Superior Media spoke with Michael Mantha, MPP (Algoma—Manitoulin) Tuesday morning – August 22, 2017 regarding evolving developments at River Valley Park.
Mantha has been working diligently on many fronts to resolve the crisis at The Mobile Home Park. “I’m trying everything I possibly can to help the owner fulfill the requirements needed by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and Algoma Public Health (APH).
In an interview this morning with Superior Media, Mantha said, “The owner has recently submitted an additional report under the ECA (Environmental Compliance Application) – and once that whole application is done- we can actually proceed to get it reviewed by the MOECC. If it is approved – that will be the compliance plan going forward. Once that is approved – my hope is that APH can lift the closure order at River Valley. We’re down to the crunch. I don’t know if those reports will be done and turned in before the deadline. My hope is that we can have a plan going forward under the timeline.” said Mantha. “My understanding is that a partial ECA has been submitted, however there were some missing reports.”
Mantha said that the owner of River Valley Park, Mr. Harjeet Dusanjh did submit a request for an engineering firm to complete that report.
Mantha stated that he is presently trying to work with the owner – APH and the MOECC to find a path forward in order that the residents at River Valley do not lose their homes. “The APH and MOECC have a role to play that is above all considerations and are legislated under law. They do not want to see this park close. If anything – they want to work with the owner to move a plan forward.”
“The owner has been making moves. His hope was that the Tribunal would push back the date for closure and that did not happen, as we know. The Tribunal ruled to uphold the original closure order.”
The Health Services Review and Appeal Board Tribunal held a hearing on August 10th, 2017 and rendered their decision on August 17, 2017.
“There was an additional report that was not submitted that the MOECC is expecting. The owner has submitted the name of the Engineering Firm and the financial cost associated with this application and the necessary reports required as part of the application (ECA).”
“A complete ECA needs to be submitted – not just partial components. They (MOECC) need all the reports and surveys required under the ECA. Once they have a complete ECA – they have assured me that they will expedite the process.” said Mantha.
“As of 10:15 am, Tuesday, August 22, 2017, the owner has submitted an additional report required under the ECA.” Mantha told Superior Media/Saultonline.com.
“Both the Ministry (MOECC) at the Toronto level and local level have assured me that they will do everything possible to expedite the process – to review reports– to complete them in a timely manner so that we can come up with a compliance programme. We really don’t need the work done immediately – What we need is the plan and a timeframe to have this work completed.”
Superior Media will continue to follow the evolving story at River Valley Park. It is a fluid situation with over 34 people facing imminent homelessness.