Wundeba has both environmental issue and ownership problems

News 100 redBy Staff

January 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The people in the Mt Nemo community have shared some news.

A restaurant on Guelph Line that has been doing great business, bus loads from Burlington arrive for lunch in the good weather, at times it is difficult to place a reservation,

The Wundeba was a very welcome addition to restaurants out of town.

The news from the community was disturbing. The details are set out below.

Wondeba letter

Philippe St-Cyr
5123 Mount Nemo Cres Burlington, Ontario, L7M 0T7 Canada

Sjonum Sristi Awalia 5123 Mount Nemo Cres
Burlington, Ontario, L7M 0T7 Canada

Site
4448 Guelph Line
Burlington, Regional Municipality of Halton

1. Authority to Issue Order

I have authority to issue orders under the EPA and the OWRA to further the purpose of the EPA and OWRA, namely to provide for the protection and conservation of the natural environment.

This Order is being issued pursuant to section 16(1) of the OWRA and section 157(1) of the EPA.

I reasonably believe that the Company has contravened or is contravening these sections of the OWRA and the EPA as outlined in the Suspected Violations/Offences section of this Provincial Code Act applies.

Description of Site and Orderees
The Site is located at the address municipally know as 4448 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario. The Site is operating as Wundeba Restaurant and is located in a rural area, on the west side of Guelph Line, south of #2 Side Road, Burlington. Residential properties are located south and north of the Site and a retirement home is also located to the north of the Site. A. pond is located on the southern portion of the Site which has been designated by Conservation Halton as part of the Grindstone Creek Headwaters Wetland Complex, a “Provincially Significant Wetland .”

The Company was incorporated in Ontario on February 13, 2012 and has as its registered mailing address: 5123 Mount Nemo Crescent, Burlington, Ontario, L7M 0T7. The Company purchased the August 2014 and therefore is responsible for compliance with conditions of the ECA.

The Directors are named as Orderees because they have management and control of the Company and the Site. In the Ontario public corporate records, the Director’s names are listed as: “Sjonum Sristi Awalia” and “Philippe St-Cyr”. The Ministry of Transportation Drivers License information records the Director’s names as: “Awalia St-Cyr, Sjonum S” and “St-Cyr Diotte , Philippe”.

Wundeba sign

Can’t miss the place on Guelph Line.

Historical Information re: Environmental Compliance Approval# 5131-757NNN In 2007, the Ministry received an application from the engineering firm of Kenneth Youngs Engineering which had been retained by the previous owner of the Site- Frank Moser Investments Incorporated. The engineering firm submitted an application to the Ministry to replace the two existing Class IV septic systems. Both were old clay tile drainage systems which were failing.The Ministry’s engineering assessment report which supports the current ECA, concluded that the holding tank was the only feasible option for the Site as follows:

The Consultant has carried out the design for a replacement sewage works using tertiary treatment and shallow buried trenches and concluded that housed on the type of soil, size of lot, setback requirements for wetland and building/parking requirements, there is not adequate space to construct an on-site sewage disposal system even with tertiary treatment.

ECA # 513l-757NNN was issued to Frank Moser Investments Incorporated on July 26, 2007. The ECA lists the equipment that has been approved for the handling and storage of sewage at the Site as the 40,000 litre storage tank and related equipment. This is the only equipment that is documented on the ECA for installation and use at the Site.

Summary of Events
The following provides a summary of the significant events relating to the Site and the ECA.

On August 9, 2011, the Ministry received a letter by Kenneth Youngs Engineering Incorporated signed by an engineer confirming that the 40,000 litre storage tank, alarm system and works had been installed in accordance with their submissions.

On February 9, 2015, the Ministry received a letter from a representative of 1866252 Ontario Limited advising the Ministry that the Company was the new owner of the Site as of August 8, 2014 and requested that the ownership of the ECA be transferred to 1866252 Ontario Limited.

