Bill Kelly: Hamilton city council’s breach of trust in reporting Chedoke Creek spill

The City of Hamilton says it's been cleaning up a sewage spill in Chedoke Creek since 2014.
The City of Hamilton says it's been cleaning up a sewage spill in Chedoke Creek since 2014. Tyler Brenot

Albert Einstein once wrote: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

Sadly, that’s a message that seems to be lost on Hamilton city council.

READ MORE: City of Hamilton admits Chedoke Creek was flooded with sewage for 4.5 years

The fact that billions of litres of untreated sewage and wastewater flowed into Chedoke Creek and Coote’s Paradise over a period of more than four years is nothing short of an environmental catastrophe, but council’s decision to withhold that information from the public is a breach of trust that some people on council still don’t acknowledge.

READ MORE: Hamilton mayor says city wants to be ‘open and transparent’ after news of Chedoke Creek spill

It seems councillors took the necessary steps to report the incident to the proper provincial authorities but did not immediately inform their partners in maintaining our fragile environmental ecosystem, and that includes the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Bay Area Restoration Committee, the City of Burlington and, most importantly, Hamilton taxpayers.

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What’s worse, the decision to withhold vital information was done just weeks after those councillors took their oath of office to be transparent and honest in their duties.

READ MORE: Hamilton councillors want apology after sewage leak set wetland restoration back years

The environmental crisis may have dissipated, but the stench of the breach of trust by our city council will linger for a long time to come.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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