March 22, 2017

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I’m pleased to rise today to recognize United Nations World Water Day. It’s a good opportunity to recognize the importance of protecting our environment and to protect this vital resource that we all depend on.

It’s also a good opportunity to remind the Minister of the Environment and the members of the Legislature about the proposal our community is dealing with that could put our drinking water in Oxford at risk. There is a proposal in the village of Beachville to locate a landfill on fractured limestone near the Thames River. It’s also located close to one of the town of Ingersoll’s main wells. A leak could contaminate all that water. We believe that locating the landfill on this site is simply too great a risk.

I’ve had the privilege of delivering tens of thousands of letters to the Minister of the Environment conveying these concerns from my community. The local mayors have been at Queen’s Park to deliver the same message.

I want to commend everyone who took the time to share their concerns and all the volunteers who have put countless hours into getting the message out, doing the research, raising money, attending events and many other tasks. It’s a long fight, but these volunteers and community are committed.

So today, as we celebrate World Water Day, I want to remind the government of the importance of protecting our groundwater and the Thames River, and ensuring that our drinking water is not put at risk.