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Suncor seeks to suppress results from environmental testing at former Bay St. tank farm, council told

Gag order said to be a condition of selling the waterfront property near Purvis Marine
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Suncor bids to take over Canadian Oil Sands, offering stock worth $4.3 billion
File photo Northern Ontario Business

Calgary-based energy giant Suncor Energy Inc. is willing to sell its former tank farm on Bay Street just west of Purvis Marine, according to information presented at last night's City Council meeting.

Suncor has indicated a willingness to sell the waterfront property to the city for a 'nominal fee,' Ward 1 councillors Steve Butland and Paul Christian said in a notice of motion.

But there's a string attached.

Suncor wants any deal to be conditional on the city signing a confidentiality agreement regarding disclosure of its latest environment findings from the site, which has sat dormant for more than 35 years.

SooToday's Carol Martin reported in 2010 that Suncor was initially resistant to the city's wish to run the Hub Trail over a thin strip of the property, but eventually was persuaded to lease the land to the city for 20 years at a cost of at least $162,500 in rent, fees and taxes.

One year later, in 2011, the energy giant indicated it was willing to discuss selling the former tank farm.

The following is the notice of motion as read out by Deputy City Clerk Rachel Tyczinski at last night's City Council meeting:

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Notice of motion

Moved by Councillor S. Butland

Seconded by Councillor P. Christian

Whereas the future of the Bay Street tank farm site remains undetermined, and

Whereas discussions with Suncor beginning in 2011 with attached correspondence have proven unsuccessful, and

Whereas the site would be appropriately designated a brownfield site and likely eligible for loans or grants to remediate the property from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and

Whereas Suncor has now expressed a willingness to sell the property for a nominal fee conditional upon the city signing a confidentiality agreement regarding the disclosure of the most recent environment tests and results taken on the property,

Now be it resolved that council authorize staff to facilitate the above discussion and action to proceed.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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