Environment ministry extends deadline for Hamilton’s dredging of Chedoke Creek

A dredging boat in Chedoke Creek near Kay Drage Park Hamilton, Ont. Global News

Ontario’s environment ministry is giving the City of Hamilton until the end of 2023 to complete a targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek.

In a letter to the city’s director of watershed management on Tuesday, the ministry’s district manager and director said he understood the “complexities, challenges, and delays” the city and its contractors have endured while executing the 2022 workplan.

“Given the complexities of the required work … and to ensure there is appropriate time provided to facilitate ongoing discussions with Indigenous communities that have interest in the Chedoke Creek workplan, I agree that an extension is required,” the province’s Steven Burt said in his letter.

Read more: Hamilton says Environment Ministry has agreed ‘in principle’ to Chedoke Creek dredging extension

The city has been under orders from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to complete dredging of the creek to alleviate environmental impacts following the release of 24 billion litres of untreated wastewater between 2014 and 2018.

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The city hopes to remove close to 11,000 cubic metres of contaminated sludge through a $6-million initiative it originally said would take six months to do and be completed by the end of 2022.

However, the project encountered a stoppage via Indigenous demonstrators who contested improper consultation with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute (HDI) – an agency representing the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

The HDI, in previous communications with the City of Hamilton, said the chiefs council didn’t recognize the provincial government’s jurisdiction.

In October, the city asked the ministry to issue an order preventing the HDI from causing any further disruptions.

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