Hello CCOB supporters.
The oral presentations of the hearing are completed and we now wait for the tribunal judge to make a decision. The trial judge did not indicate how long this may take, it could take months.
Below please see a summary of the closing statements:
- CELA, CCOB’s legal team, reinforced the strong evidence that there remained significant risks to our water and the health and safety of our community; risks that had not been adequately assessed or addressed by the industry thus far;
- Joe Castrilli, lead counsel from CELA, stated in his Closing Statements: “It’s “2017!! Knowledge and legislation has changed over the last 43 years since this license was granted. Should new evidence we have now not ensure the health and safety of our Paris community?
- Strong testimonies and evidence presented by our Expert Witnesses reinforced the need for precautionary measures and for a more rigorous new science risk assessment done by an independent, objective group with community oversight.
- It was disclosed near the end of the hearing that Atrazine had in fact been detected in the water of the test wells (as opposed to the claim that no Atrazine had been detected on site) as out legal team stated this is one of the pillars that the industry based their case. This is hugely important!
- Testimony from Expert Witnesses from the industry were found to have biases given their affiliation and previous funding through agrochemical industry sources??
- Finally, our legal team, CELA, highlighted other legal decisions that were made and should be considered in our case.
It was clear to anyone sitting in the room at any time during the hearing that the industry and the Ministry did not test the soil or water with the detection limits needed given the risks and current technology available to test at lower levels. Prior to this hearing, these types of permits have been a slam dunk for the industry. We were granted this appeal due to the strength of our evidence that has grown over the 5 years since we started and supported by the expert witnesses testifying on our behalf.
History has shown it is not easy to change legislation when it concerns a highly profitable product, this has been the case for DDT, PCBs and cigarettes. This is now the case for Atrazine. This explains the differing opinions within the scientific community upon which most of the bias is due to funding from the industry.
Your support has shown that as a community we can make a difference. The Chair of the ERT, Ms. Heather Gibbs, thanked CCOB for having brought this complex case forward which was well referenced.
The lawyer for the MOECC also thanked CCOB and their legal team for their respectful presence and presentations during the Hearing.
The strength of our case was felt and heard. Without you, we would not have made it this far.
Our fundraising efforts have to now continue.
We ask all of you to continue to reach out to your friends, family and others in our community to help us raise the remaining $40,000. (funds to pay for our expert representation)
We look forward to your continued support and presence as we wait for the decisions.