On July 21, 2015, the Ministry forwarded a letter to 1866252 Ontario Limited acknowledging receipt of $10,000 for financial assurance which is required by condition 8 of the ECA.

On May 30, 2016, the Ministry forwarded a letter to 1866252 Ontario Limited acknowledging a change of ownership of the Site from Frank Moser Investments Incorporated to 1866262 Ontario Limited. The Ministry’s letter also provided notification of any environmental approvals which were in effect at the Site and listed Environmental Compliance Approval# 5131-757NNN.

On May 18, 2018, the Ministry received a complaint that employees of Wundeba Restaurant were pumping sewage from a holding tank, onto the ground. The complainant described strong odours and provided photos. It appears from the photographs provided, that employees had pumped septic waste out of the 40,000 litre holding tank and onto the ground.

On May 31, 2018, Provincial Officers Nick Fowler and Carly Munce conducted an inspection of the Site. During the inspection, Officer Fowler was advised by an employee that since purchasing the property, the new owners had re-routed the sewage works. Sewage from the washrooms was now being directed to a septic system and not to the 40,000 litre holding tank. Only sewage generated in the kitchen, was being directed to the holding tank.

On June 13, 2018, Provincial Officer Nick Fowler issued an Onsite Sewage Disposal Site Inspection Report which detailed the Company’s non-compliance with the ECA and required them to enter into a service agreement with a Ministry-approved sewage hauler, by June 22, 2018.

He also requested that the Company decommission the unapproved septic system and reroute the septic system back to the approved, 40,000 holding tank by July 13, 2018. These actions have not been done.

As a result of his inspection, Provincial Officer Nick Fowler issued two Provincial Offences Act notices on the Company. One notice was issued for a depositing waste without an Environmental Compliance Approval, which is a violation of section 40 of the EPA.

The second offence notice was issued for a violation of section 186(3) of the EPA for failure to comply with conditions of the ECA. Specifically, the company failed to provide pumping records which were requested during the May 31, 2018 inspection.

On June 27,2018, I met with Philippe St-Cyr as requested. Mr. St-Cyr stated that they only pump grey water from the kitchen, onto the ground from the holding tank. He agreed that they would cease pumping sewage onto the ground. He also stated that he was not aware of the ECA and that since it was issued to the previous owner it was not applicable to 1866252 Ontario Limited. I stated that the requirements of the ECA are the responsibility of the Company that has care and control of the Site and are in effect at this time. I stated that non-compliance with the conditions of the ECA and pumping sewage out of the septic system and onto the ground were chargeable offences. We discussed the septic systems which were installed at the Site. However it wasn’t clear what equipment had been installed. I requested that an assessment be done of the septic systems at the site. We discussed the possibility of submitting an amendment application to this Ministry requesting approval for the septic system which was in use.

On July 06, 2018, as a follow-up to tour- meeting, I forwarded a letter as an attachment to an email to Mr. St-Cyr. I requested that a service agreement be entered into with a Ministry-approved septic hauler who would regularly inspect and pump out the holding tank as required. This requirement to obtain a service agreement from the hauler is required by condition 5.2 of the ECA. I also requested that a Qualified Person be retained to inspect the system to ensure that it was operating in accordance with the ECA and any unapproved system had been decommissioned by August 09, 2018.

Wundeba - rear

The patio at the rear and the lower level are great places to be on a sunny day. Site is great, food was good when we were last there. Obvious management problems. Unfortunate.

On July 13, 2018, I received an e-mail from Mr. St-Cyr confirming that a Ministry-approved septic waste hauler had been retained to inspect the storage tank bi-weekly and pump it out as required. He disagreed with the purpose of the assessment of the on-site system, which he believed was to assess the functional operation of the system in use and not to assess the environmental compliance of the septic system. He stated that he would like to apply for approval of the septic tank, distribution box and septic bed which is in use at the Site.

