Hamilton awards $5.9M contract for Chedoke Creek remediation


Published July 12, 2022 at 4:52 pm

A contractor has been selected by the City of Hamilton to perform the targeted dredging of Chedoke Creek, where more than 24 billion litres of stormwater runoff and sewage was discharged during the #Sewergate scandal.

A media release says that Milestone Environmental Contracting Inc. won the bid, at a cost of just more than $5.9 million, to carry out the clean-up project that was ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks. The project is expected to take four to five months to complete and will wrap up by Dec. 31, which was the deadline spelled out in the environment ministry’s order to the city.

The official bid price is $5,919,992.

The province approved the city’s remediation plan last August. Before the bidding process for work to restore Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise could begin, permits needed to be acquired from several gatekeepers. Along with two provincial ministries, permission also needed to be obtained from Hamilton Conservation Authority, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Transport Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


#Sewergate came to light late in 2019. The city admitted that from early in 2014 till ’18, a bypass gate that was supposed to be closed was left open, leading to the discharge into a natural environment that is one of the distinguishing features of West Hamilton. At that time, thanks to a whistleblower who provided information, the Hamilton Spectator revealed that the city council elected to keep details of the spill from the public in order to avoid a hefty fine.

The vote on whether the city should issue an apology ended up going into the wee hours of the night. Ward 1 Coun. Maureen Wilson, who represents the area around Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise, said she had been “in tears” when the earlier decision to withhold info was made.

Political and professional fallout from #Sewergate is difficult to quantify. Indirectly, there are some members of city council who are not running again, and some senior employees who oversaw local water management have also moved on.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Couns. Sam Merulla (Ward 4), Brenda Johnson (11) and Judi Partridge (15) have announced they are not seeking re-election this fall. Chad Collins, who repped Ward 5 in 2019, is now a Liberal member of Parliament, so nearly one-third of the 16 seats around the horseshoe in council chambers will be open in October.

(Half of the current council are seeking re-election. Ward 6. Coun. Tom Jackson, who has been a local representative since 1988, became the eighth incumbent to file nomination papers.)

Last summer, two managers also left their jobs with the city. Both were involved in water management in the 2014-18 period.

In the meantime, the City of Hamilton will provide regular updates on Chedoke remediation process at hamilton.ca/ChedokeCreekRemediation.

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