Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen
The city is having a little trouble extricating itself from its relationship with Plasco Energy. As our Matthew Pearson reports, the environment committee voted to officially cut ties with company on Tuesday, but city solicitor Rick O’Connor says the city can’t unilaterally cancel its contract with Plasco without a judge’s permission now that the company is under creditors’ protection.
It won’t be entirely smooth sailing over the next while for the city when it comes to Plasco, and not just because the city needs a court’s permission to unilaterally end its contract. Decommissioning the Plasco site, which sits on city land, looks like it’ll take 18 months. Plasco had already given the city a $300,000 deposit for the decommissioning and Tuesday, Kirkpatrick told councillors that he was “comfortable” that the deposit would cover the winding-down costs. Let’s hope he’s right.
Also over the years, the city has paid Plasco a so-called tipping fee to take our garbage for the company to process in its facility, although at the moment of the creditor protection filing, it’s the city that owes Plasco $15,000.
So, all in all, Ottawa taxpayers get off fairly lightly. (The people of Blind River were not so lucky, as the Citizen’s Vito Pilieci describes — they’re owed almost $18 million by Plasco).