Supreme Court of Canada considers certification of Keele Valley Landfill class action |
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Works and Emergency Services -- On June 13, the Supreme Court of Canada will
examine issues concerning the certification of a class action lawsuit brought
by the plaintiff, John Hollick, against the City of Toronto regarding its
operation of the Keele Valley Landfill Site. The Ontario Divisional Court and
the Court of Appeal for Ontario had both unanimously concluded that the test
that lawsuits must pass before they can proceed as class actions has not been
met in this case.
In December 1999, the Honourable Mr. Justice Carthy, writing for the Court of
Appeal for Ontario, stated, "My conclusion is that there are no common issues
which can be manageably tried or will advance the litigation, and thus, in the
end, I would deny certification on this basis."
The lawsuit was initially certified as a class action in 1998. The
certification order was subsequently set aside in December 1998 by the Ontario
Divisional Court. The Divisional Court concluded that the lawsuit lacked an
identifiable class and common issues and therefore should not proceed as a
class action. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Angelos Bacopoulos, General Manager of Solid Waste Management Services, the
department responsible for the disposal of residential solid waste generated
within the City of Toronto, York Region and Durham Region, states, "The City of
Toronto has always operated the Keele Valley Landfill Site to the highest
environmental and regulatory standards. The site is highly monitored and has
two independent full-time inspectors. The Ministry of the Environment monitors
the site and has confirmed it complies with provincial standards."
The Keele Valley Landfill is currently scheduled to close in 2002. The City is
undertaking a series of additional measures to expand recycling in order to
reduce disposal and achieve the goal of 30 per cent diversion by 2003, 60 per
cent by 2006 and 100 per cent by 2010.