Joseph Pugliese: Citizen Journalist Working for the Community
This week, I had the pleasure to speak with Joseph Pugliese, a LaSalle-based community activist.Listen to my conversation with Joseph Pugliese here
Here are some highlights.
Who is Pugliese?
I am the president and owner of Democratique.ca Incorporated. We’ve been operating since 2011. We started off being a community awareness website basically going back and forth to city hall and asking our elected officials to do certain things that would be better for our community.
Pugliese told me that on January 7, Democratique wrote to Quebec Premiere Francois Legault to ask him to release the 200-page closure report concerning Cintec Environment Inc., a landfill based in the LaSalle borough of Montreal.
Legault’s office told him that the file has been passed on to Environment Minister Benoit Charette.
“I am very relieved to see that we have professionals dealing with this case…we’re not putting into question the company’s ability to deal with this, but we are putting into question the amount of unknown toxins. We don’t know what’s there and this is something that should be addressed. The public should know what’s going on, with all due respect to Cintec Environment Incorporated.”
The materials in the landfill have been in question since prior to the site’s closure. Questions remain because no government has yet released the reports about what the site contains.
We also spoke about the contamination on the property of the LaSalle Legion on Bouvier.
“At this point, I’m hoping that something gets done [to clean up the land] eventually in the future. For the moment, I’m very happy that the Legion remains open because that was our main goal. I just hope that in the coming years someone will take care of that issue.”
School Loan Forgiveness File
Pugliese also wants Quebec to write off student loans that cannot be paid.
We have been dealing with the Quebec Student Loans and Bursaries case, which is us asking the Quebec government to follow Ottawa’s lead. In February 2018, Canada’s Student’s Loan program had taken the initiative to write off $200 million in unpaid student loans. Basically they did that to help low-income people to get out of debt and improve their lives…we are asking Quebec to follow Ottawa’s lead.
375th Anniversary VIP List
Pugliese has another VIP case underway as well. He’s been looking in the 375th Anniversary celebrations and he wants to know who the elected officials invited to various events.
This case was us asking the City of Montreal to disclose the complete and uncensored VIP lists for all of our elected officials and their distinguished guests that would be invited to any and all 375th celebrations. It’s been 2017 that we’ve been asking questions…unfortunately, a couple of days ago, we received a reply from the City of Montreal stating that they couldn’t disclose these lists due to private personal information that is in these lists. I could appreciate that certain information maybe that shouldn’t be released to the public private but I do believe that the names of the people at least that are in these parties should be public knowledge. It’s public money that’s used to fund these events and I think it’s natural that we should know who our elected officials are having fun with and having conversations with.
Pugliese considers himself Canadian.
I’m a very proud Canadian. I’m proud of my nation. I think we do great things. To me, being Canadian means being an honest straight-forward person doing the right thing and helping your neighbour out. That’s what Canadians do best. We’re a great people. We’re a great country. I think that we are one of the shining beacons of the world to peace, prosperity and everything that’s positive. So yes, I’m very proud to be Canadian and I’m happy to see that Canada is in a great position right now.
Previous Articles about Pugliese
Notable Nonfiction has covered Joseph Pugliese’s work for years. Read more at: Pugliese awarded community cares award, Hearing into LaSalle VIPs, Legion buys a few months peace, and Clean-up underway at Allion.
Background on Cintec
Notable Nonfiction interviewed Serge Gariépy, the executive director of Cintec Environnement Inc. on August 28, 2009. At that time, Gariepy explained that the Cintec site includes two cells, one that was set up by the then City of LaSalle in the 1980’s to handle waste taken from the site on Bouvier Street and one created by Cintec themselves. Gariépy said that he was required to file an inventory annually, but none of those reports have ever been made public.
In addition, Gariépy spent quite a while explaining all the procedures he follows to make sure that no emissions or contaminated water escapes from a multi-level cell on his site, which looks like a giant hill.
The multilevel cell includes LaSalle’s original sealed cell at its base. A double membrane attached on either side of the base cell creates a significantly larger cell. Collector pipes run between the membranes to the original cell to pump out air and water that can be tested.
Gariépy said that technicians and/or engineers from Quebec’s ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs visit him regularly to verify reports about the vents on his property surrounding the cell and the censors.
If you understand French, listen to our conversation here.
Also see additional articles about this site: LaSalle Reacts: “There is no Toxic Waste in LaSalle,” Borough Says No Toxic Waste in LaSalle, and Is there toxic waste in LaSalle.
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About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.