The Deloro case emerged in November 1997 with Janet Fletcher representing the EBI and SLDF charging the Ontario government with violation of the federal Fisheries Act Section 35 and 36 and the Ontario Water Resources Act Section 30. it was allegedly discharging harmful substances like cadmium, arsenic, cobalt, copper, nickel, and zinc from the Deloro Industrial site into the Moira River and Young’s Creek. The trial was over and the decision was brought down last June 12, 2001. Another charge was laid against the Ontario government by Thomas Adams under the provincial environmental Protection Act.
Adams alleges that the natural environment in west of Deloro mine site property was contaminated with radioactive substances. The mine was located in the Village of Deloro. The Bay of Quinte is greatly affected by the Deloro site. The Bay of Quinte was said to have 70% of arsenic loadings and the Deloro site is the major contributor of the contamination. In 1980, the Ontario government did not join the assessment of the site clean up project under the Environmental Assessment Act. The government said that it has other work to do that is why they did not join the activity.
There have been some actions after the charges were laid to Deloro. The site’s perimeter already put signs to keep the public from getting near the highly contaminated zones around the industrial site. There were also health assessments and it was found out that children near the site have elevated urine arsenic levels. The assessment also showed that the sediments are contaminated. Radioactive substances were also found in the town playground as well as the town near the site but have already been removed. The case of Deloro was also showed in national and local media at has captured a lot of public attention concerning pollution.
(Adams, 2001) These are just few of a number of compliance reports about the lenient enforcement of environmental laws. Somehow, because of the help of citizens, they were able to found the misdemeanor happening in their environment. However, violations on environmental laws are still rampant not only in Ontario, but also in the greater area of Canada. Aside from the negligence of people involved and responsible in law enforcement, it could be also because the penalties are not hard enough for the offenders.
Further, are penalties given equally to the offenders, especially to the ‘corporate offenders’? Ontario Renewed Penalties In 1998, a new legislation was proposed in the Province of Ontario that would change the present condition of the enforcement of environmental laws. This is the Bill82, the Environmental Statute Law Amendment Act. At the end of November of the same year, it was given first reading in Parliament. (Thomson, 1998) Under proposed Administrative Penalties Regulations of Ontario, environmental violators could meet penalties of up to an amount of $10,000 per day.
This is according to Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer. If this is implemented, it would be possible for the Ministry of the Environment to impose financial penalties for a wide array of clear and simple contraventions without the need of going to the court. Standard violations encompass failure in meeting deadlines of reports and not abiding by with some operations. Witmer also added that administrative penalties would give or impose a strong message. With this message, nobody would dare to disregard or ignore even the most basic environmental policies.
She also claimed that the proposed policies are a relevant pace to thorough, more adaptable tools for compliance guarantees. ("Ontario stiffens penalties for environmental infractions", 2002) In corporations, each day would cost them at least $50,000 on their first environmental violations. If they continue, their fine would reach up to $100,000. Aside from these monetary penalties, imprisonment is now an option for first offenses. (Thomson, 1998) However, there are still individuals and corporations that continue to disobey the rules and regulations in spite of these tighter laws.