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500 people march with Maude Barlow to stop Site 41

The Barrie Examiner reports this morning that, “Upwards of 500 people gathered yesterday to protest the North Simcoe Landfill, formerly known as Site 41. At least 375 opponents of the dump marched about 6.5 kilometers from here to the site on the second concession of Tiny Township, where they were met by more than another 100 people…Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, led the march and told those gathered at the site that she will ‘keep coming back and coming back until we’ve stopped Site 41.'”

Maude Barlow told the assembled, “A dump site over the world’s purest water is going to pollute the water system. On behalf of the Council of Canadians, I want you to know our members are 100 per cent with you in this fight. It’s a travesty to the community. We’ve been given a gift of this water and we owe it to future generations to keep it as clean and safe as we found it. It isn’t just the people from Tiny Township who oppose it. There are people all over the province and around the country who are standing with you.”

Additionally, trade campaigner Stuart Trew reports this morning that:

“Maude and I were in Simcoe County for a march and rally to Dump Site 41 – a proposed landfill that, if completed, would sit atop some of the world’s purest water, according to scientists. Basically the entire region is opposed to the dump except for a dozen regional councilors, who have yet to give anyone one good reason why they voted in favour of the dump, and the provincial government, which gave the final water taking permit in December.

After lunch in Elmvale with the crew of the documentary ‘Water on the Table,’ we gathered in a church parking lot just south of a surface spring on Highway 27 called ‘The Flow’. Maude, Danny Beaton, Stephen Ogden, and members of several local ratepayers groups spoke at a media event to launch the march. The A-Channel reported on the media conference this morning.

We then started our march with more than 300 people and stopped at The Flow where women from the Beausoleil First Nation were blessing the water that they would carry for the duration of the march. The Beausoleil Council is still deciding what to do about the dump site, but as Maude pointed out the women weren’t waiting. It was the first time they had come out to any of the dozens of actions against the dump to date.

The march continued through beautiful countryside, over creeks (each of which Danny and Maude blessed by sprinkling tobacco into them), across a dairy farm that will be severely compromised by the Site 41 dump across the street, and finally to the site itself, caged and walled in with construction equipment and pipes littered across its surface. Maude pointed out how obscene it was that they had dotted the retaining wall (an artificial hill surrounding the site) with baby pine trees when all around there was already established nature that is now threatened.

Half way through the march we realized there were at least 500 to 600 of us, many who joined at the various intersections we crossed and even more joining for the rally at the end. It was a testament to how much opposition there is in the community and to how strong the community organizing has been. Local organizers Anne Nahuis, Pat McDermott, Stephen Ogden and others really got the word out but having Maude there was key.

Several people told me how important it was that the Council of Canadians had taken this up, and Maude’s promise to the rally that she will come back again and again until the dump is stopped got raucous applause.

We met so many friendly people, including Don Morgan, father of Sarah Morgan, the university student whose Stop Site 41 Facebook group we took from 800 members to over 5,400.”

To add your name to that petition, please go to http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-dump-site-41.

To read more about this event, and to see photos of the march, go to www.canadians.org.