Contact: Frank Roy, 613 264 8856, or e-mail


The February 14th, 2003 decision of Environment Minister Chris Stockwell in the Tay River case has triggered a court challenge of broad interest to citizens all across Ontario. The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) has filed application, on behalf of Miss Ann K. German, for a judicial review of it.

By granting a two-phased Permit To Take Water, the Minister's decision has set a significant and worrisome precedent for all future water takings. The Environmental Bill of Rights would only apply for the first phase of water taking; and there are no provisions for public notice, comment or rights of appeal for the significant increases in water taking in phase two. His decision raises serious questions about the legality of a two phase permit and the circumvention of citizens’ rights under the Environmental Bill of Rights for phase two.

The Minister’s political decision to overturn the outcome of a government appointed Environmental Review Tribunal seriously challenges the validity of the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights legislation and process. It also reduces the ability of citizens to have any public input into the conditions regulating the second phase of permits to take water in the future.

Miss German, 85, is a property owner and seasonal resident on Bobs Lake, the major reservoir lake supplying the Tay River and Rideau Canal through Frontenac and Lanark Counties in Eastern Ontario. She was one of the original appellants in the appeal of the Permit To Take Water granted to OMYA(Canada) Inc. in August 2000.

In taking this action, Miss German acknowledges that she is vulnerable for the substantial financial risks involved in challenging the Minister’s decision. Those wishing to support her in this are invited to send their donation to The Tay River Legal Defence Fund, 83 Cockburn Street, Perth, ON, K7H 2B7 or call 613 264 8856 for further information.

"I am doing this for Bobs Lake and for all concerned citizens of Ontario" said Ann, whose parents first visited her bit of the shoreline on a canoe trip in 1917, before she was born.

This application for a judicial review of the Minister's decision is a matter of interest to all citizens of Ontario. It seeks to confirm the validity of the Environmental Bill of Rights and the ability of Ontario citizens to use this legislation and established process to ensure conservation, protection and sound management of their environment and natural resources without political interference.