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May says federal government has obligation to consult on Site 41

The Barrie Examiner reports today that, “The federal government has a constitutional duty to consult the First Nations people about Simcoe County’s landfill Site 41, federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May said Saturday.”

“May told a crowd of more than 100 people gathered in a farm field opposite the dump site that the federal government has a fiduciary responsibility to recognize aboriginal claims, a fact she says is underscored in a number of recent Supreme Court decisions. In an interview, she said, ‘Ottawa has an obligation to ensure they are consulted because this is traditional land claim territory.'”

On May 11, Simcoe.com reported that Simcoe North Conservative MP Bruce Stanton agreed the county’s landfill plans represent “the wrong approach” to waste management, but noted Ottawa has no jurisdiction over the matter. He said, “There is really no ability in federal law to intervene or prevent this project from proceeding. The county has frontline responsibility for waste management and…the enforcement or approval authority is really the Ministry of Environment for Ontario.”

The Examiner also reports that Simcoe North Conservative MPP Garfield Dunlop said, “People like Maude Barlow, Elizabeth May, Danny Beaton and Dale Goldhawk, the folks from the agricultural community and local residents can’t all be wrong. I think in the end the people at the county and the people at the province have to say, ‘you know, maybe a mistake has been made here. Maybe there should be a review. Until they actually start dumping garbage in that site I think there’s still a possibility of stopping it. We’ve got to do it a peaceful, honourable, respectful way, and I think that’s what will eventuality turn it around. I’ve given up on the county. I just don’t think they’ll change. Their mind is set. It has to happen from (Liberal environment minister John) Gerretsen’s office. He could bring in legislation on May 25 and kill this, or he could order a moratorium. In the end they have to look at this and acknowledge a mistake has been made.”

The Barrie Examiner article is at http://m.thebarrieexaminer.com/article.aspx?a=1572226

The Simcoe.com report is at http://www.simcoe.com/article/135528