December 9th, 2019 - 7:28pm

Border Issues, Canda/US Relations, Community, Environment, Great Lakes, Public Safety

December 9, 2019

Mr. Pierre Béland, Canadian Chair & Commissioner Ms. Jane Corwin, US Chair & Commissioner
International Joint Commission International Joint Commission
Canadian Section U.S. Section
234 Laurier Avenue West, 22nd Floor 1717 H Street NW, Suite 835
Ottawa ON K1P 6K6 Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mr. B land & Ms. Corwin,

I am writing today as a follow-up to my 5 December 2019 letter, which you were copied on to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, regarding a dock collapse at the Revere Copper Site on the Detroit River. As the NDP Critic for Great Lakes issues, the Vice-Chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, and as the Member of Parliament for Windsor West, I know first-hand how important it is that we work with our American counterparts to ensure the healthiest water here for our entire region.

As you are aware, on 27 November 2019, the dock at this location collapsed directly into the Detroit River. Concerns have been raised because this location once held radioactive contamination and was a former munitions site for the United States Department of Defence. This site is currently rated high for contamination because of the residual contamination present. A study done prior to the decision constructing the new bridge between my riding and Detroit, Michigan, suggested that further study was required before land use could be determined because of the contamination at that site.

As though this is not alarming enough, it was only after a media story by reporter Dave Battagello of the Windsor Star, and then subsequent media stories, highlighted the clear dangers of this site, dock collapse, and lack of governmental action, that has now brought this story to the forefront. Simultaneously, these stories have proven that there is an immediate need for a binational study to discern the actual damage done by this dock collapse.

Furthermore, after meeting last week with many United States political leaders and environmental organizations, it is apparent that there is widespread concern that the actions by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are just not enough. This is the drinking water for communities on both sides of the border, and any contamination could create havoc in an already fragile ecosystem.

I am respectfully asking you and the IJC to undertake an immediate investigation into this dock collapse.

Should you require further information, I have received up-to-date information and would be pleased to share it, and the contacts from the American side that are actively working on this file also.

Thank you kindly in advance for your urgent attention to this matter. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours truly,

(original signed by)

Brian Masse MP
Windsor West
NDP Critic for Innovation, Science and Industry, and Great Lakes Issues
Vice-Chair, Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group

Senator Stephanie Chang
Representative Debbie Dingall
Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister
Irek Kusmierczyk MP (Windsor Tecumseh)
Chris Lewis MP (Essex)
Henry Lickers, Canadian Commissioner – IJC
Senator Gary Peters
Merrell-Ann Phare, Canadian Commissioner – IJC
Robert Sisson, US Commissioner – IJC
Representative Rashida Tlaib
Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada
Lance Yoho, US Commissioner – IJC
191209 IJC re Revere Dock Collapse