Adams Mine Chronology
1989 to present

Key Legal Developments - Link to Details and Documents

1989 Adams Mine listed as possible landfill for Metro Toronto in response to requests for proposals from the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee (SWISC)
1990 Metro Toronto selects Adams Mine as a preferred site, and makes financial deal with neighbouring municipalities
1992 Province introduces legislation requiring Metro Toronto to deal with solid waste within Greater Toronto Area
1995 Metro Toronto conducts eight month investigation of the Adams Mine as a possible landfill
1995  Metro Toronto rejects the Adams Mine project on financial and environmental grounds at its December council meeting
1996 Notre Development announces they will pursue the Adams Mine as a "private sector proposal" and begins preparing for environmental assessment
1996 Conservative government makes drastic changes to Environmental Assessment Act, dropping requirement to consider need and alternatives to landfill projects and giving government ability to narrow assessments and impose severe time limits
1997 Notre amends request for land fill approval; project no longer includes recycling or rail transportation, and is for only one of the three pits originally identified
1997 Notre Development and Canadian Waste Services sign an option agreement on May 31, 1997. Signators included Gord McGuinty of Notre Development and main partners Sault lawyer Gordon Acton, Bay Street lawyer Blake Wallace, longtime partner Maurice LaMarche and Quebec investor Gilles Bernardin. CWS invested $1.00 and a series of loans including an initial $350,000 due at the beginning of June 1997 and a series of monthly loans ($116,667.67 a month) totaling $2,100,0186.06 over the next 18 months. A second phase of the option kicked in at the beginning of 1999 with a loan of $200,000 on January 1st, 1999. This was to be followed by monthly loans of $15,000 until the option agreement was consummated by the deal with Toronto. If, and when, Notre delivered a signed contract, CWS would pay Notre $10 million dollars. If Notre failed to deliver a contract, all loans would be repayable to CWS.
1998

Key Legal Developments - Link

Fast-tracked environmental assessment hearing is announced. The hearing is restricted to one technical question (on the landfill design and its ability to control and contain leachate escape to the local groundwater; the entire EA must be completed within three months.
1998

Key Legal Developments - Link

Hearing panel releases decision on June 19. The three person panel issues a split decision, with two members concluding that more tests are required and that the final decision should be made by a Ministry employee; the third member dissented, concluding that the project should be rejected because of environmental and engineering concerns; the Board delegates the decision to a bureaucrat in the Ministry of the Environment
1998

Key Legal Developments - Link

Adams Mine Intervention Coalition, a coalition of farmers organizations, environmental groups and residents associations, appeals the decision to Cabinet on the grounds that the Board failed to make a decision, Cabinet ignores appeal and approves the Adams Mine, even before the conditions set by the Hearing Panel are met
1998

Key Legal Developments - Link

Adams Mine Intervention Coalition applies for a judicial review in the Ontario Courts in September, asking the court to review the decision of the E.A. Panel and of the Ontario Cabinet
1999
Key Legal Developments - Link
Ministry of the Environment releases draft certificate of approval for the Adams Mine in March, before the court case is heard
1999
Key Legal Developments - Link
Court case is heard and dismissed on July 13; the Court dismissed the case after determining that the Minister could make his decision without the EA Board having fulfilled their mandate
1999 City of Toronto issues a request for proposals from private sector waste management companies, the Rail Cycle North consortium, including Notre Development, Canadian Waste Services, Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Miller Waste and the Canadian National Railway are one of 6 companies to respond; Rail Cycle North proposes to ship 1.3 million tonnes of garbage to the Adams Mine
2000
February 2000 Works and Emergency Services report in February to the Works Committee of Toronto City Council on the five qualifying respondents to the request for proposals; the proposals were described as being average in comparison to each other based on Toronto's criteria
June 2000  Works and Emergency Services report in June to a joint meeting of the Policy and Finance and the Works Committees of the Toronto City Council, recommending that the Keele Valley landfill be extended, and that Toronto contract with the Windsor-Essex and Greenlane landfills in southwestern Ontario and Onyx's landfill in Michigan for solid waste disposal; 50 presentations are made in opposition to the Adams Mine, and 4000 letters received expressing opposition to the project; the Committees requested additional information, and deferred making a decision on which option to recommend to Council
July 2000 Works and Emergency Services report in July to a joint meeting of the Policy and Finance and the Works Committees of the Toronto City Council, identifying a combination of the Adams Mine and the site owned by Republic in Michigan as an alternative to their June recommendation; the committees recommend to the Toronto City Council that staff be directed to proceed to final contract negotiations with the Rail Cycle North consortium and Republic
August 2000 Toronto City Council meets August 1-3, considers recommendations from the Policy and Finance and the Works Committees to proceed to final contract negotiations with Rail Cycle North and Republic.
September 2000
Key Legal Developments - Link
Timiskaming First Nation submits formal application for a federal environmental assessment on September 1, 2000
September 2000 In mid-September, two "trouble-shooting" reports commissioned by Dofasco in 1985 and 1987 were handed over to members of the Campaign Against the Adams Mine. Dofasco is the previous owner and operator of the Adams Mine. The reports were retrieved from an area dump when Dofasco shut the mine down in 1989.The reports detail extensive rock wall and water problems at the various pits. There are five pits at the Adams Mine property. It is expected that at least three, and perhaps all five, could be used for holding garbage. The reports provide additional evidence of how unsuitable the Adams Mine is for use as a dump.
September 2000

