Atrazine – Pesticide banned in Europe found in Toronto’s tap water

Atrazine has been one of our bigger concerns and NOW magazine has reported that Atrazine has been detected in the drinking water for both Montreal & Toronto.

The company that manufactures Atrazine says that it disappears, a defence relied upon by the MOECC & Dufferin & accepted by the tribunal. So if Atrazine disappears then how did it get in Toronto’s drinking water?


Pesticide banned in Europe found in Toronto’s tap water

Research around atrazine has found endocrine-disrupting properties connected to hermaphrodite frogs, feminized fish and low sperm counts in humans living in agricultural areas

BY   MARCH 19, 2017

Toronto may be an hour from the nearest farm, but environmental groups say unsafe levels of a top-selling herbicide used on cornfields for the last 50-odd years are turning up in our tap water.

Tests commissioned by Environmental Defence and Équiterre have found atrazine in both Toronto and Montreal’s drinking water at levels that would flunk European safety standards.

“It’s quite alarming,” says Environmental Defence’s toxics manager, Muhannad Malas. “Torontonians are probably exposed to atrazine on a daily basis.”

Research around atrazine, manufactured by agrochemical giant Syngenta, has found endocrine-disrupting properties connected to hermaphrodite frogs and feminized fish, as well as low sperm counts and reproductive problems in humans living in agricultural areas. The EU banned atrazine in 2003 because of widespread pollution of groundwater from farm runoff.

A 2013 lawsuit filed by Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation and Équiterre triggered a review by Health Canada of 23 ingredients found in 383 pesticide products banned in other countries, including atrazine.

As part of its assessment, Health Canada tapped groundwater monitoring data and found the chemical in 20 per cent of 14,455 groundwater samples from Canada and the U.S., but its research says levels detected “did not exceed the Canadian drinking water guidelines for atrazine (5 micrograms/litre).”

Toronto Public Health spokesperson Christine Navarro tells NOW that “the levels of atrazine in drinking water are well below the maximum acceptable concentration for drinking water.” And that “the level of exposure in drinking water is very low.”

Navarro notes that 99 per cent of the 2,500 Canadians aged three to 79 tested in a Canadian Health Measures Survey “had levels of atrazine metabolites that were below laboratory detection levels, indicating no or very low exposure to the general population.”

The thing is, the EU’s threshold for safe levels of atrazine in drinking water is 50 times lower than Canadian drinking water guidelines allow.

Maryse Bouchard, associate professor at Université de Montréal’s School of Public Health, says, “Even at concentrations close to the European standard, several effects of atrazine on amphibians and animals have been demonstrated, including impacts on reproduction and development.”

Bouchard says some studies “also suggest harmful effects on human reproduction and development at concentrations in water similar to those analyzed in the Montreal and Toronto tap water samples.”

Environmental groups say Health Canada’s reassessment was far too narrow, limited to groundwater and failed to consider surface water sources like Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, from which Toronto and Montreal, respectively, get their drinking water.

Considering what researchers have already found with endocrine disruptors like atrazine, Malas says that even exposure at very low levels can be harmful. “There’s no safe level of exposure. The only solution is to ban atrazine so it doesn’t contaminate our water in the first place.”

You can find the article on Now’s website here:

You’ll want in on this deal

Howdy folks!

CCOB is holding an Earth Day fundraiser that’s really easy to participate in. All you need to do is buy pizza & half of what you spend goes to CCOB.

The awesome people at Dominos have put together this unbeatable deal for Saturday April 22…

2 medium pizzas with toppings & cheesy bread for just $20 – & $10 goes to CCOB
2 large pizzas with toppings & cheesy bread for just $30 – with $15 going to CCOB

We will also be having family fun activities in the parking lot from 12 – 6PM

Please spread the word. A flyer is included for your convenience.
Thanks for your continued support!!


CCOB earth day pizza fundraiser 22apr2017 (2)

Tribunal Update

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. 



If you would like to contribute or have friends/neighbours who would like to support us, cheques can be made payable to CCOB & dropped off at Advance Printing, 2 Scott Ave. or dropped in the mailbox at 8 Columbine Cresent or mailed to CCOB, 738 Watts Pond Rd., Paris N3L 3E2. Contributions can also be made on Gofundme

Dominos Pizza Paris is holding a dough-raiser on Tuesday, January 17 at 11 AM – 11 PM to support the work of the Concerned Citizens of Brant to protect our water. $5 from every order will go to support our legal costs at the ongoing environmental tribunal hearings.

