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Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), Prevent Cancer Now, local doctors and Clarington town councillors have joined forces to prevent Durham Region from building a public-private partnership (P3) incinerator amidst farmland and schools in Clarington.

Incinerators emit carcinogens which can cause cancer in children. These can be absorbed by breathing and by eating locally-grown foods. The proposed incinerator is located in an agricultural community and there are at least 20 schools within a 10-kilometer radius. More than 75 local doctors have spoken out against the project. On April 1, Durham Region council voted against conducting air, environmental and human health biomonitoring over the operating life of the incinerator.

The Durham Energy from Waste (EFW) is conceived as a P3 project. Durham will finance an incinerator that a private company will design, build and operate. The deal also stipulates that Durham and York Regions will have to provide at least 140,000 tons of garbage yearly to burn. Touted as a “clean” source of renewable electricity, the proposed incinerator will burn materials made from non-renewable resources and produce more pollution than a coal-fired power plant. The incinerator will actually consume more energy than the 20 MW it’s designed to produce. The P3 incinerator, originally slated to cost $197 million, is currently priced at $235 million, although a shovel has not broken dirt.

This is typical of P3 projects,” says Sid Ryan, President of CUPE Ontario. “They underbid to get the project going; then the taxpayer is on the hook for the cost overruns. This project smells like an environmental and fiscal disaster.”

The Municipality of Clarington is the proposed site for the incinerator, although this community is not a “willing host” for the project.

WHAT:     Durham Labour and Environment Coalition Press Conference

WHO:       Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President       
                 Adrian Foster, Clarington Municipal Councillor        
                 Dave Renaud, CAW Durham Region Environment Council President      
                 Linda Gasser, Prevent Cancer Now Incineration Campaign Coordinator
                 Dr. Aubrey Kassirer, MD, CCFP, Doctors Against Incineration
WHERE:  Outside Municipality of Clarington Building
                40 Temperance Street, Bowmanville, Ontario

WHEN:    Monday, May 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

For more information, please contact:

Sid Ryan            President, CUPE Ontario     416 209-0066
Kevin Wilson     CUPE Communications        416 821-6641