On August 07, 2018, 1 received the following report:
Inspection Property: Wundeba Restaurant, 4448 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario ESSE Canada, July 31, 2018.

The report assessed the components of an unapproved septic system, which is currently in use at the Site. The components include a septic tank, distribution box and septic bed. It didn’t discuss the 40,000 litre storage tank which is in use, or compliance with the ECA which is in effect for the Site. ·

On August 20, 2018, I mailed a letter to the Company, providing my comments on the July 31, 2018 report. I stated that the approved 40,000 litre holding tank had not been mentioned in the report and the septic system that was described and is in use, has not been approved by the Ministry.

I again requested that the following actions be completed:

1. Retain the services of a Qualified Person to ensure that all sewage from the Site is directed to 40,000 litre holding tank and that the unapproved system is decommissioned. Decommissioning the unapproved septic system would only require that the septic tank be decommissioned and provided a guidance document to decomnssion the septic tank.

2. Provide confirmation that the above acti1ns have been completed. Confirmation was to have been received by October 01, 2018. To date these actions have not been done.

On July 31, 2018, Philippe St-Cyr forwarded an email to me with an amendment to the July 13, 2018 report. The report did discuss the 40;000 litre tank which is installed and in use at the Site.

On September 06, 2018, I received a letter from Mr. St-Cyr. The letter discussed his understanding of what was agreed upon at the June ·27, 2018 meeting at the district office. He believed that the purpose of the assessment was to identify the components of the septic system in use and to determine if they were functioning properly. He also stated that the septic system was in use when the Company purchased the Site and had not been altered. He requested again to submit an amendment application.

On September 12, 2018, I emailed a letter to Mr. St-Cyr. This letter provided an overview of the relevant environmental history of the Site. I also provided a link to the Ministry’s approval applications and guidance documents which are available online.
The letter concluded with the following action item:

Retain the services of a Qualified Person to prepare a report to assess the options to handle the sewage at the Site. The report shall provide recommendations which are in compliance with relevant provincial environmental law and any other regulatory requirements. The report shall include an implementation schedule and a copy forwarded to the undersigned provincial officer by October 17, 2018.

On October 16, 2018, I received an email from Philippe St-Cyr in response to my September 12, 2018 letter which stated that the new owners of the Site, have not re-routed any septic system.
The email concluded with a request to submit an application to amend the current approval. The assessment which I requested in my September 12, 2018 letter, has not been done. On October 31, 2018, the Ministry received a phone call from a resident complaining about strong odours from sewage being pumped out onto the ground at the restaurant.

On November 05, 2018, Provincial Officer Nick Fowler and myself conducted a Site inspection. We noted that the lids on the 40,000 litre tank weren’t secure as required by the ECA. While onsite, we had a brief discussion with Philippe St-Cyr. He again requested to submit an amendment application to approve the septic system that was in use.

Scott Thompson
Provincial Officer
Badge Number: 386
Date: 2018/12/20
District Office: Halton-Peel District Office

In a related matter:

The family who owns Wundeba, the restaurant that was raided along with a home in the Mount Nemo area of Burlington last week has released a statement.

After Halton Regional Police Servcices (HPRS) arrested Mohan “Jarry” Ahlowalia for several charges related to human trafficking, his family—the owners of Wundeba—issued a statement claiming the allegations are baseless.

“It is easy and enticing to follow the media and believe everything it says. However, when you and your family are targetted by it, you can really start understanding the meaning of ‘fake news’ and how it can lead you to think a certain way about a situation and can appreciate that what is portrayed in the news is sometimes, and probably more often than not, a fabrication to make their media more exciting,” the statement reads.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 comment to Wundeba has both environmental issue and ownership problems

  • Chuck Rendell

    So they purchased restaurant with an unapproved septic system- which they possibly were unaware of, and now have to get approval for it or decommission it. That’s an unfortunate setback to the new owners. Cost and effort required. Non-compliance will only bring bad press. Have to rectify it ASAP.

Leave a Reply