Key Legal Developments - Link

The Campaign Against the Adams Mine and the Comité de la Sauvegard du lac Témiscamingue formally request a federal environmental assessment on September 21; federal Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development pass a resolution calling for federal environmental assessment on the Adams Mine
September 2000 Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development hold an emergency hearing on the Adams Mine landfill proposal on September 26
September 2000 Department of Indian Affairs recommends a federal environmental assessment of the Adams Mine dump proposal based on Sections 46 and 48 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act on September 28
October 2000 On October 11, Toronto City Council approves final contract with proponents of the Adams Mine dump unless a federal environmental assessment is announced by February 15th
October 2000

Key Legal Developments - Link

Contract Negotiations break down over issue of liability; Canadian Waste Services announces break off of negotiations on October 20; Adams Mine proposal is subsequently rejected by Toronto Council and 2000 Toronto signs a contract with Republic Waste to haul municipal waste to Michigan and commits to achieving 90% diversion by 2010.
2001
February 2001 February 22, 2001 lawyers for Waste Management Inc. (WMI) filed two contracts against a series of mining claims in Boston Township with the Land Registry Office; the claims make up the property of the Adams Mine. The contracts in question detail the loans made by WMI to Notre Development -- the promoter of the dump. As part of the contract, CWS advanced Notre Development a series of loan payments; if Notre Development had succeeded in developing the Adams Mine as a landfill, including securing permits and contracts, WMI was to have written off the loans, but if Note Development failed - as it did - CWS was owed all the money back.
March 2001 Canada Waste Services (CWS) confirms that it has dropped its option on the Adams Mine dump.
August 2001  Kirkland Lake Mayor Bill Enouy, repackages the Adams Mine proposal as "Enviroganics 2010" - a reference to Toronto's ambitious recycling and composting targets to be reached by the year 2010 - and unsuccessfully promotes option to Toronto
September 2001 Notre Development receives approval for the use and operation of a temporary wood waste (sawdust, bark and wood chips) storage facility at the Adams Mine site, near Kirkland Lake. This site would receive a maximum of 408 tonnes of wood waste per day. The maximum quantity of waste that will be temporarily stored at the site is 60,000 tonnes. The wood waste would be stored for a period of 8 months, between March 1 and October 31, 2001 http://204.40.253.254/envregistry/015449ei.htm
December 2001 Toronto City council has voted 38 to 2 to send its garbage to the Republic Inc. landfill site in Michigan for the next five years. The vote was held on Tuesday afternoon, December 4.
2002
September 2002  In September of 2002, the Adams Mine dump site was sold to a numbered company for $1.8 million. The company is primarly owned by Mario Cortelucci, who has donated over $1 million to the Progressive Conservative Party since 1985. Soon after the purchase, the Company began negotiating with the Eves government to purchase over 2,000 acres of crown land that are needed to develop the landfill. The negotations commenced in secret, without due process, and for the shockingly low price of $22 per acre. (Mario Cortellucci, the new owner and developer, has donated more than $1 million to the Conservative party and leadership candidates since 1995.
December 11, 2002 Northeastern Smart Growth Panel considers and rejects making recommendations on the development of the Adams Mine as a landfill as an economic development option.
2003
February 2003 The TFA contacted Minister of Environment Chris Stockwell by letter February 24 and was advised by director of the Approvals and Assessment Branch James O'Mara that the assessment process was complete and new evidence would not be considered.
