October 28, 2013

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: Mr. Speaker, this morning I delivered almost 13,000 letters to the Minister of the Environment from people in my riding. They are people who are gravely concerned about the proposal to put a landfill site in a quarry in Beachville, people who are concerned about the impact on our environment, especially our water.

I share their worry about locating a landfill that close to the Thames River and on fractured limestone. While people have a right to apply for a landfill, the minister has the duty to turn that application down if it will put groundwater at risk.

I want to commend everyone who took time to share their concerns, from the lawn signs, the sign rallies, the petitions I’ve read in the Legislature to the letters and emails they’ve sent to the minister, including the 13,000 I delivered today.

I want to applaud the work of the community organizations: Oxford People Against the Landfill, Oxford Coalition for Social Justice, the Ingersoll District Nature Club and Oxford Green Watch. I’ve been pleased to meet with many of them, and I know they have worked hard, not only to raise serious concerns about the landfill, but to make the community aware of the proposal and how everyone will have a say.

Comments on the draft terms of reference are due by October 30, so we need to ensure that our community’s concerns are heard loud and clear. Today I want to add my voice to theirs and ask the Ministry of the Environment to ensure that a landfill is not allowed to jeopardize Oxford county’s access to safe, clean water.