CCRA PRESIDENT
Gay Cowbourne: October 2000


Annnual General Meeting
The CCRA is holding its Annual General Meeting at the Port Union Community Centre on Tuesday October 17th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Every day, there is a community somewhere facing a disaster, but floods, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes always happen "somewhere else". Or do they? Let's be totally practical for just a moment. Dangerous goods pass through this community every day by road and by rail. (Remember the Mississauga evacuation?) The Pickering Nuclear Plant is on our doorstep. The recent USE Hickson fire caused a situation where, but for the wind direction, this area would have been evacuated. Would you have known what to take with you? Would your family and friends have known how to contact you? Remember the Ice Storm of 1998? Could you cope without electricity for several days? Would you be prepared for an emergency?

Gary Symonds is the Emergency Planning Co-ordinator for the City of Toronto. He will present information on how the community responds to disasters and how you, as an individual, can help protect your family and property should disaster strike.

Also, the CCRA Executive will be reporting on the past year and the Executive Committee for the year 2001 will be elected. There is always a lot going on in this community and I am asking YOU to seriously think about becoming involved in the CCRA. You are reading a newsletter that was produced and delivered by CCRA volunteers. Volunteers knocked at your door to ask for your annual membership donation. Throughout the year there are many community events that are all planned and administered by volunteers. Winterfest, Earth Day, the Summer Concert Series, the annual Heritage Day Parade and this year's Millennium celebration are just a few of them. WE REALLY NEED PEOPLE TO JOIN US and share the workload. Whether you have an hour each week, an afternoon or an evening per month, or more, there is a role for you in your community association. So often people tell me, "This is a great place to live. It's a real community." A community can only be as strong as the people who live in it, and who contribute to it. Maybe its time for you to make your contribution. Please think about it. Come to the AGM and get involved! If you would like to know more, call me at 281-3221.

All Candidates Meeting
There is a Municipal Election scheduled for November 13 when Toronto's Mayor, Councillors and School Trustees will be elected. You will have a chance to meet this area's candidates for the positions of Councillor, Public and Separate School Trustee on November 1, when the CCRA will co-host an All Candidates Meeting at the West Rouge Community Centre from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Asbestos, Manson and Sheep
So, what's the connection between asbestos, Manson and sheep? Everyone who lives in the Centennial area must know by now that the old Johns Manville factory used to produce asbestos pipe and that asbestos waste was buried all around the factory. OK, that's the asbestos and Manson link, but what about the sheep bit? Read on! Last month I reported to you that, regardless of our participation for over a year on the Public Review Committee, the CCRA had only just learned that work had commenced on the Manson site and asbestos had been excavated and removed. City staff and Councillor Moeser insisted that they did not know about the work on site but:

· June 15. Site start up meeting. City Communications, City Building staff and Councillor Moeser were present. CCRA was not informed of the meeting
· July 6. Minutes of above meeting were available but were not sent to the CCRA.
· Work was delayed because of legalities but hydro and water were installed on site.
· August 8 City Inspectors on site.
· August 9. Excavation of asbestos began. Twenty truckloads were removed. City of Toronto Building Inspectors, Ministries of Labour and Environment were on site. CCRA was still not informed.
· August 17. When asked why the CCRA had been excluded from the communications loop, Councillor Moeser and City Buildings staff told us that they had not been aware that work was underway.
· September 6. First PRC Meeting since January of this year.

Does this scenario seem vaguely familiar? You may remember that in 1997 in order to construct an easement across the Manson property, asbestos was excavated and removed from the site.

CCRA NEWS, October 1997 pages 7 – 9. Manson Property Update

Events of August and September 2000.

"On August 21 a member of the West Rouge Community association was travelling on the GO train. He saw the work taking place and called …"

On Tuesday August 14 a member of the CCRA was travelling on the GO train. He saw the work taking place on the Manson site and called…

"Between August 15 and 19, thirty-one truckloads of asbestos containing material were removed from the … site and driven to a landfill site in Moore County."

Between August 9 and 15, twenty truckloads of asbestos containing material were removed from the site and driven to a landfill site near Sarnia.

"A meeting was called at the City of Scarborough on August 29 to discuss the "breakdown in communication" (an expression used several times by the parties concerned)…"

A PRC meeting was called by the City of Toronto on September 6, to discuss, among other things, the "breakdown in communication" (an expression used several times by the City of Toronto staff)

"Why was no report made except by a member of the community who was travelling on the GO train and saw the work being done?"

Why was there no communication to the CCRA except from one of the community who was travelling on the GO train and saw the work being done?

"The community associations had previously stated that they wished to be informed if any work was to proceed on the Manson property. Why then was the community not notified that this easement was under construction?"

The community associations had previously stated that they wished to be informed before any work was to proceed on the Manson property. Why then, was the community not notified that work had begun?

CCRA NEWS, October 1997, page 13

"Councillors Report, Ron Moeser, Ward 9,"

CCRA newsletter, October 2000

President’s Report, Gay Cowbourne

"The community associations and I were appalled to learn that the work had begun without consultation with the CCRA, WRCA, and my office. The work should not have proceeded without first contacting all the parties given the history of this property."

And: "NO WORK WILL PROCEED UNTIL ALL OF US FEEL ASSURED THAT THE SAFETY OF OUR COMMUNITY IS PROTECTED."

The CCRA was appalled to learn that the work had begun, and had continued, without consultation with the community associations, from either Councillor Moeser or the City of Toronto staff. The work should not have proceeded without first contacting all the parties given the history of this property and the commitment made by the City of Toronto.

"What I find inexcusable is that two companies, Proctor Redfern and R.V. Anderson, who have a long history in the environmental field failed to contact all the parties prior to the work commencing on the Manson Site. The community has a right to know what safeguards and procedures are in place before any work proceeds."

What I find inexcusable is that the City of Toronto, which has a long history in the environmental field, and also in community relations, failed to contact all the parties prior to the work commencing on the Manson Site. The community has a right to know what safeguards and procedures are in place before any work proceeds.

It is ironic that after the last Manson Public Meeting, a City staff person accused members of this community of being "bitter and cynical". He and his colleagues have given us further reason to be so.

Gay Cowbourne

(I am sure you will have figured it out by now, but in case you haven't: Sheep produce wool. Wool has been pulled over our eyes.)