mater of fact, the previous owners tried to get permits and fought his way up to the supreme court to obtain permits which he never got. If he acted on his own, illegaly without any permit from the city, or the environment department we had no way to know that. 


The matter has been in court for a number of years. I was with the city since 1995 and it was already in court and it was in court until the time when we were merged with Montreal." - Pointe Claire city clerk

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