April 2003 The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) reviews proposal to sell approximately 2,100 acres of land abutting the Adams Mine pits to a numbered company which owns the Adams Mine pits; Public Concern Temiskaming asks Ontario ombudsman Clare Lewis to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sale of the land; the Matachewan, Wahgoshig and Beaverhouse First Nations maintain that their "constitutionally protected aboriginal and treaty rights must be respected" in the matter of the sale of 971 hectares (approximately 2,100 acres of land) around the Adams Mine pit. The First Nations say they have not been consulted on the proposed sale of the land.
May 2003 The Temiskaming Federation of Agriculture has hired a hydrogeologist to review the data provided during the environmental assessment on the Adams Mine site. The Federation has obtained information which it states shows that the site does not offer hydraulic containment, as posed by the consultants who carried out the studies for the environmental assessment. Without hydraulic containment, the pit would leak leachate into the area's groundwater, which flows south.
May 20 2003 TFA president John Vanthof has advised Ontario Premier Ernie Eves in a letter dated May 20 that the TFA "remains interested in the issues surrounding the Adams Mine landfill proposal." -- Respected hydrogeologist Ken Howard has been retained by the Temiskaming Federation of Agriculture (TFA) to carry out a critical analysis of groundwater modelling conducted at the Adams Mine site and reported in 1998. Once Mr. Howard's analysis results are finalized, Mr. Vanthof has advised the Premier the TFA "will make a formal request to suspend the certificate of approval based on the recommendations of this critical analysis."
May 21 The Ontario-Michigan border was closed to garbage trucks, purportedly due to concerns that they might be carrying mad cow disease in their garbage. The border was closed to the trucks for about 12 hours.
May 2003  Monday, May 26, Mr. Stockwell met with Works representatives of Toronto, and the regions of Durham, Peel and York, to discuss an alternative plan for waste management, other than shipping waste across the border into United States.
June 2003 Revelations that more than $36 million in mortgage loans on farm land worth as much as $250 million were made in the past year by the Ontario Pension Board to Mario Cortellucci, the new owner of the Adams Mine. The developer has donated more than $1 million to the Conservative party and leadership candidates since 1995.
June 17 Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and residents living near Richmond landfill site near Napanee were accorded a victory from the Ontario Divisional Court which quashed the environmental assessment process for the proposed expansion of the landfill. In a 2 to 1 decision, the court found that Ontario's environment minister incorrectly applied the Environmental Assessment Act when he approved terms of reference were submitted by Canadian Waste Services which owns and operates the landfill. The argument was that the terms of reference excluded key planning issues, such as: whether there was a demonstrable need for the expansion; whether there were preferable alternatives to the expansion; and whether there were better or safer sites for waste disposal purposes.
July 2003 The Adams Mine Rail Haul has had notice served to the Temiskaming Federation of Agriculture (TFA) and its president John Vanthof that it plans to take them to court over a letter printed in The Temiskaming Speaker. TFA and Mr. Vanthof has sent notice to Adams Rail Haul that they will take Rail Haul to court over an advertisement printed in The Temiskaming Speaker. Both are seeking retractions and apologies.
July 9 The Ontario Ministry of Environment receives request for permission to dewatering the Adams Mine from the Adams Mine dump promoters and pit owners Mario Cortellucci and Adams Mine Rail Haul Corp. The request for a water taking permit to dewater the pits follows the release of evidence by area farmers that the pit is no longer filling with water. If proven true, the stabilized water levels would indicate the Adams Mine was unusable as a waste disposal site. The pit owners are demanding farmers withdraw a charge that the pit is no longer filling with water.
July 23, 2003 The Algonquins issued a legal warning to the Ontario Ministry of Environment, indicating that the Ministry of the Environment should not to allow the dewatering of the Adams Mine pit. The warning was issued by the legal counsel of Timiskaming First Nation (TFN) in response to news that the MOE is considering an application by Adams Mine Rail Haul to begin draining the South Pit of Adams Mine