Tories should budget for pollution cleanup

Tuesday’s federal budget added another $99.6 million to clean up contaminated sites, which are already slated to cost Canadian taxpayers almost $7 billion in clean-up costs, according to the parliamentary budget office.

Some of these funds could be used to move contaminated soil from Esquimalt Harbour to B.C.’s proposed new toxic soil-treatment site above Shawnigan Lake, a provincially designated community drinking-water source for 12,000 residents. The proposed site will supposedly protect ground and surface water with a synthetic liner, rated to last 35 years.

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The government better budget another billion for the inevitable future costs to clean up the current “cleanup,” plus legal costs for the argument about which level of government is responsible. Billions more might be needed for future health-care costs resulting from the release of carcinogens into a community drinking-water source.

Blaise Salmon

Mill Bay

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