Man finally gets action three years after complaint

By Sue Yanagisawa, Whig-Standard Staff Writer

Complaint was first lodged in 1994  Bruce MacGregor has been trying to get somebody to investigate pollution runoff at Belle Park since the spring of 1994, when he noticed the river ice turning crayon yellow. Even seagulls, MacGregor said, “stayed way clear of that yellow crap.” MacGregor, 67, is no stranger to the Cataraqui River. He enjoys bullheads, he worked at Canada Dredge and Dock downriver and “when I was a kid we could go any place and swim.” Adults and children still swim off the point at Belle Island Park in the summer, but McGregor said he wouldn’t allow his dog in there with the floating garbage. He complained about the yellow ice to the city and reported it to the Ministry of Environment.

Three years later, he can no longer remember which told him the staining was from salt, but he didn’t believe it then and he still doesn’t. Nothing happened then, but just recently, McGregor was contacted by an investigator with the ministry’s investigation and enforcement branch wanting to know what he recalls. “There’s a hell of a lot of stuff gone in that river since I reported it, ” MacGregor said. As recently as last September, he recalls seeing city trucks hauling something onto the site and dumping it. He couldn’t identify exactly what it was, and said it was quickly covered by a bulldozer that periodically appeared at the park. He said he did recognize the trucks as the sort used to clean out storm sewers.