Archive - jul 23, 2009

ONTARIO URGENT ACTION: Write and Call Ontario's Minister of the Environment to Protect Ontario's Water

CPT's Aboriginal Justice Team is currently accompanying members of the Beausoleil First Nation and local citizens of Simcoe County at the blockade of a garbage dump currently under construction directly on top of a pristine aquifer near Elmvale, Ontario. In 2006, University of Heidelberg Professor William Shotyk, a scientist whose research sets an international benchmark for measuring the effects of human activities on water, tested the water at Dumpsite 41. Dr. Shotyk found that the water is so free of contaminants it is comparable to 5,000-6,000 year-old Arctic ice core sources.

SIMCOE COUNTY, ON: CPT Aboriginal Justice Team accompanies blockade of proposed dump site over aquifer

The logo for the County of Simcoe on the “Notice of Project” posted at Dump Site 41 in Tiny Township reads “for the greater good.”  But members of the nearby Beausoleil First Nation, thousands of neighbouring farmers, cottagers, and other non-Native citizens believe that neither their interests nor the environment is well-served by the decision of County Council to build a dump site directly above ground water that scientific studies have identified as of the purest quality.

"They have to stop raping Mother Earth," says Vicki Monague, one of five Beausoleil First Nation women who have been leading ongoing nonviolent direct actions at the site since the County began digging and deaquification commenced in late March. By then, more than two decades of citizen campaigns against a dump above the aquifer had failed. 

As traditional Keepers of the Water, the Beausoleil women set up a legal encampment on the Parnell family farm across the road from the dump site on 14 May 2009.  On 6 July, when the County stepped up work, the women, soon joined by citizens from the surrounding communities, blockaded the site's entrances.

CPT sent its first four person team to the blockade on 13 July because police arrests at the site became a real possibility.  Full-time CPT accompaniment began on 19 July.  Team members are currently joining the Anishinabe women and local citizens at the blockades, listening to the stories of the ongoing struggle with County Council, sharing stories of nonviolent struggle, and documenting police presence. 

You can see photos of the action here: