C-K mayor reiterates support against proposed landfill

Mayor Darrin Canniff has reaffirmed Chatham-Kent's commitment to the battle against the York1 landfill expansion at Dresden.

"We, together as Chatham-Kent, will fight this until this is no longer an issue and it's done," Canniff told the crowd gathered at the second public meeting put on by Dresden Citizens Against Reckless Environmental Disposal (CARED). "It's not going to happen."

The comment was met with loud applause from around 100 people who attended the session at the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre April 11.

"I expect Dresden to step up in the way they have, as they do in every other thing, good or bad," the mayor said, adding his thanks to Dresden CARED and the community.

"I want to thank you for what you're doing here," Canniff said. "The key is understanding the facts and getting together. We want all of Chatham-Kent fighting with you."

Canniff said he has sent a text to Doug Ford communicating C-K's opposition, and has also spoken with Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Andrea Khanjin to let her know the York1 landfill project is unwanted.

According to Canniff, the municipality has hired a "high-end" lawyer to deal with the issue and it isn't going to be cheap.

"Council is behind you and we're not going to be restricted by funds," he said. "Make sure you get everyone you know to make submissions. It's critical that we get an environmental assessment."

The mayor's comments are the latest salvo to be fired in the battle against GTA-based York1 Environmental Waste Solutions’ bid to revive and expand an old landfill on Irish School Road just a kilometre north of town. The company wants to build a regenerative recycling waste facility to repurpose demolition waste and soil from construction sites.

York1, to date, has three applications before the province that would see up to 6,000 tonnes of waste transported to the site each day with as many as 700 trucks travelling to the site daily.

The company is looking to piggyback on an existing landfill approval made over 40 years ago, as landfill approvals are difficult to obtain.

The York1 proposals, which only came to light at the end of January, has evoked a furious response from the community, garnering support from neighbouring Lambton County, as well as the Township of Dawn-Euphemia, which is located very close to the site.

In response to the backlash, the province is also seeking public comment on the York1 proposal on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Khanjin has publicly committed to undertaking a comprehensive environmental assessment at the site.

Those wishing to make comments regarding an environmental assessment online can visit ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-8417.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Chatham Voice