A group of Calgary residents have launched another civil
lawsuit, trying to force a local chicken processing plant (Lilydale) to slash
noise and odour. The statement of claim asks the Alberta Court of
Queen's Bench to order Lilydale to stop night-time trucking at
its Hurst Road plant, limit odour pollution, and fully enclose
chicken waste bins. The residents seek $250,000 in damages for loss
of enjoyment of their properties. The residents also seek damages
for a 2009 ammonia leak that forced several families from their
homes. Alberta Environment has laid charges against Lilydale for
In 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a Quebec cement
plant to pay $15 million to its neighbours, despite no fault by the
company and a specific statute authorizing it to operate in that
particular location. In St. Lawrence Cement Inc. v.
Barrette, adult neighbours of a cement plant were
awarded between $935 and $11,000 each for six years of odour, noise
and dust, sometimes amounting to "storms of cement".
While St. Lawrence Cement had used due diligence, spending huge
sums on pollution control equipment capable of excellent
performance, the equipment sometimes broke down. This has set a key
precedent for neighbourhood annoyance claims across the
According to Ecojustice: "Noise is the biggest issue
for me," said Lilydale neighbour Robin Tufts. "The
24-hour a day trucking noise — whirring engines, air
brakes, honking horns, back-up alarms, trucks connecting to
trailers — makes it impossible to get a restful night of
sleep. I haven't been able to sleep with my window open for
"It's difficult to invite guests over for a barbeque
when you don't know if the plant is going to smell like a
garbage dump or if you are going to find a chicken head in your
backyard," added resident Todd Ford.
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