For $20 (plus tax $22.60), you get two medium pizzas with two toppings each, plus a cheesy bread. To order: 519-442-4400
Don’t forget to mention it is for the dough-raiser 🙂 If online ordering, use coupon code “DOUGH”

100% of funds raised go towards the costs of our experts

CCOB In The News

Howdy folks!!

It’s been a busy time for CCOB these last few weeks. The hearing opened this week and will resume January 9th with public sessions in the evening Wed & Thurs Jan 11th & 12th.

You can read all about the hearings in the Expositor:

The fundraising is going awesome and we are currently at $80,675 on

A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed. You are awesome!!

CCOB 2017 calendars are now available. You can pick them up at Advance Printing or they will be delivered to Green Heron Books Thursday & we will be selling them at Wincey Mills. details to come.

Thanks for all your support!!


Paris Community rallying around CCOB after Council surprise

The partnership between the Concerned Citizens of Brant (CCOB) and Brant County Council was shattered after Council decided in a closed meeting to enter into a deal with CRH.
After several days of intensive discussion of the various options, the CCOB executive made the decision to ‘go it alone’. Several fundraising projects were hammered out since the need for funds, estimated at $100 000, was urgent and formidable. It was the right decision. The reaction of the community was immediate and overwhelming.
At noon November 29, people of Brant County and others had donated or pledged over $75,000, according to the CCOB’s gofundme page. These contributions of the community are a vote to continue.


One of the donations was from 7-year old Paris resident Luke Mitchell, who dug deep into his allowance piggy bank. While handing over his contributions to Jeff Broomfield of CCOB, Luke had some words he wanted to say to all the people of Brant County,

“It’s important to give as much as you can to keep our water safe.”

CCOB went into partnership with Brant County Council to challenge the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change(MOECC) and CRH before an Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) regarding health and environmental risks associated with the Paris Pit. It is known this pit will be operating directly above the aquifer supplying Paris’s drinking water.
CCOB wants assurances the pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used on this agricultural land will pose no danger of contaminating the aquifer.
Council hired experts they had asked CCOB to recommend, from their decision to sever the partnership with the CCOB, it would appear that Council ignored these findings. Since those decisions were made ‘in camera’ they are not available for public scrutiny.
The first hearings for the ERT are December 12th and 13th 10 AM at Paris Council Chambers. Those hearings are public and will give this community the chance, by their attendance, to closely follow these proceedings and show the world they do care what happens in their community.


We’re going strong! Thank You!


I think the real story here is how a small town is coming together to protect our water.
I really want to thank everyone, and the whole group here at CCOB want to express our thanks to you for all of your support and encouragement. We recognize the sacrifice many of you made to make this contribution. We truly appreciate all of your efforts and your faith in us.
We’re so close… We’ve managed to get an extension & our outlook is pretty good. To proceed we have to be able to guarantee that we can pay the experts.
We still need another $25,000 to move forward and we’re still collecting pledges and donations.
Many of the citizens that we have spoken with are furious with the County’s move. Rightly so. I’m with you.
I also believe that this adds further strength to our case… if we (CCOB) keep our cool and utilize the situation then we will win this case.

… but we can’t do it without out your support.
Anything you can do will be awesome!

Cheques can be made payable to CCOB & dropped off at Advance Printing or dropped in the mailbox at 8 Columbine Cres or mailed to Jeff Broomfield, 738 Watts Pond Rd., Paris N3L3E2

Donations can also be made on Gofundme
I really wish I could share more.

Thanks again!!
Jeff Broomfield


Mark your calendar for Monday Dec 12. That’s the 1st day of testimony for Dr. Forkert (if we’re able to go forward) and you’ll have the opportunity to hear for yourself how bad these chemicals really are.

Brant County does about face on Paris Pit Appeal to make weak deal with Dufferin

Brant County’s toxicology and geo-engineering experts, along with CCOB’s Prof. Howard, contaminant hydrogeology expert, visited the Paris Pit site on Watt’s Pond road on Oct. 20. The visit, which included also the Telfer and Gilbert Wells and the Pit site’s connection to the Grand River, was part of preparations for the Environmental Review Tribunal Appeal Hearing starting December 12th.

