Timeline of Hamilton #Sewergate that led to Chedoke Creek clean-up


Published March 10, 2023 at 2:45 pm

The #Sewergate saga in Hamilton took another turn, with the province moving up the deadline for the city to have the dredging work at Chedoke Creek completed.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservations and Parks informed the City of Hamilton on March 3 that the work must be done by Aug. 31. That is four months earlier than the former deadline of Dec. 31, and also two months earlier than Hamilton Water director Nick Winters had projected during a media briefing last fall. The city also does not have an agreement with the Haundenosaunee Development Institute about environmental monitoring of the clean-up, but has consultation agreements with other Indigenous nations whose traditional territories are within Hamilton.

Thursday, following a staff recommendation, city council voted for the amended work order to be appealed. The vote was held in-camera.

“Time has been removed that would have accommodated any of the challenges that come up with this type of dredging work,” Winters said on Friday. “We’re anxious to get started, but we don’t have confidence that this is achievable.”

The HDI represents the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council, which affirms treaty rights to attend the site.

As a companion to further coverage at inTheHammer, here is a partial timeline of how #Sewergate has unfolded.


January 2014-July 2018: A bypass gate in the combined sewer overflow tank is left about 5 per cent open, and some 24 billion litres of stormwater runoff and raw sewage get pumped into Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise.


November: After a whistleblower comes forward to provide details for a Hamilton Spectator report, the city acknowledges what is now known as #SewerGate. City council’s vote to issue a public apology was decided at 3:30 a.m. after a marathon meeting.


December: The city is fined over #SewerGate by the MECP.


February: Consultation with Indigenous groups, including HDI, begins.

April-June: Prep work for Chedoke Creek remediation begins. The province approves a dredging plan. The province sets a Dec. 31, 2022 deadline for completion.

September: Two city managers who had oversight of Chedoke Creek when the discharge occurred for years on end leave their jobs.


February: The city and HDI have their last meeting of 2022, per HDI’s general legal counsel of Aaron Detlor.

January-August: While this was not directly due to #SewerGate, seven of 16 elected leaders in Hamilton, including three-terms Mayor Fred Eisenberger, retire from city council.

July: Milestone Environmental Contracting Inc. is awarded an estimated $5.94-million contract for the work.

Aug. 18-23: Community members representing Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council show up on August 18 and 23 at Kay Drage Park, citing “treaty rights to attend the site.” They succeed in bringing a pause to Milestone’s contracted work.

Sept. 20: The city says work is set to resume.

Oct. 11: The city says it has asked the province to intervene.

Oct. 24: Three additional councillors lose their re-election bids.


Feb. 7: The city advises MECP that the Chedoke Creek Workplan was due to resume in June, with in-water dredging work to begin on July 17, and be completed by Oct. 31.

March 3: The MECP moves the deadline ahead from Dec. 31 to Aug. 31.

March 9: At a special council meeting, the elected leadership of Hamilton votes to appeal the amended MECP order.

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