We are citizens activating for a better City for all. We are non-partisan representing a broad coalition of neighbourhoods. We advocate for a bottom-up citizen-led approach to governance, urban design and development. By allowing citizens to express their values and ideas the community can collectively contribute towards shaping our future and ultimately a better St. Catharines.
Public Information Session
On November 25 the Coalition shared information with the community regarding many of the issues of concern including what we know about contaminants leaking into the residential neighbourhood.
Clean Up and Make Safe The Former GM Property
The former GM Property on Ontario street represents a game-changing opportunity for St. Catharines. With fifty-five acres in the middle of the city, there is room to redefine what a ‘multi-use’ community can be. But first, this brownfield site must be cleaned up and made safe. Evidence shows that contaminants on and under the site are leaking off the site posing an immediate danger to human health and the environment. We cannot wait five years or even one year for action to be taken.
The PDF documents below will give you an idea of how the Coalition is fighting back against complacency and a dependency on relying on for-profit developers to solve this problem.
ASBESTOS? Always dangerous. Is it still present on the site?
Asbestos is a carcinogen that is dangerous when inhaled or ingested. When disturbed, its fibres become present in the air. The Government of Canada recognizes that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases. The fibres settle in the lungs and cause diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma. It often takes decades after exposure for an asbestos-related cancer to develop. The more asbestos and the longer the exposure the greater the risk of developing cancer.
From the late 1950s (and perhaps earlier) until approximately the late-1980s General Motors workers working on the Brake Bonding Assembly Line and the adjacent Caliper Assembly Line continuously assembled brake assemblies containing asbestos brake linings. These processes resulted in the Brake Bonding Assembly Line and the Caliper Assembly Line being saturated with asbestos fibres. These fibres could be conspicuously seen everywhere in the immediate area including in the air the workers breathed.
As well, equipment, pipes and building walls and ceilings used asbestos in one form or another.
We have observed asbestos materials are still present on the site making it a possible human health hazard by exposing the neighbouring residential community to asbestos fibres leaving the site via wind, or surface run-off.
Although there have been some limited asbestos abatement efforts, the job was not completed. We have seen evidence of exposed asbestos still on the site on pipe wrappings and suspected materials in the debris piles. This means that exposure to asbestos is still a threat to the community. We do not know of any attempt to investigate asbestos levels in the soil, in the debris piles or whether any fibres are leaving the site as wind-blown materials or via surface run-off.
Retired Workers Speak Out About The Condition At The Former St. Catharines GM Plant
Members of Unifor Local 199, representing retired GM workers issued a warning to Mayor Sendzik and Council regarding health and safety issues at the former GM components plant now owned by Bayshore Groups. Many of these members worked at the site and witnessed firsthand the amount of industrial chemicals that were used in the manufacturing and assembly work conducted on the site.
Please see the letter and media release below.
FOI Results: St. Catharines’ Demolition Permits for GM Property (up to 2018)