Hardeman Introducing Bill to Stop Landfills Being Forced on Municipalities
INGERSOLL- Today Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford, joined by Ingersoll Mayor Ted Comiskey and Zorra Mayor Margaret Lupton, announced that when the Legislature returns Hardeman will introduce a bill to prevent landfills from being forced on unwilling communities. If passed, the bill would provide municipalities with the right to approve new landfills within their jurisdictions.
“I believe that municipalities should not be forced to take someone else’s garbage against their will,” said Hardeman. “It makes no sense that municipalities get a say in where the local Tim Hortons is located, but aren’t allowed to make a decision on an issue as important to their constituents as a landfill. This bill would give them that authority.”
Last fall Mayor Comiskey requested a legislative change to prevent landfills from being forced on municipalities during committee hearings on Bill 139, Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act. Hardeman introduced the requested amendment, but the government voted it down. Today Hardeman announced that he will be introducing a private members bill modelled on that amendment.
Comiskey is leading a growing number of municipalities that are demanding the right to approve new landfills in their communities. Over the last few months approximately 20 municipalities from across Ontario have supported resolutions pushing for the right to say no to a landfill being forced on their municipality (www.demandtheright.ca).
Mayor Comiskey said, “The current environmental assessment process allows private landfill operators to ignore the concerns of local residents and municipal Councils. This must be changed, immediately.”
Zorra Township is one of the municipalities that is at risk of being forced to accept a landfill that they do not want and do not believe is environmentally safe.
Mayor Lupton said, “As Zorra Council members we were elected to make decisions that benefit our residents. Citizens count on our representing their best interests. It is totally unacceptable that a decision regarding the establishment of a landfill within our community is to be made by anyone other than the people most affected—the citizens of Zorra Township. Self-determination is a foundation of our democratic way of life and must be upheld.”
“During the committee hearings the government said that the intent of the amendment had merit, but they wanted more consultation. I hope that introducing this bill will force that discussion, raise awareness about the impact of landfills on municipalities across Ontario and stop communities from being forced to accept someone else’s garbage,” said Hardeman.
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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford