Supreme Court of Canada Grants Leave to Appeal in Class Action Lawsuit Against Keele Valley Landfill Site|
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Works and Emergency Services --- The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave
to appeal in a class action lawsuit brought by the plaintiff, John Hollick,
against the City of Toronto regarding its operation of the Keele Valley
Landfill Site. This decision follows unanimous decisions of the Ontario
Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal for Ontario, which have concluded that
the test that lawsuits must pass before they can proceed as class actions has
not been met. The Supreme Court will now examine the issue. Arguments are
expected to be heard later this year or early next year.
In December 1999, the Court of Appeal for Ontario concluded that the lawsuit
did not meet the requirements to have it proceed as a class action. The
Honourable Mr. Justice Carthy, writing for the Court, 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?s decision was upheld by the Court of
Appeal for Ontario.
Angelos Bacopoulos, General Manager of Solid Waste Management Services, which
is responsible for the disposal of residential solid waste generated within the
City of Toronto, York Region and Durham Region, states, ?If the Supreme Court
of Canada decides that this is a proper class action, the city is prepared to
show how the Keele Valley Landfill Site is operated and maintained with the
highest environmental and regulatory standards. The Ministry of the Environment
(MOE) monitors the site and has confirmed it complies with provincial
Based on fill rates approved by City Council, the Keele Valley Landfill site is
expected to reach its volumetric capacity during 2002. The city is presently
engaged in planning for a long-term solution for solid waste management.
Toronto?s Integrated Solid Waste Resource Management Process (TIRM), designed
to be flexible enough to incorporate new, environmentally sustainable
technologies, will help the city achieve its target goal of 50 per cent waste
diversion from landfill by 2006.