Their October 28th detailed statements and submissions added considerable strength for a successful Appeal outcome to protect the quantity and quality of the water source of our community.

Shockingly, on the 25th, just a few days after the Experts’ site visit, Executive Members of CCOB were called to a meeting by Council Staff to inform CCOB that the staff had been negotiating with Dufferin since July and had agreed terms.
The negotiation was done without any notification to or consultation with CCOB as their Appeal partner. Also neither to the County’s own experts and without waiting for the experts’ evidence.

The draft terms since seen by CCOB fall far short in their protection of the water quantity and quality compared to those recommended in the Experts’ reports. The reports answer fully the shortcomings in the original Ministry of the Environment Conditions as pointed out by the Review Tribunal when it allowed the Hearing.

On Friday 18th November the Clerk to the Council informed CCOB that the Council had ratified the final deal at a special in-camera session of Council on Monday 14th . CCOB had requested to present at an open session before the beginning of the in-camera session but was refused.

Details of the deal have not been released.

Our legal team, CELA, (Canadian Environmental Law Association) have advised us to continue to move forward with our Appeal given the strength of our case. We have the opportunity right now to set a precedent for both Paris and the entire province of Ontario.

No one wants to see another Walkerton or a Flint Michigan. We all like to think it cannot happen here. The people in those communities did not think it could happen there either and trusted their local leaders and governments to prevent it. Sadly they we disappointed and lives were lost. Atrazine, one of the agrochemicals which has been used for many years on the soils which are being extracted, is one of the risks factors for contaminating our water given the vulnerability of the Paris Pit on a wellhead protection area and in such close proximity to the Grand River.One of the concerns we have with Atrazine here is that studies have shown it contributes to breast cancer, pre-term births, infertility, non-Hodgkins Lyphoma and other health issues particularly for women and children even with low dose exposure.

In order to prevent any of the above occurring here CCOB must move forward ALONE with the Appeal. This is five years of work, volunteer work, and contributions by the community and we are at the cliff’s edge. We have built a very strong case and we are left paying 100 per cent of the trial.

We need your help. This is the final move. This is what everyone has worked for and our citizens have donated and signed letters and attended meetings for. This is for all of us and our children. Realistically we need $100,000. I know that sounds out of reach but as a community we can do this.

All we need is for 100 people to contribute $1000.00 or 200 people who can donate $500.00. We know that’s a lot. Give what you can. We can also do this in installments as we only have to decide that we will move forward and let our legal team know by Monday at 3:59p.m. to accomplish this.

Please consider giving us whatever you can to support us moving forward to ensure the health and safety of our water for generations to come. We know we can do this with your help


Volunteers Needed For Waterfest

Waterfest is just around the corner!! This will be an awesome event for our community.

Sat Oct 15 1:30PM till 1:00 AM

In order to run an event of this size, we need a lot of help.

Please consider how you can help and respond to this email. The following are some of the areas we are looking for help with:

Volunteer opportunities:

Promoting on social media
Putting up posters
Selling tickets before the 15th
Bringing friends
Donating auction items
Selling tickets at the door on the 15th
Selling pizza, snacks, pop
General help on the day
Setting up and cleaning up before or after the event
Organizing auction items
Helping on stage

If you could respond as soon as possible with the areas you are able to volunteer with, we can get your name on the list. And if you know any students looking to fill volunteer hours please pass this onto them.

As it looks now we will be setting up on the Friday night.

Thank you for all of your support and we look forward to seeing you on Sat Oct. 15th at the Paris fairgrounds!

You can also call Jeff Broomfield at 519-754-6229 for more information.


Pre Hearing Thurs Sept. 22

Hello CCOB members

This is just a reminder about the Environmental Tribunal Meeting on Thursday Sept 22 2016 at Brant County Council Chambers 7 Broadway Street West in Paris commencing at 10:00 a.m.

   This is open to the public and the beginning of our case to protect the drinking water for the town of Paris. Attendance by citizens will not only back up our councils decision and CCOBs decision to Appeal the Permit to Take Water and the Environmental Compliance but also show the Tribunal that people here really care about their future and the environmental futures of their children.

 Winning the Right to this Partial Appeal is a major move forward after four years of work. You will be able to watch legal decisions pertaining to our future court case take place.  We need to show the Tribunal this is important by exercising our democratic rights to attend this session. Hope to see as many as possible on Thursday morning and look for ward to your comments following.