The City of Hamilton’s plan to begin remediation work in Chedoke Creek is off to an eventful start.
City contractors were scheduled to put a machine in the water on Thursday, in preparation for the targeted dredging of contaminated sediment starting next week.
Those plans were put on hold after three members of the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) parked a car on the bridge leading into the preparation site at Kay Drage Park, asking the city to consult with and gain approval from representatives of Six Nations hereditary leaders.
Matthew Grant, Hamilton’s manager of communications, said that the city expects work to resume in the “very near future,” and that the city is under provincial order to complete dredging by Dec. 31, 2022.
“We remain committed to working with all First Nations, but what I would reiterate is that we have no legal authority to not follow a ministry of environment order,” Grant said.
“We are obligated to complete the work.”
The Haudenosaunee Development Institute, in previous communications with the City of Hamilton, has said that the Confederacy Chiefs Council does not recognize the provincial government’s jurisdiction.
The plan for targeted dredging follows the release of 24 billion litres of sewage and untreated wastewater through a partially opened gate on a combined sewer overflow (CSO) tank between 2014 and 2018.
The city consulted with a range of stakeholders, including the Hamilton Conservation Authority and Royal Botanical Gardens, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Indigenous Nations and partners, including Six Nations of the Grand River and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council.
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