I Contacted the Ontario Ombudsman

While the TSSA has its own Ombudsman, the Ministry of the Environment does not, and would fall under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ombudsman Office.

I contacted the Ontario Ombudsman’s office, as I felt that the Ministry of the Environment had been negligent in dealing with my situation – in that they have done nothing at all except record my complaints and issue an ID # for each report, and occasionally witness a tanker refuelling, with no testing equipment of any kind. Is the amount of vapours discharged within safe and allowable limits ? Is what is discharged a safe airborne chemical for a residence to be in close proximity to ? Who knows, as the Ministry of the Environment has collected no data whatsoever.

I submitted an inquiry via email. Within a few days someone got back to me and acknowledged my submission. At a later date, a phone appointment was made to go over some of the details. During this time, I had also been in the process of composing a Request for Investigation, via the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights.

The Application for Investigation was a more laborious form that required documentation and affidavits. It had to be signed by two residents of Ontario before it could be submitted, and the language on the form made it sound like this was required to be done in front of an authorized notary. A friend agreed to co-sign with me as she had heard every last boring detail of the gas station woes. With all the documentation and notes, it was 3/4″ thick.

I had originally scheduled the signing for May 13, but I had to cancel that due to the sudden euthanasia of Pa, on May 11. It was rescheduled for the following week.

The local lawyer I took it to had NEVER seen or heard of this form. He kindly waived the notary fee, as he wasn’t sure that this was actually required, though he did all the Notary things with a seal.

The person from the Ombudsman Office contacted me after our first phone meeting, as I had sent the office a copy of this application. The person I spoke with had been employed by the Ombudsman Office for close to a decade, and had NEVER encountered this form, either. I was told that my application to the Ombudsman Office would be on hold, pending the outcome of the Application for Investigation.

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