Canada’s sewage system is a disgrace. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians dump their sewage, untreated, into our coastal waters. Over a million more contaminate our lakes and rivers with raw sewage. Sewage treatment plants, in desperate need of repair and upgrading, regularly violate provincial and federal laws. In Nova Scotia and British Columbia, non-complying plants are the norm. Six dozen plants in Ontario, and over four dozen in Quebec, exceed their discharge limits. Across the country, sewage pollution contaminates beaches and harbours, puts shellfish grounds off limits to harvesters, and kills fish.
Almost half of Quebec’s sewage-treatment plants fail to meet government requirements – a sign that drastic action must be taken to prevent further degradation of lakes and rivers, a report by an environmental group concludes.
Martin Nantel reviews the rules and agreements regulating municipal sewage treatment in Québec and demonstrates how unaccountable governments plagued by conflicts of interest fail to enforce their own laws. The report ends with a series of recommendations that would alleviate sewage pollution in the province. Continue reading