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Blockade stops trucks bound for Site 41

The Orillia Packet & Times has reported on yesterday’s blockade of trucks heading to Site 41, as well as Simcoe County’s response to our letter threatening legal action to stop Site 41.

“Citing their right to ‘pray for mother earth,’ a group of First Nations women Friday blocked trucks bound for the North Simcoe Landfill Site 41. Both entrances to the entrances of the dump site on the 2nd concessions of Tiny Township were blocked by 8 a.m. by women carrying out what they described as sacred services.”

“Ontario provincial police set up roadblocks at either end of road, denying access to vehicles and pedestrians. An officer in a police truck equipped with video equipment observed activities, along with other officers. The OPP have also set up a command post in the area and officers from Collingwood were called in to assist those from Southern Georgian Bay.”

“The demonstration ended peacefully about 5 p.m. when the women left the roadway and the police roadblocks were removed.”

“In another development, the county issued a guarded statement in response to a letter from lawyers for the Council of Canadians threatening court action.”

“The lawyer’s letter called for an immediate halt to construction activity at the site and said the lawyers had instructions ‘to pursue appropriate legal action, if required, to bring this about’.”

“The brief statement issued by Warden Tony Guergis reiterated the following points regarding the North Simcoe Landfill Site:
-‘This site has been studied extensively and approved by the Environmental Assessment Board and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.’
-‘The landfill has received all of the approvals required from the Ministry
of the Environment and construction continues at this time.’
-‘The County of Simcoe is confident that the site has been designed and will be constructed and operated so as to protect all water resources.'”

Additionally, Simcoe.com quoted Maude Barlow and Council of Canadians legal counsel Steven Shrybman extensively in a recent article.

Steven said, “(The Council is) intervening to protect something that belongs to the broader community, or that’s important to the ecosystem. That’s what Section 84 of the Environmental Bill of Rights is all about.”

Maude said, “A lawsuit takes a long time, and they’re already beginning construction at the site. We would really like to see a political solution. We think it would be wonderful if council could meet again and have a rethink of its position; we only need two councillors to change their position.”

“We wish we didn’t have to do it. We wish that common sense would prevail and (county councillors) would just shut this thing down and admit that they’ve made a mistake. But common sense doesn’t seem to be prevailing, so we felt we had to threaten to take it to the next step.”

“We don’t understand why …some members of the council of the county are pursuing this foolish, foolish path, so we are willing to up the ante. And we’re going to keep doing it.”

“We’re going to follow every legal avenue we have.”

“There’s no such thing as a safe dump site. The leachate will get into this water. It’s only a matter of time.”

“Everybody thinks, ‘Why won’t they give it (the groundwater flow simulation figures) to us? They must be hiding something.”

“This is heating up. This thing is just going to escalate. It’s going to be a long, hot summer at Site 41.”

“If you take a look at what we’re going to do to this land and this water, a few blocked roads doesn’t seem very big to me. We have to stop and think about the larger, longer damage that this site is going to do to the environment. As far as I’m concerned, the tractor protesters are heroes.”