The provincial government has apologized to Ottawa city officials after it publicly released a decision to approve the expansion of the Carp Road landfill without informing Mayor Jim Watson, city councillors or staff.
Ontario's ministry of environment had been considering the environmental assessment of the company that owns and operates the landfill, Waste Management Inc.
Waste Management Inc. was seeking permission to expand its landfill in west Ottawa to accept 400,000 tonnes of waste per year for 10 years.
The city had already signalled it opposed the plan and had made it's own submission to the ministry regarding the company's environmental assessment.
On Thursday, the ministry announced the plan had been approved and said city officials had been informed, drawing a strong rebuke from Ottawa Mayor Watson, who said he learned of the news through the media and said the lack of notification showed a "lack of respect."
'The mayor was not notified'
Watson said the ministry had plenty of time to inform all interested parties of the Aug. 28 decision ahead of time.
"No staff at the City of Ottawa received an advance, or at the very least simultaneous, notification of the decision had been made or was about to be released," wrote Watson in a letter to environment minister James Bradley.
Ministry spokesperson Kate Jordan said the ministry erred, and that the city should have been notified.
"Due to an internal communications mixup in the ministry, we incorrectly stated that Mayor Watson was personally notified of the decision. This is not correct. In fact, due to an error, the mayor was not notified," wrote Jordan in an email.
"The MOE apologizes to Mayor Watson."
The site of Waste Management's project would be next to the old Carp Road dump. Waste Management still has a few other hurdles before it can go ahead with the landfill expansion, which includes plans for waste diversion, recycling and composting.
The plans have met with resistance, particularly in nearby Stittsville, where residents are concerned about bad odours, groundwater contamination and lowering property values.