Being a resident of Oshawa, I have watched closely for the past eight years the ongoing saga of the Oshawa waterfront and the struggle by the citizens of our city to oppose the Oshawa Port Authority and FarmTech Energy’s plans to put an ethanol refinery on Oshawa port lands.
Well, this has now drawn to a conclusion as the arbitrator’s decision has resulted in the news that construction of the refinery will be cancelled. Kudos must be given to Larry Ladd and other community activists who spearheaded the campaign against the refinery. This truly is a victory for the thousands of Oshawa residents who opposed the refinery.
While we know the decision of the arbitration, unfortunately we do not know the reasons given by the arbitrator for not proceeding with the refinery, as response from the Port Authority has only been to say that the construction of the ethanol plant will not proceed. Chair of the Port Authority Gary Valcour, who supported the project, owes the citizens of Oshawa answers. What was the arbitrator’s reasoning in opposing construction of the plant? What were the costs associated with the arbitration? Hopefully, Mr. Valcour will be forthcoming with those answers. If not, it will make for an interesting and no doubt vocal next annual general meeting of the Port Authority.
We must also remember that Mr. Valcour was appointed to the Port Authority by the former Harper government – a government that lost the support and confidence of Canadians. With that and the opposition shown to the ethanol plant and now the arbitrations decision, now is the time for Mr. Valcour to do the honourable thing and resign as chair of the Oshawa Port Authority.