Skip to content

UPDATE: Simcoe County Council vote on Site 41

9:00 am
There are hundreds already here at the Simcoe County Museum for the Site 41 information session, with a steady stream of people still arriving.

There is a long line up to get in, and Maude is waving to the cars as they arrive.

Meera Karunananthan, Dylan Penner, Mark Calzavra and Steven Shrybman all here.

9:10 am
Only 150 seats in the auditorium so hundreds outside listening on a speaker system. We discussed a walk-out strategy this morning if this goes nowhere.

9:47 am
Maude has walked out of the meeting because its a farce, Steven is at the microphone saying the meeting is stifling debate.

11:10 am
Warden Tony Guergis has just announced at the top of the Simcoe County Council that they will go into ‘closed session’. Some councillors now challenging him. Now threatening to clear the chambers. The motion to move to ‘closed session’ was just carried.

11:30 am
So the motion passed to go into closed session for about two hours, but most of the room refused to move including us. In the face of us not budging, several councillors challenged the motion. So the two hour wait was fought back to thirty minutes. Maude and Meera are now doing media interviews.

One hour of closed session and no announcement of a resumption of an open debate.

1:09 pm
Simcoe County is still in closed session after 90 minutes. It now appears they could be another hour or more, but even our allies inside say (through text-messaging) that some progress is being made. After saying we would all re-enter the building a county bureaucrat finally came out to give us an ‘official’ update that we would have to wait longer. Maude gave the update to the assembled waiting on the front steps.

2:10 pm
Still waiting. Maude is being interviewed by the Toronto Star, the country’s largest circulation newspaper. Speculation is there may not be a county council vote until tomorrow.

2:20 pm
We just received word that Simcoe County Council will be meeting in open session shortly.

This as the first news stories start to appear. The Barrie Advance reports that, “Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow was among the first to walk out in frustration from a Simcoe County public information meeting on Site 41 today. Hundreds of residents filled the Simcoe County Museum to overflowing, as county staff and engineers gathered inside to defend the plan for the controversial North Simcoe dump. ‘This doesn’t feel very much like a dialogue,’ she said, before she left.”

That’s at http://www.barrieadvance.com/barrieadvance/article/143719.

The following motions have just been carried:

  • That a judicial review of the information and privacy commissioner’s (IPC) order be carried out and that the county continue to ask Genivar to release the modflow data;
  • That the IPC be approached to see if a further peer review of the modflow data would be sufficient;
  • That county council direct staff on injunctive action; and
  • That action on damage claims against Vicki Monague and Ann Ritchie-Nahuis be discontinued.

Because the IPC’s order is for action, not study and ‘asking’, was very clear, apart from the last motion passed, this is not a good sign.

3:00 pm
More bad news. Warden Tony Guergis rebuffs the corporate services committee decision that Maude make a presentation to Simcoe County Council this afternoon, suggesting the public information session was the place for this. So it appears she has been denied the opportunity to speak.

3:23 pm
Some good news. Tiny Township Mayor Peggy Breckenridge has just introduced a motion for a one-year moratorium on Site 41 development. The gallery has just welcomed this with a standing ovation. The motion has just been seconded. Another councillor is now speaking in favour of the moratorium. More applause. Another councillor in support of the moratorium. And now another.

3:32 pm
And now a supporter of the dump is seeking a three-month moratorium, instead of the one-year moratorium we are seeking. The feeling is now we could win a moratorium, it will be a question of length of time.

3:45 pm
Councillor Little has just tried to move a motion to stop dump site 41, not just have a moratorium, but stop it completely. We’ll need to wait to see if that will be accepted.

3:47 pm
The Midland mayor says he supports a one-year moratorium because the dump site is about “dumping garbage on water.”

3:51 pm
The New Tecumseth deputy mayor says he’s opposed to landfills. He said he originally voted in favour of the dump site, but that was before Maude Barlow and all the public pressure. He says he supports a one-year moratorium.

3:55 pm
Aother councillor supports the one-year moratorium. Increasingly the cheers from those outside can be heard inside the council chambers.

3:56 pm
Another councillor speaks in support of the moratorium. More cheers heard from outside.

4:15 pm
It now appears that the following motions will be considered by the 32-member Simcoe County Council:
– completely stop Site 41
– three-month moratorium
– one-year moratorium

4:20 pm
Guergis says this has been “disheartening.”

4:30 pm
Guergis says he won’t support a three-month moratorium nor a twelve-month moratorium, but says that county council is so “disgraceful” that Site 41 should be stopped completely. He says the county can’t deal with waste management.

4:33 pm
The New Tecumseth mayor says he doesn’t need to be “chastised” and that Simcoe has “a serious governance” issue.

4:45 pm
The councillors who oppose the dump are voting against a procedural by-law that would allow a vote on closing the dump. There’s a strategy here, that we are trying to figure out. The motion to waive the by-law was defeated, so the motion to stop the dump site cannot be voted on. This is a good thing because the votes for a full vote may not be there, and it could affect the moratorium vote. This motion could still go to a future council meeting.

4:55 pm
Because of lots of confusion there is a move to vote again on the waiving of the procedure.

5:00 pm
The outcome of the vote – 72 to 50 (it’s a weighted vote), so it does not carry.

5:05 pm
They are starting to move toward voting on a three-month or a twelve-month moratorium.

WIN! Simcoe County Council votes for one-year moratorium on Site 41!