Thanks for the Letters!

Looking at statistics from the DontGetBurned.org web site, it looks like some 300 letters got sent just from that site by the April 2 deadline for comments on the Ministry Review of the Environmental Assessment study. We hope visitors to this site sent in their own to add to the total.

As a follow-up, you should send an email to the same address (Gavin Battarino, Project Officer <gavin.battarino@ontario.ca> with copy to the project team <info@durhamyorkwaste.ca>) to request that responses by the project team (Durham staff and consultants) be copied to you. At this stage, they are not required to publish their responses, but we feel it would be in the public interest to have a bit of transparency, something that has not happened much so far in the EA process.

What happens now?

The Ontario Minister of the Environment (John Gerretsen <minister.moe@ontario.ca>) has 13 weeks (per the Environmental Assessment Act) to consider the Environmental Assessment studies, reports, comments. If the EA is approved, there is essentially very little opportunity for public input into the permit application process. At this stage, attention should be directed to the Minister to reject the environmental assessment, or at least refer it to a hearing by the Environmental Review Tribunal. One of the factors considered is the political landscape.

The organizers of the DontGetBurned.org web site are planning a rally at Queen's Park in May (exact date to be announced shortly). You can help by organizing, publicizing or simply participating. See DontGetBurned.org for details.

Politics is a numbers game. Politicians look at the numbers and count the votes they stand to win or lose. Stand up and make sure their choice is in the public interest. Stay silent and they figure they're teflon-coated.

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