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MIDHURST. MAY 12, 2010– Members of Simcoe County’s corporate services committee voted unanimously today to ask the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to revoke the Certificate of Approval for Site 41.
The motion, which has to be ratified by County Council at its May 25 meeting, will bring closure to a bitterly divisive issue.
I am overjoyed, said Vicki Monague, one of the Anishnaabe Kweag whose camp was the centre of the Site 41 protest. This definitely marks a new beginning.
She recalled the day of the Sept. 22 vote in which council halted construction and future development of the dump.
Dump Site 41 opponents were not convinced, as long as councillors insisted on maintaining the certificate that allows a landfill operation.When most people left that day, they left nearly in fear of what doors could have possibly been opened up: the privatized development of Site 41, Monague said.
Now, it looks as if the end of an epic battle is in sight.
I’m ecstatic, said Elmvale dairy farmer Anne Ritchie-Nahuis. She added that the Ontario government should reimburse the county for some of the millions of dollars spent on the misguided dump project.
This project was misrepresented right from the beginning by the province to county council.
I feel really relieved, said Elizabeth Brass Elson, another of the Anishnaabe Kweag. It s good that county councillors finally recognized that this is not a good thing and turned it around for the better.
Ritchie-Nahuis and Brass Elson urged that the county involve the community, including First Nations people, before deciding on any future use of the property, which sits above a contained aquifer that has been tested as the purest of any known water in the world by Professor William Shotyk of the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Still outstanding is the issue of obtaining the calibrated computer model (Modflow) that is the science showing Site 41 is a good place for a dump. The county has taken the Information and Privacy Commissioner to court rather than comply with the order.
The public has a right to that information, Ritchie-Nahuis said. It’s a matter of trust and transparency.
The corporate services committee went in camera to vote on a motion dealing with outstanding litigation against Monague and Ritchie Nahuis. No word on what decision was made.