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Canada's Cleanup Program Comes in for Scathing Criticism

Date: October 17, 2002

Source: News Room

An environmental watchdog has charged that the Canadian government has bungled the cleanup of thousands of toxic sites and abandoned mines across the country and needs to spend billions of dollars to deal with the problem. Environment and sustainable development commissioner Johanne Gelinas said Canada officials have about 3,600 contaminated sites under their responsibility and another 1,500 where contamination is suspected. These include harbors, ports, military bases, government laboratories and abandoned mines. One serious concern is the hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic chemicals such as arsenic and cyanide now left at abandoned mines in northern Canada. Cleaning up the 30 worst sites alone would cost C$555 million ($355 million).

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