This afternoon, the Council of Canadians issued a media release after hearing the news that a non-violent civil disobedience protest has started on an access road beside Site 41. This blockade is an attempt to stop the ongoing dewatering and construction of the landfill.
Our release states, “The Council of Canadians is calling on Simcoe County councillors to listen to public concerns about Site 41 and to stop any further construction of the garbage dump on the Alliston aquifer.”
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “The opposition to this garbage dump is widespread and growing. This opposition is evident in the county, the province, and increasingly across the country. The determination of the local residents, First Nations peoples, as well as a growing list of provincial and national organizations, to protect the area’s water and prime farmland is deep. Simcoe County council should not think they can force through this dump given this reality.”
Barlow adds, “Warden Tony Guergis and Simcoe County council can easily address this situation. They must stop any further construction and any dumping of garbage at the site, so as not to preempt a key resolution on the future of the dump that should be debated at their next council meeting on Tuesday August 25. A special session of council this week could address this escalating situation and better allow for the debate in late-August.”
Barlow concludes, “If the construction continues at an accelerated pace and the garbage starts being trucked in before the councillors have the opportunity to debate this resolution, local democracy will not be well served. I call on the warden and Simcoe County council to address this situation by holding a special session of council to ensure that construction does not continue, and that all councillors, including those who have supported the dump but now support a one-year assessment period, are heard.”
The Council of Canadians is putting forward a resolution to Simcoe County council that calls for a one-year moratorium on Site 41 to allow for an independent peer review of the study on the safety of the dump, meaningful public consultations, and an assessment of the dump on a fuller criteria of provincial regulations, laws and local impacts. There is a growing consensus among Simcoe County councillors – including those that have supported Site 41 – that this is a positive way forward.
The members of Simcoe County council are listed at http://www.county.simcoe.on.ca/countygovernment/council/index.htm.