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Barrie Examiner editorial board backs our call for a 1-year moratorium at Site 41

The editorial board of the Barrie Examiner writes today that, “If Simcoe County council is really interested in taking a second look at the North Simcoe Landfill, or dump Site 41, it should impose a one-year moratorium on work there. This would not show weakness or a lack of resolution on the county’s part, but some sensitivity to the opposition of constituents.”

“A rally this past weekend attracted 400 people (note: our count is 850 people), including Maude Barlow, who wants county council to vote on, and approve, a moratorium at its Aug. 25 meeting. Barlow is head of the Council of Canadians, and the United Nations’ water advisor.”

“It was reported that Native protesters has blocked all entrances to Site 41 early yesterday morning. The protesters were unarmed, and said they were using prayer to halt any further construction there. Barlow’s request for a moratorium, and the Native protest, should not convince county council to stiffen its resolve to push ahead with the site. There are options, whether county council and county staff will admit it or not.”

“Because what’s at stake on these 51 acres north of Elmvale is not only prime farm land, but property atop a source of groundwater that’s reportedly some of the purest on earth.”

“Another good reason for county council taking at least one more look at Site 41 is that there is hardly overwhelming political support for it. Or at least there wasn’t just more than two years when county council made an important decision on the landfill. By a 16-15 margin, it decided to spend $659,000 to build roads, a storm water pond, piping, fencing and pay other expenses for the landfill.”

“An argument can be made that deciding now not to go ahead with the North Simcoe Landfill would waste the $11 million already spent at the site, although this has happened during the last 20-25 years. But in the same breath, it’s difficult to put a price tag on clean water.”

“Barlow’s efforts aside, the opposition also appears to be gathering steam. Conservative Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop’s private members’ bill to kill the project is before the Ontario legislature. There’s also been talk of a full review by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. And the Ministry of Environment is again being questioned about the depth (pardon the pun) of its investigation into the merits of a landfill here.”

The full op-ed is at http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1643903.

To read the Council of Canadians media release from yesterday about the First Nations blockade of the access road, and calling for a special session of Simcoe County council to implement an immediate halt to construction go to http://canadians.org/media/water/2009/06-July-09.html.