“We’ve lost numerous challenges against this corporation over the years. We have all, voluntarily, poured in our time and money, made alliances with other community groups, environmental groups and legal experts, all while having day jobs, children and families to look after,” Tinsley said.
“With the crematorium being so close to our homes and emissions coming out daily for 42 years, our children were exposed to some of the most toxic chemicals known to mankind. That was what kept us going. We knew too much at that point. We couldn’t back out.”
According to MPGC’s website, as of 2014, Mount Pleasant became “the first of our locations, and the first in North America, to be upgraded with the most technologically advanced cremation equipment — complete with an emissions abatement system that eliminates nearly 100 [per cent] of all emissions and particulate matter.”
Tinsley welcomed the abatement measures. However, she would have liked to see MPGC relocate the crematorium as per city zoning bylaw and international best practices.
While the Superior Court of Justice declined to make declarations regarding the crematorium business in the aforementioned decision, which stated that MPGC “has not acted in bad faith,” it did find that the operation of funeral homes was outside the objects of its entity as a public trust and that none of the current directors has been validly appointed.
Since MPGC has appealed the decision, Tinsley said more work lies ahead and others will need to take it forward.
“A fight like this takes your life away. You put every ounce of yourself and your spare time into fighting for your children,” she said. “But even if we lose the appeal, we won’t lose the fact that this trust is now publicly accountable for the responsible stewardship of more than 1,200 acres of cherished public cemetery lands. The most important thing has been won.”