Aglukkaq says she learned only last week about plan to dump wastewater in St. Lawrence River

Aglukkaq says she learned only last week about plan to dump wastewater in St. Lawrence River

Main pic: Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq answers a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, May 25, 2015. Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.

MONTREAL — The federal environment minister says she found out only recently about Montreal’s plan to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River.

Leona Aglukkaq tweeted today that her office learned last week of the wastewater dump plan, which has become fodder in the federal election campaign and the subject of intense debate at the Quebec legislature.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper weighed in during a Saskatoon campaign stop today, urging the city to find an alternative plan.

On Tuesday, the federal government urged the city to suspend the planned dump, prompting Mayor Denis Coderre to accuse Ottawa of playing “cheap” politics.

The one−week sewage dump is set to begin Oct. 18 and is aimed at relocating a snow chute that runs under a major downtown expressway that is being razed.

Coderre has said federal officials have known about the plan since September 2014 and he gave Environment Canada until the end of the week to meet with him and city officials.

In Quebec City, Premier Philippe Couillard reaffirmed support for Coderre’s plan, saying experts have gone over numerous scenarios and that the dump remains the best.

Coderre said this week he’s satisfied the plan is the best option available.

The Canadian Press

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