Contamination: The Poisonous Legacy of Ontario's Environmental Cutbacks

Diemer, Ulli
Date Written:  2000-06-04
Publisher:  Ulli Diemer, Walkerton, Canada
Year Published:  2000
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX5285

The story of Ontario's right-wing Harris government, which gutted health and environmental protection polices, leading to the Walkerton water disaster.

According to Ulli Diemer, the story of the Walkerton tragedy is not primarily a story about Walkerton at all. This was no unforeseen accident. It was the predictable - and predicted - result of deliberate policy decisions which gravely compromised the safety of Ontario's drinking water.

The broader story of Walkerton is the story of repeated warnings, from many different experts, officials, and agencies, that the Harris government's environmental cutbacks were putting public health in jeopardy. And it is the story of how those warnings were dismissed or ignored.

Step by step, a disaster was being prepared. The only question was where, and when, it would happen. Unluckily for Walkerton's citizens, it was in their town that the system broke down, with fatal results.

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