SARNIA, Ontario — Ecojustice has issued the following statement about the discontinuation of the Chemical Valley Charter case, which argued the Ontario government failed to address the Suncor Energy petroleum refinery’s contributions to cumulative, chronic air pollution in Chemical Valley and violated the Charter rights of Ada Lockridge and Ron Plain of Aamjiwnaang First Nation:
“Five years ago, we helped our clients Ada Lockridge and Ron Plain of Aamjiwnaang First Nation launch a lawsuit against the Ontario government and Suncor Energy. Up until this point, all other efforts to get the government and industry to address chronic air pollution in Chemical Valley had fallen on deaf ears.
“The Ontario government is now taking action to fix some of the problems that led Ada and Ron to take legal action. These actions are what we expected would result from a successful lawsuit. That’s why, on our advice as their legal counsel, Ada and Ron have withdrawn their lawsuit.
“To achieve our shared goal of reducing harmful pollution in Ontario communities, we’re now focusing our energy on ensuring the government’s new initiatives lead to durable community solutions — starting with its efforts in Chemical Valley.
“Governments have an obligation to protect us from unsafe levels of pollution. Chemical Valley’s air pollution crisis is an urgent human rights issue that requires immediate action. What Ada, Ron, and their family and friends in Aamjiwnaang have been made to endure shouldn’t happen to anyone, anywhere, and further underscores why it is time for Canadian governments to recognize and protect our right to a healthy environment.”